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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Despite the departures of some key offensive weapons, expectations surrounding the Medfield High School football program are extremely high heading into the 2018 season.
In 2017, the Warriors cruised to a 6-1 record before earning the No. 2 seed in Division V South. Medfield fell short of their ultimate goal of a state championship against Scituate, 38-21, in the sectional semifinals, but proved to both themselves and others that they are more than just a legitimate threat to come out of the South and make a run to Gillette.
Leading Medfield into battle this season will be four senior captains in offensive guard and defensive tackle A.J. Tarallo, wideout Stephen Williams, defensive and tight end Dan Dealy, and running back/linebacker Joey Vachon.
With quarterback Mitchell Gonser leaving to attend prep school, the Warriors will rely on the services of rising junior quarterback Jim Cosolito, while Tarallo and several other newcomers and seasoned vets serve as his protection on the offensive line.
“The chemistry going into the season is very strong,” said Tarallo when asked about how his team is meshing during summer workouts and camp. “So many key players from last season graduated, and the team is coming together to work hard and fill those spots. We have been competing in the weight room and captain practices to prepare the guys that have to step up this season and fill in the empty spots. We are trying to come together as one and become a unit and work together.”
Junior Cam Giunta and Vachon should serve as a solid one-two punch at running back, while Williams, Justin Cook, and Dealy do their jobs splitting out wide and running routes as the team’s top pass-catching options.
Tarallo also says that daily positional meetings, captain practices, and workouts done on their own time have been a huge help in the preparation process for this season.
“During the summer, the team has been meeting often,” said Tarallo. “We have had captain practices where the whole team is there together. Also, we have been meeting in smaller groups to work on the specifics for each position. For me, I've been working specifically with the linemen. The other captains and I have tried to help make everyone ready for the upcoming season, and to create competition at each position so everyone is always trying to improve.”
As for goals for the upcoming season, Tarallo says that he and his teammates have only one thing in mind, and that is to win.
“The overall goal for this season is the same with any season: win,” said Tarallo. “During my time with the program, I have been very fortunate to have had winning teams and great leaders to look up to. We plan on emulating the example shown by those before us and maintaining the success of the last few years and help create future success for Medfield football. This being the last year playing football with the kids we grew up with, we want to make this season as successful as possible, and we know the only way to have a successful season is by working hard in the offseason and during the season.”
The Warriors kick off their season on September 7 against Dedham.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.