WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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boxing – a once-popular pastime now relegated to the status of niche sport, too violent for most people to stomach. Maiona and Fadule say they take concussions seriously. Coaches are required to undergo concussion training, the league promotes "heads- up" tackling, and Fadule sits any kid who reports a headache for five days (a policy he's applied even to boys with head colds and one who faked a headache to get out of running wind sprints – "I don't want to be responsible for injuring a ten-year-old," he says.). The league is also looking at using helmet sensors that would alert coaches if a kid's head takes a blow. But Maiona and Fadule also say that concussions are a rarity in their league, adding up to no more than a handful over the course of a season. "Our rate of concussions, I'll put that up against soccer, hockey," Maiona says. "We have had them, but it's not so frequent that it's some sort of a crisis for us." At the beginning of the season, Blake – the kid who showed up early to every practice – predicted that the team would make it the champi- onships in Florida. "I said, 'Don't worry about Florida,'" Fadule recalls. "'Worry about the opening game.'" Then he laughs. "Sixteen games later, he was right." Fadule jokes that he almost lost the last playoff game on purpose in order to avoid extending the season and traveling to Orlando. Parents 114 Little Champions W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 4 fundraised like mad to make the trip happen, and the kids had to be pulled from school for a week. But in the end, they say, it was worth it. "For all the complaining about, 'We have to go to Florida,' it was a blast, and such a good experience for the kids," says Seifert. "I can't describe what it was like to actually win. They're little kids. To see them celebrating like they just won the Super Bowl, we were very proud of them." Junior high football doesn't start until eighth grade in Wellesley, so Fadule and his players have two more years to see just how far they can extend their winning streak. But Maiona says he doesn't think the kids will feel pressure not to lose. "They didn't look like a team that played with a lot of pressure," he says. "They just sauntered onto the field, smiling and joking with each other. If they lose a game next year, no one can take away from them that they were national champions." Fadule told his players to hold onto their championship as a reminder that hard work pays off. But, basking in the glow of their vic- tory, they were done with hard work. For the moment, at least. "They were asking, 'Can we have an hour to just go play in the pool and go down the water slide?'" remembers Jennifer Halloran, who has a son on the team, and whose husband is an assistant coach. "It was a great feeling [to win]. They enjoyed it. But you go back to the pool at the hotel, and they were just kids." B A C K G R O U N D : D A V I D L E E After the Championship game, players, parents, and supporters from both teams gathered on the field where the coaches led a prayer V I C T O R I A W O L F 108-114_WWMb14_football champions_v2_WellesleyWeston Magazine 4/24/14 4:03 PM Page 114

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