Wakefield, MA—The Wakefield High School football will be playing for a shot at the EMass Division 2A Championship on Saturday when they line up against the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins. The game is scheduled for 3:00PM at Manning Field in Lynn.
The Dolphins are coached by Paul Funk, who graduated from Wakefield High School in 1989 and was a three-sport standout in football, hockey and baseball. Funk is in his 10th season guiding the Dolphins and has an overall record of 70-39-1. The Dolphins are 12-0 entering this game and are the two-time defending Atlantic Coast League Champions. This marks the first undefeated season in 51 years for the Dolphins and is their second Super Bowl appearance having lost to Duxbury last season.
The Warriors are coached by Mike Boyages, who graduated from Wakefield High School in 1976. Boyages is in his 15th season guiding the Warriors and has an overall record 112-45-3. The Warriors are the three time defending Middlesex League Small Division Champions have have a 10-2 record. This marks the school’s fourth Super Bowl appearance having played in 1997, 1999 and 2001 with a victory coming in 1999 versus Acton-Boxboro.
The Dolphins enter the Super Bowl fresh off a 46-20 thrashing of perennial power Walpole. Wakefield enters the contest off their last minute, come from behind win versus Marblehead, 7-6.
Dennis-Yarmouth is one of the most explosive teams in the Massachusetts on offense. They have scored 418 points this year for an average of 35 point per game. They scored 40 or more points seven times this year including four of the last six games.
Leading the Dolphins offensive attack is QB Matt Montalto, who was a Boston Globe All-Scholastic last season. The senior signal caller is a dual threat star for D-Y and is coming off a three touchdown pass and two rushing touchdown performance versus Walpole. He has 22 passing touchdowns on the season, which was near the top in Division 2A. Montalto’s favorite target has been Senior Damion Johnson who has hauled in eight touchdown passes so far this year. If the Dolphins aren’t airing it out, look for their ground game to be led by Senior Dylan Hodsdon, who is a three-year starter and near the top of Division 2A in scoring.
Defensively, the Dolphins have given up 128 points for an average of 11 points per game. They went three consecutive games without giving up a single point towards the end of the season. They limited a high powered Walpole offense to only 68 yards in the first half of Tuesday’s game. They are led by their solid duo at the linebacker position in Senior Quinn Campbell and Senior Cooper Greenspan-Sullivan. Hodsdon plays defensive back and had an interception versus Walpole on a key play.
The Warriors have one of the strongest defenses in EMass and have only given up 103 points all season. Their 8.5 point per game average is one of the best across all Divisions of play. Wakefield has only given up six points in their last two contests.
Defensively, the Warriors are led by their excellent line play. Junior Nick Salamone and Junior Mike Amentola anchor the front line, while Senior Mike Conroy has been steady from his defensive end position. Senior Co-Captain Nick Calderone and Senior Bob Wardwell anchor the secondary, while Junior Tyler MacDonald and Senior Zack Bates have been solid at Linebacker.
The Warriors offense has struggled a little bit as of late and has only scored one touchdown in the last two games. However, Wakefield is still averaging 24 point per game. Senior QB Jamie Bourque leads the offensive assault and look for him to throw to fellow Senior Matt McKenna. The ground game is led by Senior Josh Puccio and Senior Zack Bates, but also look for Junior Dan Cardillo to get some carries as well.
“It’s not going be easy. It’s a great program. I have a lot of feelings for them,” Dennis-Yarmouth head coach Paul Funk said. “Wakefield treated me so well and I always check in with Matt Chase (current assistant coach and former classmate) and see how the team is doing,” Funk continued.
“I have known Paul Funk and the Funk family since his playing days when I was an assistant coach under Bob Connors. I have a great amount of respect for Paul and what he has done there,” said Wakefield head coach Mike Boyages. “This is a football game against two teams, with two sets of kids, that know very little about each other. I expect them to come after us and I know Paul expects the same from us,” Boyages continued. “We’re looking at it as whoever we’ve got to play, we’ve got to prepare,” said Funk. “And these guys don’t even know who Wakefield is so we’re prepping for a win.”
Story lines aside, this game promises to be a battle of a championship defense in the Warriors versus a championship offense in the Dolphins. “We have worked hard this year to be in a place we are now. There aren’t many teams playing high school football right now and we are one of the lucky ones. Our program has been here before, so the coaches are use to it…hopefully that makes it easier on the kids,” said Boyages. “I think we match up well against them, but that’s why we play the game.”