By Kevin Bruin
Kevin Bruin of Randolph is a senior at Blue Hills Regional Technical School.
It was an honorable day for the Blue Hills Warriors as the varsity football team– winners of the 2011 Eastern Mass. Division 4A Super Bowl –along with the junior varsity football team, cheerleaders and coaches, visited the Massachusetts State House on Thursday, February 9 at the invitation of Senator Brian Joyce.
When asked about how the players felt about the trip, star running back Vincent Burton of Randolph said, “It means a lot to finally get recognized for our accomplishments and success for the season. It feels good to be recognized for something good.”
Captain /Quarterback John Curran of Canton also added that, “It’s cool going there (the State House) and getting honored for our season. We (Blue Hills) haven’t gone to the State House since 1984, and it feels good to be part of history.”
The event began at around 10:15 a.m. when the team arrived at the State House and began their tour.
“The day went perfectly for the 81 individuals who attended from Blue Hills from the time we set foot on the State House stairs,” said Athletic Director / Head Football Coach Ed Catabia. “The State House gave us a red carpet event.”
The tour lasted about an hour and a half, and gave the Warriors an exciting opportunity to sit in the House of Representatives. Rep. William C. Galvin took time to explain many historical events that take place there. Shortly after, Senator Joyce arrived when the tour brought the Blue Hills group to the Senate Chamber, where they were joined by the State Representatives from the student-athletes’ hometowns.
The legislators present were Representative William C. Galvin (D-Canton), Representative Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham), Representative Bruce J. Ayers (D-Quincy), Representative Mark J. Cusack (D-Braintree), Representative Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy), Representative Walter F. Timilty (D-Milton), Senator Brian A. Joyce (D-Milton), Senator Michael F. Rush (D-West Roxbury), and Senator John F. Keenan (D-Quincy). They lauded the players for their teamwork, dedication, and ability to reach a sought-after goal – bringing the first Super Bowl victory to Blue Hills in the school’s history.
The team was also honored by a surprise visit by Governor Deval Patrick. The Governor, State Senators, and State Representatives took time out of their busy day to acknowledge the players’ achievements and chat with them. The students took pictures with the Governor and State Representatives, along with a team photo.
“This was just done so professionally and perfectly,” said Coach Catabia enthusiastically. “This was not just time away from school. This was a teaching moment in which students were able learn something about their state.”
As all the players and cheerleaders were having lunch–pizza, courtesy of the State Representatives–all the Representatives came in with Senator Joyce and Representative Galvin. Each student was then awarded by their Representative a citation in recognition of the Warriors’ great Super Bowl-winning season.
During lunch, the students were addressed by Chris Herren, a native of Fall River who was an exceptional high school basketball player. He made it to the NBA, but his career was eventually derailed by his addiction to alcohol and drugs. Substance- free since 2008, Herren speaks publicly about his ordeal to deter others from the perils of drug and alcohol abuse.
As the Blue Hills visitors were departing from the State House, there was one more special gesture to make the day complete-Legal Seafood came by and gave each individual a cup or two of delicious clam chowder.
“Success” is the only word sophomore David Neil of Randolph could add on the honor, a word that sums up the entire season. The team’s “success” drove them to the State House, and will drive them even further.
“What a recognition,” said Blue Hills Assistant Superintendent / Principal Michael J. Barrett. “A visit to the State House is certainly a crowning moment for the Blue Hills Super Bowl team. A great achievement and well-deserved. A testament to all the long hours and hard work these student-athletes have put in. Congratulations!”
Coach Catabia said, “The Blue Hills students had a day to remember for the rest of their lives. What a day and what an experience!"
"Senator Joyce and Representative Galvin and their staff did an A1 job organizing this visit and deserve a lot of credit," the coach said. "On behalf of the BHR football team, cheerleaders, coaches, and the BHR School District, we would like to say a very heartfelt thank you to all of them because we really appreciated the entire day.”