Last season, 's football team went for the win on a two-point conversion against the Big Blue of Swampscott on the last play of the year. The conversion failed, and the Headers came up just one point short, finishing the 2010 season with a 5-6 record.
Head coach Jim Rudloff isn’t the only person excited to get this season underway, quarterback Gus Percy said he is excited to be back on the field after a tough 2010 season.
“I’m excited, the team is excited to get going,” Percy said before the first practice Monday. “We’ve got quite a few good players and some good leaders on this team.”
Percy, a senior, will take his first snaps under center as a varsity quarterback when the Magicians scrimmage Melrose on Saturday. Percy takes over for Matt Perlow, who graduated from MHS last spring.
Percy missed the first four games last season with a concussion, and when he came back, he tore his labrum and was unable to throw the ball. He played the final seven games at tight end, and had surgery right after the Swampscott game.
The injury forced him to miss the 2011 baseball season last spring, but he hopes to be back in action at third base and catcher for coach Jason Tarasuik’s ballclub next spring.
Last year’s team wore black tee-shirts with the slogan “Pain is temporary, Pride is permanent.” This year the team sports red tee shirts with the words “Do Your Job,” on the back.
“It’s great to be back on the field, after a long summer of working out,” Rudloff said. “We’re really pumped to get going this year."
Marblehead won’t be playing Lynn Classical this year; Northeastern Conference powerhouse Gloucester has replaced the Rams on the schedule.
Marblehead travels to Gloucester to take on the Fisherman in late October, the sixth game of the 2011 season. The Magicians open up at home on Friday night, Sept. 9, at Piper Field against the Pentucket Sachems. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
"We've got a special bunch of kids this year, and everyone's excited for opening night against Pentucket," Rudloff said.
Will Quigley, Joel Katz and Oliver Gregory are the captains this season, and Rudloff said he’s confident that he’ll get strong play and great leadership from the trio.
“Each of them has different qualities that will help our team, and together they put us in a strong position as far as leadership goes,” Rudloff said.
The head coach will work with the offensive line and the linebackers, and he’ll be joined on the MHS coaching staff by Todd Norman, who will handle the running backs; Mike Giardi handles the quarterbacks; and Tom Walsh will work with the defensive backs and wide receivers with assistant coach Gavin Softic. This is Walsh’s first year on Rudloff’s staff.
Steve Lewis, who will handle the linebackers, and Kyle Swenson who’ll be in charge of the defensive line, round out the returning 2011 coaching staff.
“We’re just going to take it one game at a time, we’ve got Melrose coming up this weekend, and we’re all ready to play football,” Percy said.
Marblehead hosts Melrose at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. The Magicians will also scrimmage against Lynn English at 10 a.m. at Manning Field on Aug. 30, and they’ll close out the preseason against Revere on Friday, Sept. 2, at Piper Field, at 6 p.m.
2011 Varsity Football Schedule:Sat 27-Aug Football Varsity Home Melrose 10:00am Piper (Scrimmage) Tue 30-Aug Football Varsity Away Lynn English 10:00am Manning Field (Scrimmage) Fri 2-Sep Football Varsity Home Revere 6:00pm Piper (Game Scrimmage) Fri 9-Sep Football Varsity Home Pentucket 7:00pm Piper Fri 16-Sep Football Varsity Away Ipswich 7:00pm Ipswich HS Fri 23-Sep Football Varsity Away Winthrop 7:00pm Winthrop HS Fri 30-Sep Football Varsity Home Hingham 7:00pm Piper Thur 6-Oct Football Varsity Home Newburyport 7:00pm Piper Fri 21-Oct Football Varsity Away Gloucester 7:00pm Gloucester HS Fri 28-Oct Football Varsity Away Salem 7:00pm Salem HS Fri 4-Nov Football Varsity Away Danvers 7:00pm Danvers HS Fri 11-Nov Football Varsity Home Beverly 7:00pm Piper Thur 24-Nov Football Varsity Home Swampscott 10:00am Piper