Seniors steal the show at Montvale Plaza

THE WAKEFIELD WARRIOR football team named the new captains for the 2018 season at the postseason banquet. The 2017 captains, Brendan Coughlin, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Joly and Devin O’Brien, handed off leadership duties to the new captains for 2018: Mike Lucey and Danny Marinaccio. Pictured from left to right is O’Brien, Fitzpatrick, Lucey, Marinaccio, Joly and Coughlin. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

Published in the January 19, 2018 edition.


STONEHAM — The 2017 WMHS football team held their annual postseason banquet recently at Montvale Plaza in Stoneham. It was an opportunity to thank the parents, coaches, Warrior Club members and most importantly the players for another great year of Wakefield football.

Warrior Club co-President Jim Joly spoke about the dedication of Warrior Club members like co-president Kelly Baker, Secretary Maureen Miller, Treasurer John Keegan, co-Vice Presidents Lori O’Keefe and Darlene Stikeman and Alumni Relations Director John Roberto, as well as countless parents who have volunteered their time to Landrigan Field on game days and made sure that this team was always well-supported all season. During a year in which the Warriors played eight road games, the stands behind the Wakefield bench were always filled to the brim. Joly also thanked the coaches, players and most importantly the seniors for their passion and dedication to Wakefield football over the last four years.

Athletic Director Brendan Kent and Head Coach Steve Cummings had similar messages of gratitude to the Warrior Club, parents, players and coaches. They both assured the crowd that it is this collective effort that makes the community of Wakefield football so unique.

To his graduating seniors, a special group that Cummings described as not only talented football players but great people, the coach’s message was: “You graduate from the high school, not the football program.” If there was ever a senior class that a coach wanted to stay involved with the team, it’s this group of 24. A dedicated group, who can collectively be described as a bunch that just gets it when it comes to the Warrior Way. Miller, Biennestin, Gregson, Keegan, Stikeman, Ford, Young, Marshall, Calandra, Tannian, Cataldo, Melito, Bertini, Dennen, Mercurio, Redmond, Senior, McMaster, Hiltpold, Shannon, and the captains: Coughlin, Fitzpatrick, Joly and O’Brien were each introduced by Wakefield’s coaching staff, and thanked for everything they have done for Warrior football.

Special awards were given to the seniors including: Bobby Young, Bunty Thakkar Award; Patrick Bertini, Julio O. Encarnacao Sr. Award; Ryan Fitzpatrick, MVP; Alex Joly, Bob Connors Award; Brendan Coughlin, Michael Magliozzi Award; Devin O’Brien, Ron Wood Award.

The captains then thanked their parents and coaches for committing themselves to helping the boys become the men they are today. They then addressed their teammates and especially the underclassmen who they implored to fall in love with the grind and not take anything for granted. Underclassmen always hear from the seniors how quick it all goes by, and sometimes they don’t realize this until they are playing their rivals on Thanksgiving for the last time. The captains wanted them to enjoy every moment and earn the responsibility of carrying on the Wakefield football tradition the right way by especially leaning on a coaching staff who is known for always being there to help a player become great, on and off the field.