Category Archives: High School

High School Sports

Coach Greener Named Patriots Coach of the Week!

Congratulations to Coach Barry Greener for being named the Patriots Coach of the Week by the New England Patriots, as reported by our friend Danny Ventura of the Boston Herald.

What a fantastic honor for the man that has dedicated almost his entire adult life to the Walpole High School Football Program. Wonderful, wonderful choice by the Patriots; this could not have gone to a more deserving man. Coach Greener embodies in every way the motto of the Rebels program: Pride Tradition Excellence. Please take a moment in the next couple of days, whether by phone or email or in person, to express congratulations to Coach for this most deserving honor. And let this honor be the fuel that will propel the Rebels to the next three victories in the next three games of the season!

Border Wars Continue This Friday Night!

On the first night of the season, the Rebels defended Walpole's southern border from the invading Warriors of Foxboro. On October 17, the Rebels held our northern borders secure against the great floods and attacking herds of Mustangs. This Friday, we will repel an attack from the West, as another band of Warriors, this time from Medfield, try to upset the Walpole Rebels at 7 p.m. at Turco Field. (Don't worry East Walpole, you face no threat from your border town to the east.)

The Rebels stand proud at 9-0, after dipatching with the Bishop Feehan Shamrocks two weeks ago 28-7 in the first round of the MIAA Playoffs. Then the Rebs dismantled (or "rocked" as the Milford newspaper described it) the heretofore cocky Milford Scarlet Hawks last Friday night. (Memo to Scarlet Hawk fans and all other Rebel opponents: Trash talk the Rebels, and you better be able to back it up. Milford (OK, the fans mostly) came in all talkin' smack, and in return they got smacked in the choppers to the tune of 41-14. You can watch the whole game on Youtube HERE!)) So, as of week 10, Walpole has outscored its opponents 289 to 88 in those 9 games, an average of 32.2 ppg scored, and 9.6 ppg allowed.

However, there is a BIG, BIG difference from last year when Walpole played Medfield over there and won 21-7. See great Tim Hoffman photos from that game HERE. Last year, each team was way out of playoff contention, and just playing out the string. THIS year's game will determine the winner of the Division Three Southwest Conference, and who gets to move on the playoffs.

The 7-2 Medfield Warriors, representing the Tri Valley League (Large) have two big things going for them in this matchup. First, their head coach is a former Walpole Rebel, Dale Ormberg. So he won't be intimidated by the Turco Field mystique, and maybe he can pass some serenity along to his players. Second, Medfield had a huge upset over Stoughton last week 23-13 , (and another story HERE) and the momentum from that win will certainly carry through to this week.

All this spells for a great game this Friday night. The enemy is coming to town straight down Route 27 with upset and revenge on their minds, so the Rebels had better be at their best!

No Luck of the Irish For the Shamrocks; Rebs to Continue Orinthological Exploits!

It is well documented that Walpole is one of the most Irish town in Massachusetts. Our biggest social event of the year is the Friends of St. Patrick Luncheon every March [watch the photo display and find at least five former Rebel players - what a surprise!!]. Also,Walpole's favorite bar/restaurant is Finnegans Wake, named after Irish author James Joyce's novel of the same name. Finnegans owner Tom Kirwan has been our gracious host for many years after Rebel Home games. However, Walpole showed the visiting Shamrocks of Bishop Feehan NO hospitality, Irish or otherwise, last Friday night, trouncing Bishop Feehan 28-7. Check out Keith Pearson's great article in the WickedLocal Walpole. After such an emotional win the week before over Natick, it wasn't surprising that the Rebs did not come out with all cylinders firing, but they got the old engine warmed up by the second half, and by the end were saying Slán go fóill (Gaelic for 'goodbye for now') to their defeated opponents. Make sure you check out our awesome photographer, Tim Hoffman, Twitter site @sru89, especially HERE. Look carefully at the picture at the picture in the lower right. About four Rebel tacklers have the poor BF runner elevated about four feet in the air, whereupon we are sure he was unceremoniously dumped to the Turco Turf for a mouthful of pellets. How hard did we hit this kid to get him that high in the air?? That's this year's Rebel D for you - and thanks Tim for the great picture.

Bring On the Shamrocks!

The year was 2007. The Red Sox had just won their second World Series in three years by beating the Colorado Rockies 4 games to None. This year's Senior players were hot shot 5th graders at Boyden, Old Post Road, Fisher and Elm Street elementary Schools. But something else of serious note happened in the late Fall of 2007. IT WAS THE LAST TIME THE REBELS PLAYED THE SHAMROCKS, AND REBS DIDN'T LOSE (as they say) THEY JUST RAN OUT OF TIME! Yup, it was the 2007 Division II Super Bowl held at Gillette Stadium  and the Bishop Feehan Shamrocks beat the Rebels 26-20. Remember the Mastromatteo brothers, QB Sunny and all-purpose player Noccolo? Remember a young Sophomore running back by the name of Ryan Izzo?  Remember they had a great running back who ended up  having a shot at the NFL!  Remember how freaking cold it was that night? By the end of the game though the momentum had so forcefully swung Walpole's way, that everyone there knew, if the Rebels had had only one more possession, the outcome would have been much different. Fast forward to October 31, 2014, and the Rebs are poised to take on the Shamrocks, this time under very different circumstances. So, 7 years later, look for a much better outcome on Friday night at John Turco Memorial Field at 7 p.m..! On this Halloween Night, no ghosts of Walpole v. Bishop Feehan games past will be haunting Turco Field!

