, Salem, MA


December 6, 2013

The Big Dog

Fenwick's Bona brings bite to Crusaders

PEABODY — The questions have been sprung on Bishop Fenwick football coach Dave Woods all season, and the answers have been stuffed with a seemingly endless line of superlatives.

All of the questions — varying in length and line of thinking — ultimately have come back to this:

What makes senior captain Nick Bona so good?

It’s become such a routine that the people around Woods can do the answering for him. Take, for example, a conversation that recently transpired in the Woods household.

“My son (Steven) is 10 years old and he asked if I thought we’d win the Super Bowl, and if I thought we could win even if Rufus (Rushins, Fenwick’s star running back) didn’t play,” Woods recalled. “Before I could even answer, my wife (Kristine) said, ‘Nick won’t let them lose.’ That describes him to a T. He will not let us lose.”

Bona, a quarterback/linebacker, has one more opportunity to make sure the Crusaders don’t lose, this time on the biggest stage of his life — Foxborough’s Gillette Stadium against 10-2 Northbridge tomorrow night (8 p.m.) in the Division 5 Super Bowl.

As much as the Nick Bona story is about all that he has accomplished and all that he stands for, it is also about the one thing he lacks — size.

Standing just 5-foot-8 and weighing somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 pounds, Bona doesn’t have the size of a prototypical quarterback or linebacker for the Pop Warner A level, never mind a high school team. Still, Bona plays the game like a rabid animal, trying to bite anything that moves.

He is driven by a goal of playing college football and competes with a constant chip on his shoulder, forever out to prove that his small stature cannot stop him from having a big impact.

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