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Men of (grid)Iron

Posted by Ralph Ranalli September 6, 2007 12:45 PM

coachlopez.JPG
Tom Lopez has coached the Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors for 30 seasons, including three winning Super Bowl years.
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)

REGION

On a warm September afternoon in 1978, Tom Lopez stood on the sidelines of the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School football field, one minute away from his first win in his first career game as a head coach.

"And then," Lopez recalled last week, "Holliston kicked a field goal. It wound up a tie, 3-3. I don't remember too much about it, but I do remember that it was kind of a boring game."

He said he still gets nervous from time to time, but never as much as he did on that Saturday afternoon three decades ago. Tomorrow evening at 7, Lopez will be on the Lincoln-Sudbury sideline once again, kicking off his 30th season as head coach, when his Warriors host Medfield in a nonleague matchup.

In Wrentham, Dave Hughes will reach the same 30-year milestone tomorrow night, when his Hopkinton High gridders take on King Philip Regional in another nonleague matchup. L-S and Hopkinton are just two of 36 teams in the suburbs west of Boston that will kick off the high school football season this weekend, including defending Super Bowl champions Medfield, Milford, St. John's of Shrewsbury, and Wayland.

In an area that also features three other head coaches with at least 20 years of service -- Peter Capodilupo at Newton North, Tom Lamb at Natick, and Phil Marchegiani at Marian High in Framingham -- Hughes and Lopez stand alone, Globe West correspondent Jeremy Gottlieb reports today.

Read more about what it takes to be a longtime high school football coach in the online edition of today's Globe West.

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