Sports 12-07-2016

Under Center, In Control

McAfee leads EHS back to the pinnacle

By Cary Shuman

First and foremost Jordan McAfee always had his eyes on the Super Bowl championship but there was that subplot within this amazing season that had Everett meeting Andover and its highly publicized quarterback, E.J. Perry, in the Division 1 North final.

 “The goal was always to play for the state championship,” said McAfee. “It’s been my goal since sophomore year to win a state title for Everett.”

But the McAfee-Perry individual matchup was special that day with a Super Bowl berth on the line in front of a massive crowd at Everett Memorial Stadium. McAfee and Everett prevailed, 62-33, over Perry and Andover.

“I didn’t look at it as a quarterback-to-quarterback matchup, but as a team effort,” said McAfee. “We won as a team that day, not as individuals. We were able to put a lot points on the board that day.”

On Saturday before a capacity crowd estimated at 6,000 fans, McAfee went out in the style befitting a senior captain who has been named an All-Scholastic and is heading to the University of Connecticut on a Division 1 football scholarship. He was 11-for-21 for 214 yards with two touchdowns passes to Mike Sainristil and Theo Zidor.

The McAfee-Zidor TD was a brilliant offensive call in the fourth quarter, perfectly orchestrated from start to finish.

“We had seen the overflow of the Xaverian defense when we ran the ball to that side so coach DiBiaso made the change to fake the play action and go to Theo Zidor. I did expect it to be open because Xaverian was committed to the running game and was expecting us to run out the clock at that point.”

When Everett was 2-2 coming off a tough loss in overtime to Billerica, McAfee never wavered in his confidence in his teammates.

“We had put in the hard work and we didn’t let ourselves get down and we just picked it up from there,” said McAfee.

The talented 6-foot-4-inch, 215-pound senior felt the offensive line was vital to the Tide’s success all season.

“They did an amazing job – Richardson Maitre, Bobby Lopes, Helber [Fagundez Bringhenti], Michael Smith, Dave Pierre – all of them and coach [Mike] Milo, I appreciate what they’ve done for me.”

McAfee said coach DiBiaso inspired him to work hard and be a leader.

“Coach pushed me to be a great player and he worked with me on and off the field to be a man and a great player.”

The four-year player also thanked his family for their support, saying his parents and his grandmother were at all his games.

McAfee will actually begin his career at UConn in June right after his graduation from Everett High School. When the discussion moves among his UConn teammates to their high school sports careers – which it always does at some point – McAfee can relate how he helped the winningest program in Massachusetts to its eleventh state championship.

Or he can just show them his Massachusetts Division 1 Super Bowl state championship ring, one he earned through hard work and determination.

Everett football is No. 1 in Massachusetts

The Everett Crimson Tide powered to its 11th Super Bowl since 1997, upending archrival Xaverian Hawks, 21-7, for the first time in a Super Bowl. Tide coaches and fans were quick to point out that while the Tide had beaten Xaverian in the regular season and the playoffs, they had never beaten them in a Super Bowl until this year, making it an even more special season.

The Tide marched through the playoffs after reclaiming the Greater Boston League Championship this year. On their road to the Super Bowl, the Tide handily beat Haverhill, Central Catholic, and Andover. The game featured several highlights on offense, including remarkable passes from quarterback Jordan McAfee to receiver Mike Sainristil – including a fourth-quarter diving catch down the middle to preserve a late drive. That said, the game was won on the defensive side, where the Tide’s staunch defense and sure tackling held a talented Xaverian offense in check all afternoon.

Fedna’s returns ends with a Super Bowl title

All-Scholastic running back scores Everett second TD

By Cary Shuman

Marvens Fedna  scored the second touchdown in Saturday’s Division 1 Super Bowl at Manning Field in Lynn. It was an explosive 10-yard burst, paved by the blocking of Everett’s potent offensive line.

Everett’s 21-7 victory over Xaverian was the crowning point in Fedna’s return from an injury he sustained the night following the Tide’s upset of St. John’s Prep in the 2015 playoffs that afternoon.

“Coming off of that injury last year, a lot of hard work was definitely put in during the offseason because I felt I had to repay my teammates for missing the Peabody and Central Catholic [playoff] games,” said Fedna. “I felt like I had to do my best to get back on the field.”

Fedna enjoyed an outstanding season as the featured back in the running game. He finished as Everett’s leading rusher with 765 yards and 13 touchdowns. The trio of Marvens Fedna, Chris Jenkins and Jacob Miller and the highly effective offensive line gave opposing defenses multiple tasks to consider, thus opening up the field for quarterback Jordan McAfee and the Tide’s dynamic receiving corps.

Fedna was excited to win a title in his final game in a Crimson Tide uniform.

“Having it all pay off in the end – there are no words to describe the feeling that I have,” he said.

Fedna heaped praised on line coach Mike Milo and the unsung Everett line for their blocking and their tenacity.

“Coach Milo and the guys have heart. They work hard. Without them, nothing would be possible on offense. It starts with the guys up front. They wanted to win just as badly as everyone else on the team.”

What qualities did Marvens Fedna bring to the state championship team?

“I brought a lot of perseverance and a strong will to win,” he said. “I’m proud that a lot of guys looked up to me as one of the leaders.”

The son of Ewald Fedna and Rosenie Polissaint, Marvens was born and raised in Haiti.

“I came to the States when I was seven years old,” he recalled. “I started playing soccer in Haiti. There is no football in Haiti.”

The last two years of football have been the highlight of his career, having lessons about life, teamwork, and sportsmanship instilled in him by coach John DiBiaso and his staff.

“He’s the best coach I’ve played for my whole life,” said Fedna. “This is my ninth year of football and hands down, coach John DiBiaso is the best, and he has the most driven staff I’ve ever been a part of.”

Much like his Everett teammates, Fedna says he’s looking forward to the breakup banquet when he and his teammates celebrate one of the greatest seasons in school history.

“I can’t wait for the banquet to enjoy being with my teammates and all their families,” he said. “I heard we’re getting state championship rings and jackets. I thank the community so much for really supporting us.”


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