Size has yet to catch up to the Wakefield football team.
That’s true both in terms of a roster lacking depth — there are just 48 players between the varsity and junior varsity, with no freshman team — as well as the stature of a few key players.
Take the Delgado twins, Christian and Nathan, two of the Warriors’ four captains, who will take the field against Milton in the Division 3 Super Bowl Saturday night (5:30 p.m.) at Gillette Stadium. They both measure 5-feet-9-inches, 160 pounds.
The two have tackled bigger challenges off the field.
The twins were seventh graders, at the Galvin Middle School in 2017, when their father, Jonathan Delgado, a two-time Super Bowl champion and Globe All-Scholastic quarterback at Everett High in the late ‘90s, died suddenly.
“He introduced me to football,” Christian recalled of his father. “My love for football definitely came from him, seeing his high school clips.”
“I always loved the game,” said Nathan, who didn’t play football the year his father died. “I just had to find it again.”
Beginning in kindergarten, the Delgados formed a kinship with Javin Willis, now the starting quarterback at Wakefield and fellow senior captain for the 12-0 Warriors.
Today, the support system for the twins is strong, headlined by their mother, Melissa Silva, as well as Willis’s father, Jason.
Silva, who grew up with the elder Willis, described the Willis’s as “like a second family” for her sons and credited them with getting both of them back on the field in eighth grade.
Still, she had some reservations about the boys suiting up for Wakefield once they hit high school given their size. With some persuasion from Jason Willis, the Delgados joined the program during coach John Rafferty’s second year at the helm in the fall of 2019. Now, they’re on a Warriors team one win away from the program’s first Super Bowl title since 1999.
“They’ve been too small since Day 1 and they’ve been the best players,” Jason Willis recalled telling Silva to assuage her fears. “They’ll be fine.”
Along with Javin — no giant at 5-feet-8, 145 pounds — and tight end Ian Dixon (6-foot-3, 215), the team’s fourth captain, the Delgados have formed the nucleus of a Wakefield offense averaging 27.8 points per game.
The Warriors, champions of the Middlesex Freedom Division, will need all of the offense they can muster at Gillette against Milton (11-0), which boasts a unit averaging 35.6 points per game as champions of the Bay State Herget.
“We’ve gone through quite a gauntlet and these kids keep coming out on top,” Rafferty said. “They’re a talented bunch, there’s no doubt about that. They’re good athletes and they like playing football.”
Nathan Delgado, the team’s No. 1 running back, has rushed for 1,109 yards on 180 carries — more than 6 yards per rush — and 13 touchdowns, helping out in the passing game as well with 17 catches for 344 yards.
Christian Delgado has snared four touchdown passes from Willis, second on the team after Steve Woish (10), and has also shined at outside linebacker for the Warriors with 55 tackles, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and an interception.
Nathan Delgado, meanwhile, has a team-leading 84 tackles at linebacker, along with four interceptions.
“I kind of always knew they had it in them,” Silva said. “I feel like everyone always underestimated them because of their size, they always kind of felt like ‘Oh, they’re the little ones.’ I knew they had it in them, so I’m so proud of them.”
The twins would like to play football in college, having gone on several visits to area schools along with Willis, who currently has offers from Springfield and Curry.
In the meantime, they have one game left as Warriors, set to take place in a venue which seemed impossible to reach after finishing 13-13 over their first three years at Wakefield.
They’ll have their father in mind during the battle of unbeatens in Foxborough.
“He’d definitely be very proud of us and be our No. 1 supporter right now,” Christian said.