There were more than 18,000 high school football players in Massachusetts this season.
Everett High School had two of the very best, seniors Mike Sainristil and Gilbert Kabamba, who were honored Sunday as members of the 2018 “Super 26” All-State Team.
Sainristil, who has enrolled at the University of Michigan, and Kabamba, who will attend Merrimack College, received their awards from the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston and the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association at a banquet at Lantana’s in Randolph.
Sainristil also received his Gatorade Massachusetts Player of the Year Award at the banquet. The 5-foot-10 inch, 170-pound All-Scholastic player is on spring break from Michigan, where he has begun workouts and will play in the Wolverines’ Spring Game on April 13 at Michigan Stadium.
“The practices have gone well,” said Sainristil, who has been working out at a slot receiver’s position. “Coach [Jim] Harbaugh is a good guy. I don’t see him that much because he works a lot in his office.”
Sainristil, one of the most exciting players in Everett history, said he was happy with his four-year career during which he helped the Tide win back-to-back, Division 1 state championships. The Tide had a three-peat derailed by Central Catholic in the North semifinals.
“I’m happy with my career, but if I could go back, though, I’d want to play Central Catholic one more time,” said Sainristil. “Other than that, it was a great year.”
Sainrist also thanked his family “who have never doubted me and never stopped supporting me, and I really appreciate that.”
Like Sainristil, Kabamba was a two-way standout for the Tide. He was recognized as an All-State offensive lineman though he was also a force for the Everett defense. The 6-foot-2-inch, 270-pound All-Scholastic is projected as a defensive end/ defensive tackle at Merrimack.
“It’s a pleasure to be All-State,” said Kabamba. “I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity and my brother and my family for their support. I worked hard for it.”
Kabamba was a four-year player and a member of two Division 1 Super Bowl championship teams. This year’s team finished with a 10-1 record.
Kabamba said he was fortunate to have played for “two great head coaches” at Everett, John DiBiaso and Theluxon Pierre.
“Coach DiBiaso was always there for me and the other kids in the program,” said Kabamba. “Coach Pierre is amazing. He was there for me every day and helped with the college process.”
Born in Africa, Kabamba said that when he came to the United States and enrolled at Everett High School, he thought he would continue in the sport of basketball.
“But when Coach DiBiaso saw me, he said to me, ‘I want you to play football,’ so I said I would try it. The first day of practice, I loved football because I’m a contact guy.”
Four years later, Gilbert Kabamba leaves Everett as one of the Tide’s all-time greats, and officially one of the best in the Bay State for 2018.