Former Warrior football player has guided Danvers to Div. 3 state semifinals

Published in the November 19, 2015 edition.

LYNN — When the Melrose High football team faces Danvers in the Div. 3 state semifinals tomorrow night at Manning Field in Lynn, there will be a Wakefield connection to the contest even though the Warriors were eliminated from the playoffs by the Red Raiders three weeks ago.

Wakefield Memorial High graduate and Wakefield resident Shawn Theriault is the head coach at Danvers High School and he has led the Falcons to their best season ever in school history.

Danvers enters the game with a 8-2 record having defeated Marblehead last Friday night by a 13-6 score in the Div. 3 Northeast final at Marblehead High School.

Prior to that, the Falcons defeated Revere by 7-0 score in the quarterfinal round and then upset two-time defending Div. 3 Northeast champion Tewksbury by a 14-13 score. The Revere win was Danvers first postseason victory ever and the Falcons haven’t let up since adding two more playoff wins.

Theriault is in his second season as head coach for the Danvers High School football team. The Falcons went 6-5 a year ago. Prior to coming to Danvers in 2014, Theriault served as defensive coordinator for Andover High School for four years, boasting a 31-15 record and Merrimack Valley Large Conference titles in 2010 and 2012.

He grew up in Wakefield, and was a member of the WMHS Super Bowl team in 1997. Theriault, a 1998 graduate, went on to play running back for the UMass-Dartmouth Corsairs, and in 2003, graduated as their all-time leading rusher.

Before his four years at Andover, Theriault coached for Endicott College, Framingham State and Westford Academy. He values competitive drive in all aspects of the game, whether it’s on the field or in the weight room and believes in achieving big picture goals by focusing on small successes.

Theriault and his wife live in his hometown of Wakefield, where he is a middle school teacher.

Danvers went 5-2 in the regular season this fall. The Falcons recorded wins over Winthrop (43-0), Lynnfield (22-15), Lynn Classical (25-0), Lynn English (28-6) and Beverly (14-7). Their losses were to Marblehead (29-23) and Peabody (26-7).

Danvers finished second in the Northeastern Conference’s North division behind Marblehead, a team it just defeated in the playoff rematch last weekend.

Danvers is led by senior quarterback Matt Andreas, a run-first QB, who does most of the scoring for Danvers. He sprained an ankle last week but Danny Lynch stepped in and ran for over 200 yards with two TDs in Andreas’ place.

The Falcons linemen are pretty colossal. Marco LaGambina, Bruno Abbatessa and Isaiah Clark are each close to 250 lbs.

The Falcons have run a stingy defense, allowing about the same number of points as Melrose this season. So tomorrow’s game will most likely be a low scoring one.