West Side Football Charges Towards Victory

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West Side Football Charges Towards Victory

Alyssa Blair, News Editor

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One of the largest fall sports program both at WSHS and in Western Mass is the football program. A force to be reckoned with, all eyes are on West Springfield as they work towards reclaiming a spot in the Western Mass finals.

With a record of 4-1, the Terriers have started the season off strong with their first two games against Commerce, (42-0), and Longmeadow, (14-0), resulting in complete shut-outs. In both games, the Terriers showed a strong defense and offense alike with a strong team of experienced seniors leading the victories.

We have an awesome senior class that have a lot of experience and can handle the tough schedule that we have,” said Coach Labonte, who has been coaching the Terriers for the past 14 years.

Senior players Ramon Ramos (DL) and Tylor Rochefort (QB/DB) were named to the Masslive Super 7 earlier this fall. Vaunell Hill, Anthony Tangredi, Cam Paier, Dailen Hicks and Josh Alstede are all among the experienced senior class that Coach Labonte credits as stand-out players so far this season. 

Likewise to his dignity for the players, who Labonte said are his favorite part of the job, the team greatly respects their leader.  “Some of the best parts of playing for Coach Labonte is that he not only cares about if we win or not but he cares about his players and his players careers,” said senior player Shawn LaFleche.

The third week in their schedule showed the Terriers a bit of opposition in the highly anticipated Central v. West Springfield showdown. A couple of injuries and a final score of 44-27 resulted in a difficult end to the game, but the team refused to show any weakness, fighting until the last minute. The Terriers returned with a solid defeat against East Longmeadow in their first in-league game with a final score of 36-8. The team continued their victory tour with a third shutout of the Northampton Blue Devils with a final score of 49-0.

The pressure is on as WSHS is ranked number 2 overall in Western Mass. Continuing to put in the hard work, the team has a packed schedule of practices six days out of the week, lifting twice a week, and continually watching game tape to tighten up their offense and defense. The amount of work the team puts in is in fact one of the reasons Labonte has continued to coach the game for this long.

 

“I enjoy working with the student athletes of West Side. Teaching them lessons in football that they can use later in life,” he said.

The Terriers will continue on with their intended takeover of Western Mass football as they take on other teams in the area, all leading up to the homecoming game on Thanksgiving against Agawam. Whatever happens, however, the team will stay together.

Team and family,” Labonte said of the team’s motto. “Because staying together during the good and bad during a football season is important to be successful.”