By LUCIA QUESADA NYLEN and CRYSTAL DAY
With a new fall season comes a new season for the football team here at Malden High School. With a record of 3-1 in the fourth week of the season, the team is in pretty good shape. The wins have been against Malden Catholic, Revere, and Somerville and the loss against Methuen. Under great coaching staff, including head coach Anthony Pappagallo and this year’s captains seniors Jenson Ayuk and Matt Delaney, the team is looking forward to a great season.
Losing their first game against Methuen was a tough loss, ending with a final score of 24-20 . However the team managed to bounce back quickly and win their second game of the season to Revere with an amazing score of 29-0 with all four touchdowns made by senior Raymond Sainristill.
The third game of the season was on Sept. 27,2013 against Malden Catholic. From the beginning, MHS had an advantage, playing on their home turf, MacDonald Stadium here in Malden. With the stands packed with Malden fans, including fellow classmates, teachers, friends and family, MHS dominated from the beginning. The final score was a spectacular 27-6. Touchdowns were made by Sainristill, sophomore Danley Exilhomme, and freshman Marvens Fedna.
On Oct. 4,2013 MHS traveled to Somerville for their first Greater Boston League (GBL) game, bringing home a win for Malden with a score of 35-15. Touchdowns were made by Sainistill, junior Rakeem Langston, and Fedna. In addition, key plays were made by sophmore quarterback Andrew Papa, making his first career touchdown throw to senior Kevin Noel.
The team is undergoing changes including adjusting to a new young starting line, as a result of various seniors graduating the team from last year. Along with both captains, sophomores Exilhomme, and Robert Green are on the varsity team. Exilhomme states how “being a sophomore starting on [varsity is great]” he “loves the positive energy and [his] teammates and coaches.” In addition, Green explained how “it’s a blessing to be able to have the opportunity to start as a sophomore.” The team is currently starting 15 underclassmen. “It requires more coaching and teaching, but they are all talented and we needed to replace a large chunk of talented seniors who departed for the college ranks after last year,” expresses Pappagallo.
In addition to having a new team, there is also another change for the MHS football team. There is a new football playoff system in place for the Greater Boston League (GBL) this year. This system allows the top two teams in the league to automatically qualify, while in comparison to past years, only the top team qualified. “[This change makes the] landscape entirely different than it ever has been [in past years]” explained Pappagallo.
Captain Ayuk states that he “expects to become closer with the team and to improve how they play as a whole and after seeing the results of the past few games MHS can already see improvement with their effort and scores.” The goals of the team for making the play-offs can soon be accomplished if they keep up the good work and still apply all the effort that they have been showing this season. With scores being more consistent and having big wins, MHS expects to have the Golden Tornado team to proceed with the victories and make the school proud.
In addition to Delaney and Ayuk, senior Keyshawn Bridgeman plays outside linebacker for the team. His goals for the season is “to get to the playoffs.” “The team has improved as a whole defense, offense and special teams” he exclaims, adding that the season is good so far. Bridgeman says they just have to trust the game plan and they have been executing just that. “The biggest competition I would say is ourselves,” claims Bridgeman. Even though the year started off a little rough they have been able to win more games early in the year by wide margins.The team hopes to continue and end the season with an outstanding record. With tough competition ahead, including fellow rival Everett, the MHS Golden Tornadoes improve with both every practice and game, striving for victory. “Our goal [as a team] besides winning the GBL championship and upending last year's state champs, Everett, is to make the playoffs and represent the students of Malden high and residents of Malden in the playoff arena with dignity and pride.” exclaimed Pappagallo.