PIONEER POWER. The Lynnfield Agganis All-Stars played in their final high school game on June 25. From left, Dan Sullivan, Jon Knee, Stephen White, David Adams and Cam Rondeau. (Tom Condardo Photo)

PIONEER POWER. The Lynnfield Agganis All-Stars played in their final high school game on June 25. From left, Dan Sullivan, Jon Knee, Stephen White, David Adams and Cam Rondeau. (Tom Condardo Photo)

Published in the July 1, 2015 edition


LYNN — It was a familiar scenario for five Pioneer all stars in the 54th annual Agganis Football Classic played last Thursday night at Lynn’s Manning Field. Suiting up for the final time as high school players, the Lynnfield graduated seniors went out and won a football game, helping the North squad hold off a charging South team 20-12.

Steven White, selected as one of the team captains for the game, led a contingent of Pioneers that included 2014 captains Cam Rondeau, Jon Knee and Dan Sullivan, and David Adams, who suffered an ankle injury in practice and had to sit out the contest. Pioneer assistant coach Gino Fodera helped Mark Bettencourt of Peabody, the North head coach, with the offense.

It was the third straight year that a team featuring the Pioneers won the game, played to honor Lynn, Red Sox and Boston University legend Harry Agganis and to raise money for the Agganis Foundation scholarship fund. Coming away winners was nothing new for the Pioneers, who have enjoyed consistent success in their three-year varsity careers. They were part of a group that put together a 29-6 record, 5-3 in the playoffs and captured three league titles and made a trip to the Super Bowl in 2012. One more win was just another day at the office for them.

The game had special significance for White beyond being a North captain. His father, Paul White Jr., played for Stoneham High in the Agganis game in 1976 and was the head referee for last week’s game. Also in attendance was White’s grandfather, Paul White Sr., a classmate of Harry Agganis at BU in the 1950s. White played the entire game at offensive guard and helped the North amass 105 yards on the ground and 104 yards passing. White will be playing for Endicott in the fall.

Quarterback Dan Sullivan split time behind center with Belmont Hill’s Harry Kraft, grandson of Patriot owner Robert Kraft and son of Patriots VP Jonathan Kraft. Sullivan played the second and fourth quarters and was 2 for 5 for 41 yards passing and just missed connecting on a 40 yard bomb inside the 10 yard line when the receiver couldn’t hold on. Sullivan will be following in the footsteps of Pioneer head coach Neal Weidman when he continues his career at Ithaca College.

Rondeau saw action on both sides of the ball at receiver and defensive back during the crucial final quarter as the North nursed a one point lead. He also made the first tackle of the night for the North, knifing through to cut down the South return man on the kickoff following the North’s opening kick TD. Rondeau will be playing for Bowdoin this coming season.

Knee was a double honoree, not only playing in the game as an all-star wide receiver but also receiving one of the 16 Agganis scholarships presented at halftime. Graduating Lynnfield senior Shreyas Kudrimoti was also a scholarship winner. Knee is heading to Macalester College in the fall.

Adams was also an Agganis legacy, as his father Bill, former Pioneer head coach and Lynnfield High School Athletic Director, played in the game for Swampscott prior to heading to Holy Cross and then the Buffalo Bills. He’ll be attending Catholic University.

The North dominated the game early, scoring on a 90-yard kickoff return TD by MVP Robert Shkliew. They took a 13-0 lead on their second possession when Kraft hit Amesbury’s Pat Scanlon for a 31 yard score. But the South hung in and chipped away cutting the lead to 13-12 with two scoring drives to open the second half. South MVP and Winthrop quarterback Dylan Driscoll led a furious comeback attempt but the North sealed the deal when Fenwick’s Rufus Rushins waltzed in for an eight yard TD with just over a minute to play.