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September 27, 2013

Star linebacker Maginnis willing to do it all for Methuen

(Continued)

As a sophomore he saw varsity time at defensive back for the Rangers, then last year began as a starting corner before converting to linebacker.

“The last couple of years were tough, finishing 3-8 both years,” he said. “It’s hard to lose games. But we felt like we had an experienced team that could do well in (2013).”

As offseason workouts began, Maginnis quickly opened the eyes of new Rangers football coach Ryan.

“He looked great at defensive back and receiver during the 7-on-7 scrimmages,” said Ryan, the former Tewksbury assistant. “We felt like he was a kid who could gain some yards as a receiver and could really cover.”

But as the season began, Ryan and Co. realized they had a pressing need elsewhere, and Maginnis received the call he never expected.

The split end was going to the line.

“I admit I didn’t really want to at first,” said Maginnis. “The linemen don’t really got too much credit. Plus, I had to change my number, which wasn’t fun. I had always been 31, and had to switch to No. 50. Just the number gives you a different feeling. You feel like a big guy. But I never thought I would really play. I just thought I would maybe see a few plays if someone got hurt.”

Last Saturday, however, when the Rangers took on Cambridge Rindge & Latin, Maginnis was in the starting lineup at offensive guard.

As the game progressed, he also moved out to slot corner on defense, so No. 50 the offensive lineman was locking up on a receiver 1-on-1.

“You don’t see that too often, do you?” he joked. “It was fun, but it was tiring being out there the whole game.”

It is defense where he has done much of his damage, with the 21 tackles and two QB hurries.

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