By Ben Freedman, ’25
As the students and staff know, the Hanover High school’s varsity football team got off to an excellent start. This is not only due to Hanover’s extremely talented roster, but also the significant coaching staff, and the ecstatic fanbase that attends the games. With a 5-2 record after a Homecoming win over Pembroke Oct. 22, the team is ranked 6th out of 31 teams in Division 3. This sets up exciting possibilities for the upcoming tournament, and the varsity players are planning to go all the way.
“If we are healthy, we have a team that can win the state championship,” said Dylan Rice, #3, a senior wide receiver.
David Quinlan, #2, a junior wide receiver and defensive end, agreed. “I do really think we have a shot to take it,” he said. “Everyone keeps saying ‘oh next year,’ but I truly think we can go back to back (and win this year and next year). If we have everyone healthy and at the top of our game, we really have a shot.”
Michael Landolfi, #1, a junior and the team’s quarterback, said the secret to their success this season after a disappointing Fall 2 last year, is commitment. “I think we have a lot of kids back from last year and we are very locked in,” he said.
The Hawks are captained by Rice, Quinlan, Landolfi, senior Thao Lanagan and junior Joe Curran. The team’s performance has been stunning, with the squad racking up more than 30 points in six of its seven games. For Nick Freel, #10, a junior linebacker and running back who has scored a good share of those points, the Sept. 10 game against Whitman-Hanson showed the team its potential. Hanover won 33-20.
“There was a lot of skepticism going into the season, but that game helped us realize just how good we can be,” Freel said.
Hanover fans have been psyched for the return of a normal football season.
“I love going to the football games and it feels good after a year of not having games,” said Nieve Rowlette, a senior.
Anna Bucchianeri, a senior who sings in the chorus at the games, agreed. “I think it’s a very good social event for everyone, especially after COVID 19.”
Kaya Bianculli, a junior, said attending the games gives you a chance to see people you don’t always see in school. “The environment is really fun and energetic,” she said.
Senior Jack Johnston agreed. “They’re fun and electric!” He hopes to be there when the team comes up against Plymouth South again. Hanover’s’ 42-35 loss against them Oct. 1 was a nailbiter that the Hawks would love to avenge.
For players on the freshman and JV squads, attending the games is a preview of what’s ahead for them.
“It’s a super fun experience to go to the games, and you get to see what it’s like to watch a varsity football game,” said Noah DeMeule, a member of the freshman squad.
Michael Bean, a sophomore nose guard/defensive tackle on JV, added “Personally I feel like it’s nice to be there to support the team and the players.”
Whatever happens this year, the team and fans are confident exciting football is here to stay in Hanover.
“Next year the team is going to be even better since most of our team is juniors,” said Rice. “They will have another shot of making a deep run into the tournament and winning a state championship.”
Those long-term plans for success are echoed by junior Sam Healy, #77, a left guard/defensive tackle. “The hope is to win the following games, and then to win the championship the next two seasons,” he said. “Coach Landolfi always talks about playing like a championship team and to not let one bad play turn into another.”
Featured pictures are from the Hawks’ 47-13 win over Dighton Rehoboth on Sept. 24. For more, click on the link: