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September 27, 2013

Star linebacker Maginnis willing to do it all for Methuen

METHUEN — Johnny Maginnis admits that his stat line as a varsity receiver isn’t overly impressive.

“I had one pass thrown to me and I dropped it,” said the Methuen High senior with a laugh. “It was a trick play designed for me last week. It was an unbalanced left (formation) and I was lined up as a lineman to the right. I broke free and just couldn’t bring it in. Hopefully it won’t be my last chance.”

The Rangers can more than live with that gaffe. After all, Maginnis contributes in just every other facet of the game for the surging Blue and White.

Already a force on defense at outside linebacker and defensive end, with 21 tackles so far this fall, Maginnis has taken on the role of Mr. Versatility on the offensive end, having started at wide receiver, offensive line and tight end for the red hot Rangers squad that is off to a 3-0 start for the first time in 15 years.

They will look to match that 1998 squad with a 4-0 start when they host Dracut tomorrow at 2 p.m.

“Johnny is probably our best defensive player,” said first-year Methuen football coach Tom Ryan. “He’s a standout on the defensive line and at linebacker, and we occasionally even use him at cornerback. On offense he was a very good receiver, but because of need we asked him to play offensive line and he was willing to do that, then we asked him to play tight end. He is a rare combination of smarts and athleticism to have the ability to play anywhere.”

At 6-foot-1 and a sleek 190 pounds, Maginnis looks much more the part of a skill player than someone slugging with the big boys on the line. And for three seasons, that’s exactly what he was.

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