This year was the 127th annual Malden vs. Medford Thanksgiving game. The game was played on Nov. 27, 2014, Thanksgiving day, at MacDonald Stadium. Although the unfortunate turn of events, with Malden losing to the Medford Mustangs with a final score of 36-12, the Tornadoes gave a well fought game.
The game was a scene out of movie, with cold, brisk weather and snow covering the field. Being the last game of the season, and for many of the senior players, their last high school game, the Tornadoes gave it their all. Highlights of the game included junior Danley Exihomme’s 137 yard rush. As well as at halftime, the senior football players and cheerleaders made their way onto the field with their family members, with their names being announced on the microphone as it was their last high school game.
Though the team had an upsetting end to the season, their season overall was anything but disappointing. The Tornadoes came off strong, with a 5 win streak. As the season progressed, the team faced tough competition against Greater Boston League rival Everett, as well as their 14-17 loss to Catholic Memorial, that was nail biting until the end of overtime. Ending the season with a record of 6-5 the Tornadoes have improved tremendously compared to pastyears.
The team bids their farewells to their 13 senior players. Among those are captains Joshua Bessey, Anthony Boulay, Issac Bethea, and Jarrad Accardi. As stated by head coach Joseph Pappagallo, “The down side of the end of the season is that we have to say goodbye to a great group of dedicated seniors.”
Accardi explained how “leading [the team] this year was a great feeling.” The team, like many others at MHS this season, suffered from numerous injuries. Accardi being one of them, described how
“even after coming back it really meant a lot that the team still believed in [him] to lead them throughout the season.” Pappagallo also mentioned how at one point in the season, seven out of the eleven players that are in the starting line up were injured.
Even with the unfortunate injuries, the Tornadoes were still able to make the most out of their season. The difference of the teams’ performance from the beginning of the season to the end improved greatly. The “team [grew] more on the mental side of the game more than anything,” explained Pappagallo. Accardi agreed as well, with every practice and game, the team “became closer even when [they] lost games.” The attitude of every player on the team was the same, wanting to improve and strive to perform the best that they could in order to win. Pappagallo described the team as “intrinsically motivated to excel.” As football requires constant training, Pappagallo claimed that the “team worked extremely hard in the off season and put themselves in a position to compete the best night in and night out.”
Talking in terms of next season, the team is in great position with various talented underclassmen coming up to fill in the empty shoes of the leaving seniors. Pappagallo explained how “the [Tornadoes] are postured to be one of the most dominant teams in division 1 next year if [they] continue working hard in the off season as [they] already have been.”
The Golden Tornadoes were able to maintain a steady season throughout the entire fall season and although they must bid their goodbyes to this current season, they are already getting ready to come back harder for next season.