Published in the December 11, 2015 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE — Losses are tough in sports. Melrose football fans certainly have earned their share of football heartbreak, especially on the the precipice of Super Bowl titles. This year’s 2015 Melrose Red Raider football squad had the distinction of earning back-to-back Super Bowl appearances at Gillette Stadium, a rare feat for any Massachusetts high school football program.
In the end, it was the same outcome against same foe: a narrow, 26-21 loss to Dartmouth in a well-played game that the Raiders should feel no shame about. And while the loss stings, players and fans can take pride that this Melrose team rivals any of the best ever played at the school. The Raiders went 12-0, unstoppable from September to December; and could only be beaten by just one team in their last 20 games. That is a reflection of not just a good program, but of a great one. As always, Melrose coach Tim Morris and his coaching staff have managed to resupply players to become a playoff staple.
Some players will get another shot next season, and some will pick up a hockey stick or baseball bat thinking about college. But someday they will realize how truly significant their journey was. They will reconnect years from now and reminiscence about it, like trading war stories. As for the Melrose fans? They were given a memorable season: the local pride of being perfect and their city galvanized with buses of fans en route once again to Foxboro. The saying goes: “There is always next year,” but this Melrose football team makes you believe it.
Congratulations to Melrose Red Raider football on an historic season.