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New Challenges Ahead for Lincoln-Sudbury Football Team

Warriors hope to return to playoffs with 15 lettermen.

The football team is ready for another deep run in 2011 after a 21-0 loss to Gloucester in last year's Division 1A semifinal.

But, as any good team does, the Warriors will move forward, not dwelling on the past. Their mindset this season is quite simple: game by game.

"This year is a new year," L-S head coach Tom Lopez commented. "We simply want to improve every week."

Improving every week will especially be critical when it comes to filling the gaping void left by Zach Smerlas, son of former Patriots great Fred Smerlas and a force on both the offensive and defensive lines last year. And Lopez, now in his 34th year at the helm of the Warriors, is handling the challenge as best as anyone can.

"Smerlas will be impossible to replace," he said. "Right now we are playing three or four players at his position."

Even without Smerlas, who also won a state wrestling title last year, the Warriors have plenty of experience in their corner, returning 15 lettermen. They will look to captains Kyle Ashley, Matt Cahill, Ricky Antonellis and Pat Mullin to lead the team and spark play.

Outside of the captains, L-S can expect big things from linebacker Will Twyman, fullback Chris Giorgio, running back Brian Carroll, and offensive linemen Tim Krumsiek and Chris Whitehouse.

New contributors to look out for include junior defensive end Paul Sorbo, and Dan Cellucci, who missed all of last year with an injury.

With only four games in the Dual County League Large schedule, and only one of those games at home (against Westford Academy), it is crucial to win every one. One mistake could be the difference between a playoff berth and shutting it down after Thanksgiving.

The Warriors begin the season Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Tewksbury, and get their first taste of DCL Large action on Oct. 6 at Waltham.

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