Coach Michael Stellato and the Chelsea High Red Devils (3-4, 2-0) just won’t back down In the Commonwealth Small, beating Minuteman Tech Saturday 32-6 to regain first place in the league and bounce back from two tough losses at home to Shawsheen and Lynnfield.
“After winning today, we’re happy where we are right now, but we have three tough opponents all playing very well this year up next for us,” said Stellato referring to next week’s match with Whittier Tech, and then two straight league games against North Shore and defending 4A champ Northeast to wrap up the season. “We’re coming together as a team right now, we got it together on both sides of the ball in our win against Minuteman”.
The Red Devils have had to endure some adversity on the field this year, starting the season with four straight games on the road, playing one of the toughest football schedules the schools has seen in recent memory, according to Stellato.
“It was really tough playing those first four games away from home, we knew we’d face adversity, and I think after that point we really came together, the coaching staff along with the players,” said Stellato.
In that frame, Chelsea went 2-2 with both losses by a touchdown or less.
“We’re close to being a 6-1 team. Other than that loss to Lynnfield, which is a very good team, we haven’t really been blown out on the field,” conceded Stellato.
Chelsea lost its first two games scoring a total of 18 points combined, then won two straight while scoring 82 combined points. But then the team stumbled again losing two straight at home before this week's win against league rival Minuteman.
In the three of the four losses on the season, the Red Devils utilized only one of their scoring options on the offense, or didn't score at all as the team did against Lynnfield. In the team's three wins, they combined to score 113 points on offense compared to just a total of 50 points in all four losses.
In the three wins the team has mustered, the key ingredient to success was spreading the points around. In each win, a combined nine different players have scored offensive touchdowns, with an average of three different players scoring per game.
“We have a bunch of kids that play multiple sports from football, basketball, and even track that are very athletic,” said Stellato. “We have a lot of different guys to look to on offense and in the past I don’t think that’s been the case, and that a good thing for us. These kids are all team oriented players that focus each week on how to work together to get a win.
“Right now we’re just going to focus on Whittier, to look any further would be a bad thing,” said Stellato.
Chelsea is in the driver seat in the Commonwealth Small for now, but coach Stellato knows that defeating North Shore (6-1) and Northeast (5-2) isn’t going to be an easy task. But like a good coach, he stays confident in his young team, riding out the wave with a head of steam and an emphasis on progress.
“I have a lot of confidence in our players, but we have to really be persistent and play just as we did against Minuteman and keep that momentum going," Stellato said. "I think our chances (of winning the league) are just as good as anyone else's in the conference."
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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