The Super Bowl champion Sharon High football team received a Proclamation at the Sharon Town Meeting from the Board of Selectmen on Dec. 3.
“Anytime your government asks you to come and speak before them, it’s an honor,” Head Coach Dave Morse said. “It was good for our kids to be recognized on a town-wise basis.”
Senior captain Jalen Epps said, “It was eye-opening. We knew that we had done something big, but to get recognized by the town as champions made us realize how big of an accomplishment it was.”
The ceremony, which was held during the Town Meeting at the Sharon High auditorium, honored the Eagles for their numerous accomplishments this season.
At 8:19 pm, Moderator David Yas told the scores of present Sharonites, “Ladies and gentlemen, your team – the Division III Super Bowl Champion Sharon Eagles. Here they come.”
The football players, clad in shirt-and-tie, strode to the front of the auditorium as the crowd offered the Eagles a standing ovation.
Epps, an offensive lineman, said that the Eagles played for more than themselves this season. “We were representing the town, our families, and ourselves whenever we went out on to the field.
“At most of our games, the stands were filled, and seeing them take the time to come to Braintree [a 7-6 semifinal win over Pembroke] and Waltham [a 12-3 title game victory against Wayland] was amazing. It made us want to win even more. We had to put the town on our backs,” Epps added.
Selectman William Heitin awarded Morse and the team with a certificate that noted the Eagles’ dedication and perseverance; and winning Davenport Division and Super Bowl championships, both first-ever titles for Sharon.
Epps, an offensive lineman, says that the 2012 Eagles are proud to have changed the longtime losing stigma of Sharon football. “We have changed things around. The football team, the school, and the town are very upbeat and exited from the win.
“I've been told countless times from people I don't even know, ‘Congratulations. You all have done something great,’” Epps added.
Morse then made a delivery for about five minutes. A special education instructional assistant at SHS, the coach said that he translated the academic blueprint of the school – which earned national recognition last year – onto the gridiron.
“I think it’s very important thing that a lot of the lessons kids learn in the classroom – preparing well to do well on assessments – is the same material, the same stuff that we use to prepare them to execute on the football field,” Morse said.
Senior captain Calvin Joseph said, “It feels great. Once you’re known for multiple things, it makes you look better as a person, as a school. Now we’re known as a Super Bowl team and academic all-stars. Both of those together – they look good.”
Morse brought forward senior captain Bradley Schiff. The coach, a Norwood native, told the Sharonites that his middle linebacker was the best high school football player in the latter town’s history.
“I don’t really like to do stuff like that [individual recognition], but when the town called, and the town was there watching, I wanted them to see what the example of a Sharon High football player was - especially everything Schiff has meant to this team,” Morse said.
Morse says that the fact that the 5’7” Schiff is undersized, a disadvantage shared historically by Sharon athletes, yet has made the most of his abilities, played a role in the coach’s decision to single out his defensive signal-caller.
“That definitely factored into it,” Morse said of the height matter. “I think that’s unavoidable. I think he does a really good job at [overcoming] that.”
Epps says that he hopes to be continually reminded of the Super Bowl title when driving into Sharon. “The best feeling is going to be when anyone enters the town, they will see ‘Home of the 2012 Division 3 Champions’ on all the [entering] town signs.”