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Spartans Shock Whittier, Snap 32-Game Skid

The Stoneham High School football team snapped its 32-game losing streak by beating Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School 17-16 on Sept. 9.

Friday, Sept. 9, 2011 will be a day long remembered in the annals of football after the program snapped its 32-game losing streak by defeating Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School 17-16 at home.

However, before the game got underway the Spartans and captain Paul Delorfano knew what was on the line.

“No one in the locker room could talk so everyone could focus on the game and think about their job and only their job,” Delorfano said. “Coach (David Pignone) pumped everyone up as much as he could before we headed out on the field.

"When we were walking to the field, we looked up at the stands and it was a full crowd. We knew it was our time and that we couldn’t let anyone down.”

Delorfano sensed the team would finally break the 32-game curse.

“I knew the win was going to happen. The whole team was ready for it and when we finally got it, everyone on the team was going crazy even the whole crowd ran out to the field to congratulate us,” Delorfano said. “It was such a great feeling to see everyone finally have faith in the Spartans.”

Pignone believed in his players from day one and knew this team was capable of beating Whittier, Delorfano said.

“Coach told us he knew we could do it the whole time. He said there were no doubts in his mind that we wouldn’t give up until we finally got our first big victory,” Delorfano said. “He told us to use this as motivation for the upcoming practices and games and to never quit until the clock hits zero.”

The atmosphere after the 17-16 victory over Whittier was like nothing else, Delorfano recalled.

“It took a while before we even got into the lock room with everyone coming up to us saying how happy they were,” Delorfano said. “When the clock ticked down to zero and everyone in the stands ran out on the field celebrating.

"It seemed like the team grew closer after the big win. It was such a great feeling being on the team that proved everyone wrong from all the .”

Spartan Matthew Tecci also described the thrill of victory after the lengthy losing skid.

“One of the proudest moments of my life (is) knowing I was part of the team that put an end to the losing streak,” Tecci said. “The team celebrated by dancing in the locker room. I’ve never seen anyone so happy even our offensive coordinator was breaking down the moves.”

While the Spartans won their first game, the next day in practice it was all back to business.

“The win was off our minds and it was time to prep for Boston Latin,” Tecci said. “It is always important to put a loss or even a good win behind you in order to win the next game.”

Pignone congratulated the team after the big win but reminded them this was just one game and there are still many more to be won, according to Tecci.

But for now, the Spartans sit at 1-0 and will try to make it back-to-back wins when they square off with Boston Latin at 6:30 tonight at home.

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