Playoffs are Here!

Walpole has been Seeded Number 1 in Division 3 Southwest and has secured home field advantage throughout the Playoffs with our win over Natick last Friday Night. That means as long as we keep winning, the next 3 playoff games will be at home at Turco Field in Walpole.

Walpole will play number 8 seed Bishop Feehan at Turco this Friday Night at 7:00 to open playoff run. Let’s show Rebel Pride and come out in full force to make the home field an advantage!


Early On Line Stories about Walpole’s Great Win Over Natick to WIN the Herget TITLE

Here are stome online stories about tonights epic battle of the former unbeaten Natick Redhawks and Walpole Rebels.

ESPN Boston pregame story HERE

Dunlap v. Lavanchy - No Longer a Contest, but click HERE anyway!

Great quote from Coach Greener: "Papirio is the most underrated player east of the Mississippi," Walpole coach Barry Greener said after his team moved to 7-0 (5-0 BSC). "He's a phenomenal football player, but he gets overshadowed and it’s unfortunate. He's a stud." Please see HEROES discussion in our game story! Click HERE for the WickedLocal Natick Report. 

HERE is a little blurb from the GLOBE. Please note, we wrote our related story before reading the Globe Story. Swear on a Bible. Because here is what the Globe says, which will sound very similar to parts of our article: "Walpole’s defense was relentless and the offense played well, but it was the special teams that led the eighth-ranked Rebels to a 17-14 win over sixth-ranked Natick that secured the Bay State Herget title on Friday night." 

Here is a funny one, given the outcome of the game. Click HERE for the Herald pre-game story. But watch for the whopper of a curve ball Coach Greener tosses out there. Hysterical, again, in light of knowing how the game turned out, and how well the Rebel D played. (Coach Greener's Dad was a career CIA man, so we think PSY-OPS runs in the family blood!)

Let There Be No Doubt! Rebels Beat RedHawks 17-14!

In this week's Walpole Times, Tyler Berkland is quoted as saying of the Natick game, "I expect a war. It's going to be a great game, it's going to come down to the final quarter probably." Now that the Rebels have defeated Natick 17-14 in the most exciting game we have seen in years .....OK, in one year, since last year's Natick game, we can alter the quote a little so it reads about Walpole's QB, "I am a warrior. I am going to have a great game, I am going to do whatever it takes to win in the final quarter, definitely..." Tyler would never say these things about himself, but we sure will. The outcome of the game was in question in the fourth quarter, and Tyler Berkland took over, the way championship quarterbacks take over, and with his legs and arm and brains and bravery, he put the Rebels in a position to win. And win they did. This was a game that lived up to its billing in every way, shape and form. The list of heroes is a long one, but let's start with these:

A Tale of Two Cities

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"  We all recognize the opening line of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. In 2014, it is clearly the best of times for the 5-0 Walpole Rebels, and the worst of time for the 0-5 Norwood Mustangs. But did you know that the words that follow this famous line also apply to the two rival football programs? It goes on: " . . . it was the epoch of belief; it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness;  it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, [they] had nothing before [them]. . . ." Weirdly prophetic, no? Saturday at 2:30 p.m. {it was around the same time that Dickens wrote this story that all high schools played on Saturdays in Massachusetts} at Norwood High School is where this Tale of Two Cities will be played out on the gridiron. With all due respect, it is not going to be pretty. 

Warm Walpole Welcome to “Trainer Tigs!”

For the last several years, any time a Walpole High School athlete received an injury, needed ice or a Band-Aid, had to get back out on the athletic field, needed clearance for gym or just needed someone to talk to, “Trainer Mike” Belanger was the person to see.

But, this fall when the students came back to school, not only was Mike not there, but the new athletic trainer was a woman. And not only a woman, but an honest-to-goodness Doctor of Physical Therapy—Dr. Antigone Matsakis.

Rebels to Face Wildcats. Who Said Revenge?

This Friday night, the Rebels entertain the 2-2 Milton Wildcats in the last of the five straight home games which began this 2014 season. Can the Rebels continue the remarkable string of wins they have put together for the first four games (4-0) in which they have averaged 37.8 points for and only 4.3 against? There is certainly motivation enough, as the Rebels were taken by surprise by the Milton Wildcats last season.


