EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 8, 2013

Beloved Du embraces role on Raiders

FOXBORO — As Central Catholic celebrated its Division 1 Super Bowl title last night, no Raider was more emotional than senior reserve lineman Kuiye “Will” Du.

“We are really champions!” said Du. “This is just amazing, to do it with these guys.”

Football truly was more than a sport for Du.

A native of China, Du was in America attending Central Catholic the last two years as part of the school’s International Student program. He decided to play football for fun, and it proved to be a life-changing experience.

“The last two years have been the best of my life,” said Du. “I have learned so much from my teammates and I have been so empowered by it. I really feel like I was a part of this and I loved it.”

Almost denied

An overzealous security guard adamantly tried to deny a Central Catholic supporter access to the postgame trophy ceremony.

That “fan” was none other than AD Ernie DiFiore.

The longtime football coach and AD was having none of it, simply because he did not have a press wrist band. He quickly talked his way in.

Touching moment

After the game, a red-headed Raider had a tear in his eye.

That Raider was senior receiver Ryan Etter.

Etter is allowed a tear or two in such an emotional moment, especially with the ride he’s endured. He had two fingers crushed this summer in a weight-training accident and almost saw his season wiped away.

Rich could have been richer

Central basketball coach Rick Nault, the head fist-pumper, was on the sidelines.

Even with Tyler Nelson nursing a wrist injury, the Raiders are one of the teams to beat in the state.

But yesterday’s state title victory gave the Raider boss to think, “What if?”

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