SHS Football Season Ends in Historic Fashion

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SHS Football Season Ends in Historic Fashion

Jack Kimball, Staff Writer

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“Honored” was the word junior running back Will Sheskey used to describe his emotions after Scituate’s first Super Bowl win in school history. On December 1, Scituate played Nipmuc Regional High School for the Division 5 State Championship at Gillette Stadium. The Sailors won 35-14, ending the year with an impressive record of 12-1.

“Personally it was a surreal experience,” said junior defensive end Aidan Reidy. “The atmosphere of playing at Gillette Stadium was truly unforgettable, but the comradeship I had with my teammates that day and throughout the season will last forever.”

The Sailors won in dominant fashion, jumping out to a 21-0 start. Will Sheskey amassed 307 total yards and three touchdowns, continuing to build on his record-breaking season. Sheskey broke the Scituate single-season rushing record with 1785 yards on the ground, surpassing 2014 graduate Dawayne Kirton’s previous total of 1753 yards. Named the postseason MVP (most-valuable-player) by Suite Sports and 1st team all-state, Sheskey is ready to build on the team’s success into next season.

“As of now, all I want to do is win it again next year,” Sheskey said. He believes football has taught him many valuable life lessons that have bettered him as a person. “It’s easy to lose sight of some things when you’re working so hard to achieve something that has never been done before. It’s important to remember that there are people out there who love you and stand by you, and sometimes success comes easier when you play for those people rather than yourself. That’s what makes this game special.”

Senior quarterback Aidan Sullivan did what he has done the entire season–dominate. Sullivan was flawless, throwing for 169 yards and three touchdowns while completing 11 of 15 passes. Having just recently been named the Boston Globe’s Division 5 Player of the Year, Sullivan capped off his senior season the best way possible.

Sullivan’s emotions were still running high days after the game. He said, “It feels amazing to go out on top. I don’t think there is any better way to go out honestly. I’m very thankful to be a state champion, and it is something I will remember for the rest of my life!”

The Division 5 Super Bowl will be a game to remember, but championships are not earned overnight. The Scituate Sailors had been a resilient group since practices started during the summer. Workouts started in the winter of 2017 and continued until spring. Summer workouts tested not only player’s physical abilities but mental abilities as well. The Sailors would wake up at 8 a.m. and lift until 11 a.m. four days a week. Some days entailed double-session practices. The work on their strength and conditioning paid off as they won the annual 7 v 7 Passing Tournament at Oliver Ames High School before the season started.

Sullivan attributed a lot of the team’s success to summer practice and conditioning: “There was a lot of work that went into it, and at the end of the day all that work was worth it.”

Senior cornerback Sam Burke was impressed with how his team came together early in the season: “We were giving everything we had. Every day we worked and pushed each other harder than we thought was possible.”

After an admittedly ugly home-opener, the Sailors managed to beat Norwell on September 7; however, the celebrating was short lived. A pivotal game in Duxbury a week later proved to be too much for Scituate, as they lost their only game of the season 35-23. The Duxbury game provided a spark the team desperately needed, as they rattled off 11 wins in a row. Once the defense and offense clicked, Scituate was beating teams at an astonishing rate. On the way to their second straight Patriot League Fisher Division title, Scituate outscored their opponents 173-20.

“Our Duxbury and Norwell games were ones that I thought were blessings in disguise,” said Sheskey. “We came out in the Duxbury game and even though we lost, we fought with them the entire game while dealing with injuries. From there on out we started to feel confident and developed a swagger that we could play with anybody and you could see how hard guys would work in practice looking to prove that.”

The playoffs started with a familiar foe: Dennis-Yarmouth. The rematch was a year in the making after Scituate lost to Dennis-Yarmouth in last year’s quarterfinals. A back and forth game proved to be a test for both teams. Finally, the sailors were able to stop the Dolphins on the one-yard line. The following series, Scituate drove 99 yards down the field to win the game. The players and fans were ecstatic, storming the field while embracing the players.

Junior quarterback Matthew Scibilio credited his defense with the game-saving stop: “The whole game came down to one play, which I think makes the game special. The fourth down stop is often overlooked, and plays like that kept our hopes alive.”

It was nothing but smooth sailing from there on out for Scituate. They cruised by their next three opponents: Holliston, Canton, and Swampscott by a combined score of 113-48. In their semi-final game against Swampscott, which happened to be at the site of their regular season triumph against Hanover, they dominated both sides of the ball in a 45-14 victory.

The popular sports and pop-culture blog Barstool Sports shined a light on the game as Swampscott native Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool, made a bet with Scituate native Henry Lockwood, a producer for Barstool’s hugely popular podcast “Pardon My Take.” If Swampscott came out on top, Lockwood would allow Portnoy to write an episode of the podcast, but if Scituate won, Portnoy would don a Sailors sweatshirt. This brought national attention to Scituate playoff run, which was only getting started.  

With the Super Bowl looming large over the Sailor’s traditional Thanksgiving game versus Hingham, Head Coach Herb Devine faced a tough decision: should the team’s starting lineup be played the entire game, or should Scituate hit cruise control in anticipation of the big game? Evidently, it wasn’t a decision at all, as the coach went all-out in an effort to beat Hingham. In a hard-fought game, the uber-tough Sailors continued their hot streak, winning 28-26. Junior wide receiver Max Roche led the offensive attack, making a highlight-reel touchdown catch to go along with MVP honors.

Roche said, “It was really an honor to win the Thanksgiving day game MVP award with so many other kids who are deserving on such a great team.” Roche also recalled the catch he made, saying, “I saw the ball coming my way, it was pretty much a jump ball, so I went up for it and made sure I didn’t let it go after that.”

One game stood between the Sailors and their first state championship in team history, and they didn’t disappoint. Scituate left everything on the line and beat Nipmuc Regional High School handily, giving the entire town something to rally around.  

The junior Sailors are still hungry for more. Aidan Reidy hopes the bond the team developed this past season can linger on to the next, making the loss of so many key seniors as smooth as possible. As for Will Sheskey, he just wants to keep winning. The winning attitude is contagious, and it looks like Scituate High’s football team is just getting started.

Congrats, Sailors!

 

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