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Casey, Warriors ready for war

Pictured during the national anthem of last season's Dover-Sherborn game, senior running back and linebacker TJ Casey (28) will serve as one of four senior co-captains for Medfield High football this fall. Photos by Mike Flanagan.

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

In 2019, many Massachusetts high schools were forced to reschedule football games from Friday nights to Friday and Saturday afternoons in order to accommodate the state's EEE/West Nile Virus guidelines. While non-ideal for the sake and awe of "Friday night lights," a full season was still able to be had. Medfield finished 2019 with a record of 7-4, which included a 34-14 win over Dover-Sherborn on Thanksgiving.

Due to COVID, the entire 2020 high school football season was then pushed back from the fall to a condensed spring schedule, with no playoffs and no fans allowed. Some athletes even chose not to participate in Fall II athletics, like football, and instead focused on training for spring sports such as baseball and lacrosse. Medfield finished the 2021 spring season 1-5, including a 13-0 defeat to Dover-Sherborn.

With life beginning to return to normal, it's time for the boys from Medfield to finally get the real varsity football experience. The season will start on time, with Friday night lights, with playoffs, without masks, and with students packing the bleachers at Fisher Field to cheer on their classmates.

Leading Medfield High football in 2021 are four senior co-captains: running back and linebacker TJ Casey, quarterback and defensive back Cole Cloney, wideout and defensive back Jack Sullivan and wideout/defensive back Sam Patry.

Cole Cloney will take over reins under center as Medfield's starting quarterback in 2021. Fellow senior captain TJ Casey is excited to watch Cloney put his dual-threat abilities to work. Casey also says he expects a multitude of players to step up at receiver and running back, now that TVL MVP James Wilder has graduated.

"Cole coming in at quarterback adds a whole new aspect to our offense," said Casey. "Cole can run the ball and has a great arm. Replacing [James] Wilder will be tough due to how much of a threat he was, but I don’t think it will be a problem thanks to our depth at the wide receiver position. We have a ton of guys returning who are ready to step up and make plays. I feel confident in our backfield with Cole, and we are putting in new formations to add multiple running backs."

Reflecting back on last spring, Casey says Medfield's 1-5 record will motivate his group to enter the season angry and produce better results.

"We definitely had some close games last year that we couldn’t capitalize on, but sometimes you take away a lot from losing those close games, and those defeats definitely gave us things to learn. Our coach always makes us look at the scoreboard at the end of those tight games and has us staple that score into our heads, which then motivates and pushes us throughout the rest of the season."

From a training perspective, 2021 has certainly brought about a new set of challenges for multi-sport athletes such as Casey, who is committed to UMass for lacrosse. Following the condensed spring football season in March and April, Casey played lacrosse from May through August for Medfield High and his club team, 3D. Now, Casey will need to transition his body back into football shape for his senior season.

"Playing both football and lacrosse can definitely put a lot of stress on your body," said Casey. "Last year with COVID, football was technically in the winter, so I had a ton of time to go to the gym and get my body prepared for the season. Now, coming out of a summer of non-stop lacrosse tournaments and not seeing the gym for a while, I’m going straight into my last season of football. I only have a week or two left to get my body in football shape and help lead the team to victory."

Medfield will open the 2021 season on the road at Medway on September 10 at 6 p.m.

For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.

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