It was as close to a perfect half of high school football as you are ever likely to see. In last night's game against the Wellesley Raiders, the Rebels played nearly flawless football on offense, defense and special teams. On the first offensive play of the game, Steve Cuqua ran for a 63 yard touchdown. Lavanchy's extra point was good. The Rebels kickoff cover team smothered any attempt at a Wellesley return. The ever-increasingly confident Rebel Defense came in and stifled the Raider offense. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. The Rebels went on to score six touchdowns (four in total by Steve Cuqua) in the first half. The Rebels never punted. And while the Raiders did manage to score once (this is Game Walpole 4, mind you, and this was the first touchdown of the season the first D has let up, a transgression for which the Machos Defense extracted sweet revenge upon the Raiders for the rest of the evening), they were completely out of this game 23 seconds into the first quarter. Maestro Tyler Berkland was conducting a high school football symphony out there that was a joy to behold. He completes almost 80% of the passes he throws! By the time the Raiders were mercifully rescued by half-time, the Rebels were up 42-6, and most of the starters were done for the night. The Raiders managed another score against the Walpole second D, to make the final 42-14.  Walpole is now 4-0 on the season, having scored 151 points, and given up only 25. 

Wellesley To Raid Walpole Tonight!

The parents of today's Walpole Rebels will remember that we were younger, Thursday night was "destination television" or "Must See TV" with shows like Cheers, Taxi, Hill Street Blues, ER, Seinfeld, etc. Well, this Thursday in Walpole will be "destination Turco Field" and "Must See Rebel Football" as the Wellesley Raiders come to Walpole. Wellesley is 0-3 on the season, with their losses coming to Concord-Carlisle, 34-7; Newton North 28-23; and Natick 35-7 (see below). However, the Raiders play Walpole tough - all we have to do is remember last year's game against Wellesley was a thriller, with Walpole outlasting the Raiders in a shootout 49-35. It was the game where, in many ways, both Jack Lavanchy and Andrew Papirio began to define themselves as outstanding players. Both made huge plays throughout the Wellesley game last year. The high level of play of these two has certainly carried over to this year. As we said, Natick beat up Wellesley pretty bad last week, 35-7. Story HERE. So maybe Coach Jesse Davis' Raiders will be looking to redeem themselves against the unbeaten Rebels, tonight, at 7:00 p.m. at John Turco Memorial Field. Bring your umbrellas just case, but this is a "Must See" Game!

This Totally Cool! Bracketology!

Last year when the MIAA rearranged the world of Massachusetts High School Football, no one knew what the heck was going on. This year however, high school sports reporter extraordinaire Brendan C. Hall of ESPNBoston has put together a feature that allows us fans to check in on the status of our Rebels as they relate to the other teams they may face in the playoffs. It is an "if the season ended today, these teams would make it" kind of analysis that you will love to look at it and study. See it all right HERE. Bracketology, baby!

And thanks Brendan (follow Brendan on Twitter HERE!)

Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting!

With the unusual Saturday night tilt scheduled for October 27 against the Dedham Marauders, we are reminded of that old Elton John classic, which starts (with a little poetic license with the lyrics):

"It's getting late have you seen my mates/ Ma tell me when the boys get here/It's seven o'clock and I want to rock/ Gonna fill that Dedham full of fear…" 

While "Saturday Night Lights" just doesn't have the same ring to it that Friday night does, once again, the Rebels will be at the friendly (and tonight steamy) confines of Turco Field. The Rebs are sporting a 2-0 record, having outscored their  two opponenets by a combined score 64-8. Dedham comes into this Saturday night "fight" with a 0-2 record: a 10-7 loss to Medfield and a 26-21 loss to Norwell. So, even though Dedham hasn't been doing much maurauding over the past several years, look for them to come in tonight and give their best effort. We also know exactly what has been on their bulletin board all week.........

Home Sweet Home is Right!

Actually, the Rebels didn't need home field advantage, or for the game to be played in an even year in order to beat the stuffing out of the Needham Rockets on Friday, September 19 by a score of 33-0. For the second game in a row, the Rebels dominated every phase of the game. Oh yeah, remember that third phase of the game that coaches mention but people don't really pay attention to: SPECIAL TEAMS? Well, Walpole's Special Teams along with Coach Dave Cuzzi would get the game ball for the outstanding performance in kick coverage, kick returns, kick-offs, extra points, punts - the whole package.

For the Past Four Years, It’s Been Home Sweet Home

The Needham Rockets come to visit the (un)friendly confines of John Turco Memorial Field on Friday night. Although always talented and tough, Needham can not be looking forward to this trip. Keep reading, and you will learn how Needham's two deadly offensive weapons for the past three years have graduated (finally!), but better still, over the past four years, the team that has played at home (and for Walpole that has been the even years), has won handily. But come see for yourself on Friday night as the Walpole Rebels play Patriot Missiles to the Needham SCUDS!