History In The Making

The+Boys+Soccer+Team+celebrates+with+the+South+Sectional+trophy+without+touching+it.+%28Photo%2F+Mike+Gruelich%29

The Boys Soccer Team celebrates with the South Sectional trophy without touching it. (Photo/ Mike Gruelich)

Bobby Rabaioli

The Boys Soccer Team celebrates with the South Sectional trophy without touching it. (Photo/ Mike Gruelich)
The Boys Soccer Team poses for a picture with the South Sectional trophy without touching it. (Photo/ Mike Gruelich)

 

 

 

This year, Walpole Boys Soccer has done something no other Coach Lee Delaney team has done before: win the South Sectional finals.”This team has a mental toughness that I have not seen before,” said Coach Delaney. “They just go out and do their jobs and now we’re going to the state finals.”

The Rebels had a tough road to make the finals as they upset three higher seeded teams that included Nauset and Oliver Ames who were ranked in the top 25 by ESPN Boston.  On November 11, Oliver Ames came into the Monday South Sectional Finals at Braintree High School undefeated and the obvious favorites over a 12-7-1 Rebel team who two weeks ago were unsure if they were even going to make the playoffs.

The game though started off all Rebels, who had many attempts in the first ten minutes and eventually scored off a corner kick when junior Chris Gallivan tapped in a loose ball in front of the net.  Senior Bobby Rabaioli almost came close when he hit the cross bar with a shot from 25 yards.  As the half almost ended, senior Captain Bob Ivatts hit a shot past the keeper to give the Rebels the goal cushion they needed.

“We came out and just dominated.  It was the best half of soccer we had ever played this year,” said senior Captain Colin Murray.

The second half saw a lot of Oliver Ames possession, but the superior play of the Walpole back-line prevailed again.  Attack after attack the back four saw multiple chances, but they cleared them again and again.  And when the Tiger forwards got through, senior goalie Pete Hoegler came up big with about four tough saves.

“Everyone just did their job,” said Gallivan.

Coach Lee Delaney holds up his first South Section trophy while his team celebrates. (Photo/ Boston Herald)
Coach Lee Delaney holds up his first South Section trophy while his team celebrates. (Photo/ Boston Herald)

When the final whistle blew, the Rebels knew they had done something no other Lee Delaney team had ever done before: advance to the State Championship.  The players rushed to Hoegler and started a celebration that would only last for a short time.

The Rebels players refused to touch the South Sectional Championship trophy.  Assistant Coach Steve Lipsett, “That’s not the one they want.”

The cathartic emotion felt on the field was incredible as Coach Delaney finally brought home some hardware after coaching the Rebels for 34 years.  According to Ivatts, “We were not just playing for our town or school, but we were playing for the man who does everything for us.”