HOLLISTON: The Holliston Panthers succeeded in taking a Super Bowl victory home for the second year in a row.
On December 5th, 2015 the Holliston football team went to Gillette Stadium for their second Super Bowl in two years. Last year’s team shut out their opponent 43-0 and the team this year won 27-6.
“It was definitely not something I expected,” said former football player Michael Galeaz, “but, yet again, with the great coaching staff and the great commitment and the dedication from all the players, it really wasn’t too hard to believe they’d make it back again.”
The previous year’s team’s starters consisted of fifteen seniors and once they left, many people doubted the current team’s ability to be as successful as last year.
“This year was different,” said Captain Zack Stering, “because it was just proving so many people wrong.”
The team showed their aggression and determination early in the first quarter, getting a touchdown within the first five minutes of the game.
Going into the Super Bowl, Stering explained they had a lot of time to prepare so he was “fairly confident with what [they] schemed up and how [they] practiced.”
Stering has gone to the Super Bowl for both years with Holliston and he explained how the seasons and Super Bowl experiences differed.
“Last year was a lot different than this year,” said Stering. “Last year was like, ‘oh my god it’s a giant field, giant stadium’, but this year it was more like ‘I have to focus on the game’ and I didn’t really think about it until I watched it after.”
In the beginning of the season, the idea of the football team not meeting the same success as the previous year was still in everyone’s minds. Especially since the first two games against Millis/Hopedale and Duxbury ended with a close score.
“The first couple of games were a little tight,” said cheerleader Amanda Lyons, “but I wasn’t that nervous, I could just see that they worked very hard.”
Not only did the commitment and determination lead them to their victory, but the bond between the team had a hand in their success.
“It’s a true brotherhood between everyone on the team,” Galeaz said. “I know that I would go out and do anything for any player on the team; we always have each other’s backs and we’re always looking out for each other and that goes on and off the field.”
The team this year will be losing seventeen seniors, and Stering who is one of the graduating players gave some advice for the upcoming players and his thoughts on the future team making it to the Super Bowl.
“They absolutely can, it just has to do with how much work they put into it, you have to work hard during the off-season and during the summer, and then you can’t be selfish. That was big with us this year, you can’t be selfish. We played for each other, not for ourselves, and we played for the community.”
The team was able to prove many people who doubted them wrong by defeating Chicopee Comp 27-6 and taking home their second consecutive Super Bowl win.
“Nobody thought we would get there except for us, and in the beginning of the year, we went to the banner in the gym and said there’s one more spot for us there, and if we put in the work during the summer, then we can get that,” said Stering. “And we did it.”