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Captains Lead Nipmuc Through Difficult Schedule

Nipmuc's football program captured wins in two of its final three games to finish above .500 at 6-5 for the 2015 season. The winning season is especially impressive, their head coach says, when one considers the slate the Warriors were tasked with facing.
"We played a tough schedule. We played three teams that went to the Central Mass finals and two were still playing after Thanksgiving," Coach Shawn Hill said. "The schedule was brutal. I think we could have found a way to win a game or two more where we were competitive."
Hill said he saw his team come together as the season went on. Nipmuc scored back-to-back lopsided wins over Worcester Burncoat and Sutton. They showed an ability to win close contests when they edged Worcester North and Blackstone Valley Tech by one and two points, respectively. 
"Had we jelled together or come together earlier, we might have been able to win a couple more games," Hill said.
The head coach credited his captains - Pete Schiloski, Chris Bechera, and Ryan Nelson - for their leadership throughout the season. Schiloski, dubbed a "jack of all trades" by Hill, played both fullback and linebacker. Bechera and Nelson stood out on both the offensive and defensive lines.
"It starts with them," Hill said. "That's where it all comes from. Chris and Ryan anchor the line, that's where it starts. They are able to control the line of scrimmage. If we don't win up front, we don't win, it's that simple.
"Those guys worked their tails off," Hill added.
In addition to the captains, Hill was quick to tout several other members of the squad who were impact players in 2015, some of whom will return for 2016. Michael Manning, a running back, was the team's leading scorer in his junior season. Hill also said the offense received a "strong showing" from the wide receiving core. A few of the favorite targets this year, Grant Jorgensen, Max Polay, and Izaiah Wadsworth, will be graduating in the spring. Six-foot-five quarterback Derek DeMarzo is only a junior, however.
The Warriors' scheduled included St. Bernard's, who will play for the Division 6 state title on Saturday at Gillette Stadium, plus Northbridge and Grafton, who each captured district titles at their respective levels and reached the state semifinals.




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