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.

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Pope John Drops High-Powered Finale at Gillette Stadium

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Head Coach Paul Sobolewski is surrounded by his players after Pope John captured the Eastern Mass. Championship.

By Lorenzo Recupero

Behind the tutelage of first year head coach Paul Sobolewski, the 2018 Pope John football team made a name for itself, even with the, 45-36, loss against St. Bernard’s in the MIAA Division 8 Super Bowl last weekend at Gillette Stadium.

The thriller of a game will go down as the second most high-scoring affair in MIAA championship game history, with 81 points dropped combined between the two electrifying teams.

And In the eyes of the man at the helm, the biggest loss in recent program history may actually be setting up the next biggest win.

“[The Super Bowl] loss was more beneficial to the team than the 12 wins,” said Sobolewski, a reasoning that he says stems from a majority of the team being underclassmen, including its leading scorer, sophomore John Smith Howell. “As a program, we will learn a lot more from this,” he said while noting that his players have not left his office since their last game, unable to halt the focus on football ahead of them.

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Crimson Tide Finish With a Flourish

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Everett star Mike Sainristil weaves through the Masconomet defense.

Leader Herald Staff Report

The Everett High School football team capped a 10-win season with a 32-0 shutout of Masconomet on Thanksgiving.

The Crimson Tide, who were defeated in the Div. 1 North semi nals earlier in the month, rebounded with impressive wins over Acton-Boxboro and Masco, as the program reached double digits in wins for the 13th time since 2006.

The win marked Everett’s third consecutive Thanksgiving victory over Masconomet in a brief series that will likely end next year when the Crimson Tide (10-1) join the Northeastern Conference in football.

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A Roaring Success Story

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Pope John’s Jesus Rivera III (6) celebrates a Tiger touchdown.

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Tigers Continue Storybook Season, Punch Ticket to Super Bowl

By Lorenzo Recupero

There ain’t no rest for the winners – Pope John High School, that is.

The Tigers (11-0) punched themselves a ticket to the school’s first super bowl in 20 years and only the second in school history after knocking out West Bridgewater, 31-14, for the Division 8 Eastern Mass. Championship on Saturday.

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Flag Football: Tigers Honor Veterans

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Pope John’s Brian Baez (#65) waves the American flag in honor of all military veterans.

By Lorenzo Recupero

Pope John honored Military Veterans all across the country in their latest win at Everett Stadium this past weekend, hand flying the United States flag throughout the entire game – a rain soaked one – without letting it ever touch ground or flagpole.

The flag flying that day as a show of honor and respect for all the brave service members past and present was being held by a former player of Pope John assistant coach Mark Silvestri, who is a United States Army vet.

The flag, gifted to the team by coach Silvistri on the way to Cape Cod to play St. John Paul High School during week 5 of the regular season, rode the wind especially in his honor that night.

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