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Town embraces Dragons during ‘We Believe’ football rally PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

It was cold and a bit breezy but a large group of people braved the cold to show their support for the Holyoke High School football team Friday night, Nov. 9 on the front lawn of coach John Zilla’s home. Organized by football parents, the rally was attended by a large gathering of Holyoke faithful. Many of the students and fans gathered around burning trash barrels to keep warm during the rally.

“There’s a new sheriff in town,” long-time coach and teacher Jim Gribben, pictured above at left, told the players and fans last Friday night. “This whole community believes in you.” Gribben also referenced Kenny Chesney’s “The Boys of Fall” song last Friday and said fall weather always reminds him of high school playoff football. The song was played multiple times last Friday night.

Another long-time Holyoke coach and teacher, Gary Sperber (pictured above right) lifted the crowd up with a powerful message. He told the football team they had made it as far as they had because they are a united bunch. “You guys help each other out,” he noted. “This is going to take you a long way in life.” Sperber told the team to focus on the upcoming game, it was the one that mattered the most.

HHS junior quarterback Trevor Dalton (pictured above left) thanked the community for its support and also noted how the seniors on the team helped change the direction of the season. Coming off two losses to begin with, Dalton said the seniors rallied the team and helped them reach the playoffs. “These seniors have done an amazing job,” Dalton said. Dalton has been a leader from the sideline after suffering a devastating knee injury in the season opener against St. Francis, Kan.

First year assistant coach Merle Powell said he was excited to be a part of this year’s team. Senior Jesus Hermosillo and Marc Maelzer of Star 92.3 also addressed the crowd. Julie Kotch, representing Regent Park/Carriage House, presented football players with bags full of goodies.

Following the speeches, the crowd came together for a “We Believe” chant.  

—Enterprise photos

Holyoke Enterprise November 15, 2012