WALTHAM — The St. John’s Prep football team huddled together on the 20-yard line in the aftermath of the Eagles’ 48-28 Division 1 Eastern Mass. Super Bowl victory over Brockton at Bentley University on Saturday.
The ocean of white jerseys surrounded by family and friends hoisted each Prep starter individually so everyone could have their moment in the sun with high school football’s most coveted piece of hardware.
The celebration was classy and more than fitting for a tight-knit, senior-heavy group. Especially when you consider the number of Eagles who made big plays in the program’s third Super Bowl win.
“We all put in a monumental effort to get to this point,” senior Alex Moore said. “We did it, this whole program — the fans, coaches and parents.”
And the players, of course. Take senior defensive lineman Chris Newton, who made 4 1/2 first-half tackles, including a huge hit on a kick-return where he upended the Brockton returner to elicite a major reaction from the Prep sideline and fans. Newton also blew up a middle-screen play in the first quarter, swatting down the pass that helped kill an early Boxer drive.
“Every day, we work out, in the weight room, through the winter, spring and summer. We’ve been running and doing the 7-on-7 (tournaments). We’ve been working on this for a long, long time,” Newton said. “So it means a lot to win the way we did.”
Newton is one of 24 seniors on the team that finished 11-1, losing only to Division 1A Super Bowl winner Everett. Every member knew this season had the potential to be special, and after the game, senior Lucas Bavaro reflected on the work everyone did to ensure it was.
“We have been working together since freshman year, and we knew we had a special team,” Bavaro said. “We knew our senior year we could take states, and that’s exactly what we did.”