It’s a chant that ends every practice and every game for the varsity football team, “1, 2, 3, CM! 4, 5, 6, Family!” A simple reminder that CM is more than a team; it’s a tightknit family with trust built during hot summer practices, long film sessions, and a “no days off” mentality.
“Football brings you closer because you’re fighting with your teammates. It’s a battle every play and all the hours and hard times you work through brings you together and creates a bond,” says linebacker Brady McGowan ’23.
In the last three seasons, this family has succeeded – 29 straight wins, the number 1 ranking for the 2020 COVID season, and two Super Bowl Championships since.
And the secret to their success? At times, the team didn’t know how long their streak actually was. They took the advice of Head Coach John DiBiaso and ignored the noise in the newspapers and on social media, staying focused on their family and focusing solely on the next game.
“We don’t worry about the record during the middle of a game. We care about the present. We’re not thinking about the Super Bowl when we’re facing La Salle,” says quarterback J.C. Petrongolo ’23.
In this family, accountability is key. A captain makes sure his position group is staying on their lifting schedule. On the sidelines, older players give the younger ones tips on how to improve. Those actions and the time taken, build trust. If left tackle Timothy Bruen ’23 keeps the offensive line accountable, then running backs Carson Harwood ’23 and Datrell Jones ’23 know they’ll have the blocking needed to slip through for a big gain, like Harwood’s 50-yard touchdown run to beat St. John’s Prep back in October.
As the team started their 2022 campaign, it was locked in, defeating La Salle Academy, Bishop Hendricken, Algonquin, and St. John’s Shrewsbury.
Despite the blowouts, there was adversity to contend with. Prior to their game against Prep, CM was hit with the injury bug, requiring the little brothers on the team to grow up fast. When players like Boubacar Traore ’23, and Mervens Amazan ’23 went down, J.D. Rayner ’25, David Timson ’25, Isaiah Faublas ’26, and George Mather ’24 were there. When minor injuries limited Harwood’s playing time, LeSean Sharp ’25 and Mekhi Dodd ’25 were there to blast out of the backfield when it mattered.
As Prep and CM went back and forth in their mid-season battle, one could see a family at work. Petrongolo knew where to find Jaedn Skeete ’23 for a highlight-reel catch, Rayner was there with a huge sack, and Timson was in on every defensive tackle. It all added up to a CM win.
Two weeks later, they were at it again. This time it was Mather’s turn to step up. In a nail-biter against Xaverian, CM was 10 yards from the end zone when Petrongolo spotted Mather, who beat two Xaverian defenders to find the end zone for the winning score.
Following playoff wins against Bridgewater-Raynham, Chelmsford, and Milford, the Knights beat BC High in the annual Thanksgiving game. With 28 games down, only the Super Bowl remained.
In the Super Bowl against King Philip, the Knight-family needed to stick together, work together, and overcome the frustrations of their many first-half gaffes. As Bruen said, being part of a family means, “when someone messes up, you got their back and when you mess up, they got yours. You pick each other up.”
That proved to be true early when Harwood ran into a pile of KP players and fumbled the ball. It was recovered by offensive guard James Mullen ’24, who went on a 30-yard run to put the Knights into position for a Harwood touchdown.
Up only 14-7 at halftime, Coach DiBiaso had one piece of simple advice for the defense – cut down on the penalties, and you’ll get the stops.
In the third, those stops came in the form of big turnovers. Will Claude ’24 capped off his breakout season with a strip sack that was recovered by McGowan. Later, Max Tucker ’23 stalled a KP drive with a huge third-quarter interception.
Newer members of the family got in on the action. Peter Bourque ’26 rotated with Petrongolo at quarterback throwing two touchdowns to Skeete and Tucker to help clinch another Super Bowl win.
The Class of 2023 has created a football family and a culture of winning that will last long after they graduate. Next year, new members of the CM football family will have the opportunity to show what they’ve learned and continue the team’s winning ways.
Standing on the Gillette Stadium field after the Super Bowl, Coach DiBiaso was asked about what it meant to be the head of this family and the experience of watching the seniors grow from eighth graders to leaders. His answer was simple. He smiled and said, “These are great young men, and it’s been a heck of a ride.”