Best of best
All in the family
Heading into the Division 4 Super Bowl, Manchester Essex quarterback Pat Orlando had a lot on his plate, including family bragging rights. He needed two touchdown passes to tie his brother Vinny's school record of 53.
Pat threw for three touchdowns, passing his brother in the first half of Manchester's 36-6 victory over Tri-County.
"We were just saying all week, 'It is two to tie, three to win.' " Vinny said.
"That was special for him," coach Mike Athanas said. "We were hoping it was going to happen and thought it would, but it was fun and he deserves it."
"My brother was joking around with me all week," Pat Orlando said. But his brother, an assistant coach at Manchester Essex, wasn't trying to get into his head. "He's helped me so much with my skills at quarterback. It was huge for me," said Pat, noting how his brother calmed him before yesterday's game. "He knows how to get me going and to get me ready to play."
Sheryl Lafrance, on the possibility Mansfield will have to forfeit games because of her son Andrew Rapp's ineligibility: "I definitely disagree with [what happened]. But to me, right now, all that matters is that they got to play.
"Win or lose, those boys are still champions because of the way they have treated my son. The team has been incredible. The boys are just incredible. I've never seen a group of young men with so much class.
"The ruling was unfair only because they didn't get their due process and they need to see all the facts before they make a decision."
"In 2003, I thought we had the team and we lost on a field goal - our only loss of the season - to Fenwick," Arlington Catholic coach Serge Clivio said. "And they went to [the Super Bowl]. In 2006, we lost to Whittier, 48-46, in a shootout and they went to [the Super Bowl], and last year we lost to Swampscott.
"So getting here, to this venue, is a dream. I said to the kids, 'What do you dream of? Can you even dream of doing this, of being here?' Not getting them too starry eyed, but opportunities like this most kids won't get in their life. What a great opportunity."
Duxbury sophomore Ben Startzell attempted four field goals against Gloucester, making a 33-yarder and missing from 27, 50, and 51 yards.
It is the kicker's second season after a lifetime of soccer. The reason he switched? "This," he said, pointing to celebrating teammates. "Just the thrill of getting here and winning this championship. There's nothing like it."
Startzell is continuing a family tradition (his uncle, Kennan Startzell kicked for Rutgers in the 1970s) and hopes to make a bigger impact for Duxbury in the next two years.
Brockton participated in its 18th Super Bowl. "Some programs never get here," said coach Peter Colombo. "This is what we try for every year, it's a lofty goal." . . . BC High captain Nnamdi Obukwelu has a special connection to Brockton: he grew up there and still calls it home. "It feels good, I grew up with all those kids out there," the senior lineman said after his team's win.