Hopedale’s One And Only Football Player
By Christopher Tremblay
Sports Staff Writer
Having grown up in Milford, Marcus Waldo was always able to play Pop Warner Football for his home town.
Despite living in Milford, his parents decided that the Hopedale School System was better suited for their family. Unfortunately, by the time Marcus got to High School he noticed that the football program was a co-op with Blackstone Millville Regional.
“I loved the game and being a running back. I loved getting hit and getting right back up,” Waldo said. “It didn’t bother me that Hopedale didn’t have their own football team, I was going to do what I needed to play for BMR.”
Waldo noted that he never considered not trying out for the co-op team because he loved the sport so much and would do whatever it took.
According to BMR football coach Joshua Euglow, the co-op has been in existence with Hopedale for about eight years. When things first started, Hopedale made up about one third of the team, but over the years the numbers have dwindled.
One of the most difficult tasks at hand facing Waldo was getting from the Hopedale High School to BMR every day for practice. That’s where his mother came in.
“Not having a Pop Warner program in Hopedale, a lot of kids didn’t grow up playing football so there was not that much interest on the high school level, so we had a co-op team,” he said. “While it was tough being one of only a handful of Hopedale students playing, it was tougher on my mom. She had to pick me up and drive me 20 minutes to BMR for practices and games the first few years.”
Now that he is a junior, things are a little easier as he drives himself
During his freshman season, Waldo was unfamiliar with a lot of his new teammates, and it was the Hopedale players that helped him get through it. Many a times he was doing drills by himself and really had no one to talk to that first year.
Upon coming back for his sophomore campaign with the Chargers, he was he was delegated to both the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams throughout the season. He played safety in his first varsity game and while it was great to be on the field with the team, he would much rather prefer playing running back; a position that comes easier to him than safety.
This year Waldo was strictly a varsity athlete for the Chargers and while BMR just barely missed out on the playoffs, he felt that the team had themselves a decent year.
Although BMR was successful this season, the Hopedale athlete was unsure of his stats (He rushed for 248 yards for a 4.0 average per carry and scored 6 td’s, 3 rushing and 3 receiving and posted one interception).
“I’m not one to think about my stats,”Waldo said. “I just want to help my team win while playing a game that I love.”
Waldo noted that there are two other running backs on the BMR squad and all three runners get equal opportunity to carry the pigskin.
“Our running backs all get an equal amount of touches,” the BMR Coach said. “Marcus brings balance to our offense. Last year he was pretty much a second stringer, this year he’s caught up and we have a complete offense.”
Euglow went on to say that the junior Hopedale back is an elusive runner and although small in size, he runs hard and is quick. He also reads the field well while navigating it.
With this season just about in the record books, Waldo will have the opportunity to play one more season with the Chargers next year and then it’s off to college, where he may or may not elect to pursue football.
“College – I haven’t really thought about it too much. I guess it’ll all depend on how my senior season goes, but right now it’s still too early,” he said.