Breaking the Mold at Mystic Valley

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Anastasia Bessler (#55) makes a tackle for Mystic Valley.

Bessler Named CAC’s First-Ever Female All-Star

By Lorenzo Recupero

Football may be a predominantly male sport, but don’t tell that to one Mystic Valley senior, Anastasia Bessler, who has excelled in the sport regardless of her gender.

A Boston Herald report a year ago accounted for less than 60 female football players in all the high school programs across the state, Anastasia being one of the headliners amongst them. Recently, she was named the Catholic Athletic Conference’s first ever female all-star performer.

As a CAC all-star, Anastasia will be eligible to play in the Shriners All- Star Football Classic played by all the top seniors from eastern and southern Massachusetts each summer for the last 40 years.

“She’s in the trenches with the boys,” said Michael Bessler, Anastasia’s father, a lifelong Everett resident. “A lot of people don’t even know she’s a girl until she takes her helmet off,” said Bessler proudly of his daughter who was already Mystic Valleys first female football player and team captain.

Anastasia, a two-way starter for the Eagles, averaged close to three tackles for the defense while also calling the plays for the offensive line.

And other than being called “Mom” by her teammates for her commanding demeanor, being a lady on the football field hasn’t hindered her ability to play at a high level or cause her to be treated like anything other than a football player in shoulder pads.

“My passion for football comes from playing with my dad as a kid,” said Anastasia, who at about 5’6” isn’t ever the biggest player on the field. “Guys are stronger, faster, but I use my IQ to my advantage whenever I play the game,” she said.

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Anastasia Bessler (#55) with her mother, father, and brother (#62) Michael.

The Boston Renegades, New England’s professional women’s league football team, have already reached out inviting her to tryout for the team when she turns 18.

And she’s not just a great football player, either, she’s a three-sport star, captaining her softball and basketball teams at Mystic Valley as well.

On the diamond, as captain of the softball team, she’s been at her best. She’s a four- year captain, a former Boston Globe all- scholastic, and conference Most Valuable Player twice, including sophomore year when she lead the team in most every major statistical category and hit 12 home runs.

“Softball is really my passion, I want to play in and beyond college,” said Bessler. Upon graduating, Anastasia plans to attend college to study animal sciences and sports.

 

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