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.
Pope John Makes Final Preparations for Saturday’s Title Game at Gillette Stadium
By Lorenzo Recupero
Pope John High School football players and coaches will be competing in the biggest game of their lives this weekend at Gillette Stadium, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be doing anything any differently. Preparations will go as planned for the Tigers and that means not changing a thing at all.
“[We’ve] practiced all week like it’s any other game. We want to make it like preparing for any other game and not make it bigger than what it is,” said Pope John coach Paul Sobolewski of the team’s preparation for the Division 8 State Championship game against St. Bernard’s at Gillette Stadium Saturday at 9AM.
Sobolewski, who referenced a particularly successful coach around these parts, Bill Belichick, while explaining his decision to do things the same as they have all year even though the stakes are heightened.
What’s going on over at Pope John High this fall is pretty historic stuff for the school, a renaissance if you will.
Just a few years ago the football program didn’t have a single athlete suit up in helmet and shoulder pads, going team-less for consecutive years. Click forward to the present and you’ve got an undefeated, well-coached, defensive juggernaut clawing through school records in dominating fashion.
The 2018 Tigers are not only still undefeated at 10-0, a school record through ten games, they are the MIAA Division 8 North Champions after pummeling Boston English/New Mission, 51-8, at Everett Stadium this past weekend.
If the old football adage of “defense wins championships” has any truth behind it, the Pope John Tigers may be the next MIAA Division 8 North champions.
After blanking Lynn Tech, 24-0, last weekend they are one step closer to a title.
Standing in the way of the Tigers (9-0) continuing one of the best sports seasons in school history is undefeated Boston English/New Mission (8-0). The two sides will meet in the Div.8 North Final at 7PM at Everett Stadium on Friday, and if the Tigers play to form, it’ll be a defensive showdown
“Our defense has truly been solid all year long,” said Pope John first-year head coach, Paul Sobolowski. “We’ve only let up 60 points defensively all season while playing at a high level,” said Sobolowski, who watched his squad hold Lynn Tech to under 60 yards total and kept them from crossing midfield all contest. The capable Lynn tech quarterback was held to a pedestrian 2-of-14 passing and just 33 total yards.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide’s convincing, 41-14, win over Andover in the MIAA North Division 1 quarterfinals moves them one step closer to the ultimate goal: a third consecutive state title.
A meeting with Central Catholic (6-2) at Everett Stadium awaits on Friday, November 2 at 7PM. The winner will earn a chance to play for the north sectional championship and the right to represent the north section in the state tournament.
Powering the Crimson Tide (8-0) offensive onslaught was running back Isaac Seide, who ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns (while catching two passes for 31 yards and a TD), and quarterback Duke Doherty, who hurled three first-half TD passes to pace the Tide in the win.