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Football season kicks off in Walpole

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By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Reporter

Houston Texans Pro Bowl defensive lineman J.J. Watt once said: "Success isn't owned. It's leased, and rent is due every day."

Kids playing Walpole Youth Football were recently paying rent in the humid August heat as they put in the work that, they hope, will pay off with a successful football season.

Coach Dave Falzone keeps a watchful eye on his players.

Coach Dave Falzone keeps a watchful eye on his players.

Head Coach Dave Falzone had the young players, who will be going into the 8th grade in the fall, working hard on the football field at Walpole High School. Some of the kids have been playing together for several years now, and some even have championship experience - when many of these players were in the sixth grade, Falzone coached them to an undefeated season and state title.

Matt Cox was in the stands watching his son, Joey, practice as the players were doing calisthenics.

“This town is such a football town,” gushed Cox. “The camaraderie between this particular group is incredible. They have had a very successful team to this point. The time the coaches put in, the effort the coaches put in, [and] the effort the players put in is really second-to-none.”

Practices began the first week of August to get the team ready for their first game in September. After stretching, players worked on conditioning - doing sprints and bear crawls - and also worked on proper tackling techniques.

Walpole Youth Football players learn the proper way to tackle.

Walpole Youth Football players learn the proper way to tackle.

The practices in August have plenty of water breaks to keep the kids hydrated in the heat.

Kevin Malloy, one of the assistant coaches who works with players on the defensive and offensive line, knows that the first few weeks of practice can be tough, but believes the players are making strides.

“They get better every day, they really do … They’re pushing through it. It’s tough getting used to the pads again, but they’re doing well,” Malloy said.

“All these kids are out here on a volunteer basis,” said Falzone, acknowledging the difficulty of the sessions. “They do this because they want to be here. It builds teamwork, camaraderie, and it gives them life lessons.”

Photos by Daniel Curtin

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