August 19, 2017

Varsity football has best season in years, plays first game on new field

By Daniel O'Hanlon '17, Staff Writer

Senior James Mastrianni and teammates celebrate the recovered safety in the second quarter against Hingham. Photo courtesy of James Mastrianni.

To the WHS football team, any doubts that their season would be in jeopardy were laid to rest early in the first half of last Saturday’s playoff game. Senior James Mastrianni ‘17 recovered a key fumble in the end zone in the second quarter of the game that shifted the momentum squarely in Wellesley’s favor. Head coach Jesse Davis believed the play to be the turning point of the game, “James Mastrianni played great on defense for us. He safety which turned the momentum of the game completely. Played tough and fast and set a great example for the rest of the team to follow.”

On the offensive side of the ball, the gamechanger was running back Grant Chryssicas ‘17, who racked up over 250 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on a team high 28 carries. Although Chryssicas will deservedly receive much of the accolades and praise, Davis was quick to point out the exceptional play of the offensive line, “obviously when our running back is able to put up numbers like that our guys up front did a great job. When they’re on like they were this week the offense is really able to execute and play to our strengths.”

Defensively the playmaker was James Mastrianni ‘17, who forced a fumble in the endzone for a key defensive play of the first half. Mastrianni believes that the play was a rallying moment for the team and contributed to their second-half success, “It was an honor to play the first game on the new field, and to actually have a real home game in front of a great crowd. All the coaches tell us every week is “do your job,” whether that is a small or big roll in the game or getting the sideline pumped up, everyone is apart of it and we are all family. I was glad to be able to make a play when we needed it most. Our team worked and works very hard and we want to be something the community can rally behind and look up to.”

The Hingham game was the first contest played on the new Darcey Memorial turf field in front of a sellout home crowd. Coach Davis commented on the new field when saying, “the new field is great. It drew a great crowd and the community came out in support of the town and the kids. That’s what the new field is all about. Getting the community involved in school events and promoting school spirit and Raider Pride. Our students performing were awesome as well.  The singing of the natonal anthem and playing of the band was phenomenal.”

Unfortunately, the Raiders were upset the following week at home against lower-seeded Bridgewater Raynham by a score of 9-0, ending their playoff run. The Raiders’ season is not over however, with the major highlight of the annual Wellesley-Needham Thanksgiving Day contest still on the horizon next week. For Mastrianni, Chryssicas, and many others it will be the last game of their high school football careers. Mastrianni believes he made the right decision deciding to go out for the team senior year, “this is my first year playing football and it was the best decision I made in all of high school. Hopefully we can get the big win on Thanksgiving Day and end our season with a W.”

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