Natick’s Kreinsen takes leadership role
The Westfield State University football team had just suffered a one-point defeat in its season opener at Nichols, 28-27, in overtime. As senior captain, Joe Kreinsen immediately walked to the opposing sideline to shake hands.
“How you represent your team and your school — win or lose — is all about respect and love for the game,’’ said Kreinsen, a Bay State Conference all-star in football and wrestling at Natick High.
Westfield, 4-3 overall (3-2 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference), has lost its three games by a total of nine points, including a 26-20 defeat at Bridgewater State last weekend and a two-point loss to Framingham State.
But Kreinsen, whose dream is to become a college football coach, said that it is his nature to remain positive and help lead the Owls to their first winning season since 2009.
A starting offensive guard, the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Kreinsen has faced tougher, more personal challenges: His father, James, died of cancer during his first semester at Westfield.
“He was everything I strive to be,’’ said Kreinsen, an only child. “My father was a positive influence who never drank, smoked, or swore. I knew that staying in school would be harder financially, so I’ve worked 55 hours a week when I’m home with a pool company, and at the Dairy Queen on Route 27.’’
It was an extension of his hard work and determination to succeed on the gridiron and as a wrestling team MVP and captain at Natick High. “I was undersized as a lineman in high school, but I put in a lot of time in the weight room,’’ said Kreinsen, “and I worked closely with our offensive line coach, Brian Moloney, who stressed technique and helped me become a complete player.”
He still receives pointers from Moloney when the Natick squad holds offseason workouts. Kreinsen contributes as a volunteer.
As a senior, he helped power the Natick squad to the Bay State Conference’s Herget Division title and advance to the Division 2 Super Bowl. He also placed third at the Division 2 state wrestling championships in the heavyweight class.
A starter since his freshman year at Westfield State, Kreinsen “goes 100 miles an hour every play,’’ according to Owls offensive coordinator Tom Bell.
Kreinsen, whose quickness creates space on sweeps and screens, usually takes on heavier foes across the line of scrimmage.
“So I try to never be outworked,’’ he said. “I set a high standard for myself and always feel I have a lot to prove.’’
The Owls’ starting front includes junior Mike Calamare, a graduate of St. John’s High in Shrewsbury. “We’re all on the same page and we’re very close — Mike, Wayne McGillicuddy, Eddie Fallon, and Kyle Seidnitzer,’’ Kreinsen said. “The offensive linemen are like brothers, and my teammates are like family.’’
Kreinsen has not ruled out returning to Westfield next year as an assistant to head coach Steve Marino while keeping the door open for other opportunities through the connections of Bell, who has coached at several colleges, including Yale, over six decades.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Owls have received solid contributions from sophomore defensive back Breno Pessanha (Shrewsbury High) who has 36 tackles and two interceptions, and another Natick High alum, Kevin Duffy, a senior linebacker with 35 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Hudson High prepares to expand Hall of Fame
The Hudson High Athletic Hall of Fame banquet will be Nov. 29 at 11 a.m. at the Hudson/Concord Lodge of Elks Hall. Players being added to the hall’s roster include Paul Rocheleau (class of 1959), Richard Barry (’62), Stephen Chimelski ( ’71), Deirde Lasiello (’81), Jason Blackburn (’98), Brian Quinn (’98), Adam Baur ( ’00), Meghan Schreck , (’02) and Caitlin Ostrowski ( ’03).
Former coaches Walter “Doc” Gautreau (baseball), Russell Davis (soccer), and David “Rocky” Zina (tennis/basketball) are also headed to the hall. Ralph Sadowski, Ann Marie Lopez, and Tony Marques will be recognized as contributors; the 1993 girls’ soccer team and the 2002 baseball team will also be inducted.
Tickets for the banquet are $20; call athletic director Luis Macedo at 978-567-6250, ext. 1112; Victor Rimkus at 978-562-2109; or Stephen Smith, 978-568-1023.
Here and there
Massachusetts Maritime Academy senior free safety Michael Sylvia , a Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High grad, was named MASCAC Defensive Player of the Week in football after picking off two passes, making seven solo tackles, and breaking up three passes in the Buccaneers’ 34-21 victory over University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. . . Saint Michael’s College senior women’s volleyball player Jess McLeod (Medfield High) set a program record for career assists (3,340) when the Purple Knights beat Pace University for the first time in program history. . . Mount Ida College’s football team (4-2, 3-1 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference) will host Norwich at noon Saturday, which is Senior Day. The Mustangs from Newton defeated Becker, 36-25, last weekend, when junior quarterback Jawad Yatim of Shrewsbury threw for three touchdowns and ran for another.