CONTRIBUTED BY LISA HINES
As the Weymouth varsity football team furiously stormed down the field at the end of the fourth quarter, Brookline’s slight lead looked grim. Despite Weymouth’s momentum, a last-second interception by senior Wesley Delvar clinched a 27-24 win for Brookline. Following this win on Sept. 22 and another on Sept. 7 against Roxbury Prep, the varsity football team looks poised to make a crucial comeback.
With the addition of new head coach Chad Hunte, the football team looks to create a successful, supportive program for years to come.
Hunte is a Brookline football alumnus, playing football for four years and graduating in 2009. He then played football at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and later was an assistant coach for the football and boys basketball teams at the high school. According to Hunte, many of the basketball players he once coached joined the football team this year.
“I had a strong relationship with a lot of the basketball players,” Hunte said. “Once I got the football job, they just all wanted to come and play for me. Every single basketball player that we’ve had so far has contributed in a huge way.”
Hunte said that the bond between the team is already exceptional, despite the team only being together for less than two months.
“This group is very close and everything they do, they do it together, and they do it knowing that they all have one goal in common: to get better and to win,” Hunte said. “When you have a group that is not selfish, that will do anything for each other, it’s just amazing to watch.”
Senior Chris Lopez, who plays outside linebacker and wide receiver for the varsity team, said that this bond is reflected in the everyday behavior of the athletes.
“Everybody is so happy to be here [and] to practice. The team is so good at understanding everybody. We’re gonna be there on and off the field,” Lopez said.
Senior and varsity linebacker John Fisher said that Hunte has made a significant effort to support his athletes.
“I feel like he’s always there for us,” Fisher said. “He’s always got our back, telling us before the game to have fun and be safe. You can tell he really cares about us; he just wants the best for us.”
Lopez also appreciates the profound change Hunte has made to the program.
“He lets everybody know that he’s changing the program, and it’s not gonna be the same how it was for years prior to us,” Lopez said. “He knows what he’s doing. I’m glad to have him as a coach.”
Hunte also hopes to teach his athletes lessons of hard work and perseverance on and off the field.
“We are showing these kids that hard work will always beat any kind of talent,” Hunte said. “If you don’t give up on what you want in life, it can happen. You have to make it happen though. It’s not going to come easy, but if you really want it, and you work for it, you can definitely achieve it.”
Fisher hopes to establish a tradition of winning with the program, unlike in recent years when the team has had losing records.
“Our goal is to try to change the culture around our team,” Fisher said. “We want to win. Every time we lose it’s been downhill from there, so we’re trying to turn things around and trying to get a better work ethic, focusing and just trying to win football games.”
Hunte hopes that the community will support the football team and embrace the changes of the program.
“I want this whole town to be a part of it and to feel the energy, feed off this energy that we’re going to be giving, and just come support us,” Hunte said. “We will turn this program into a winning program with high tradition, and I just can’t wait for this town to see it.”