Chris Newton and Jesse Patterson started their football journey in Wilmington. On Saturday, the St. John’s Prep teammates ended their highs school careers on the Bentley University turf where they hoisted a Super Bowl trophy.
Newton, a senior linebacker who converted to defensive tackle, and Patterson, a senior linebacker and defensive back, were among the members of the Division 1 champions who toppled Brockton, 48-28.
“We’ve been working towards that game since last Thanksgiving,” said Newton. “We worked out all winter, spring, and summer just to get there. The night before, we couldn’t sleep because everyone was so excited. It’s probably the best memory of my high school years. I can’t think of anything better to do with my teammates.”
Patterson and Newton have been friends since preschool, keeping in touch when Patterson opted to attend Austin Prep for his middle school years.
Newton said he never really considered attending private high school, but he looked into it upon the urging of his friends. After one visit to St. John’s Prep, Newton was sold.
During this year’s football season, the Eagles went on to mount an 11-1 record, winning the school’s first title since 1997.
Without a car at his disposal, Newton rode to practice with Patterson every day during the season. He said having a fellow classmate and teammate from his hometown was a big boost throughout the year.
“Not a lot of Wilmington kids go to St. John’s, so I was going in alone,” said Newton. “Knowing him really helped.”
Saturday’s Super Bowl was a blowout throughout, with the game rarely in doubt. So late in the game, Newton, Patterson and other seniors were able to enjoy the final minutes from the sidelines as younger players hit the turf.
When the clock ran down to zero, players dumped head coach Jim O’Leary with the cooler and eventually got their hardware. In the middle of a crowd on the turf stood Chris Newton and Jesse Patterson, smiling ear to ear, with a Super Bowl trophy, and eventually joined on the field by Wilmington fans who made the trip to Waltham.
For complete coverage of Saturday’s game, you can visit Danvers Patch and relive all of the action with a live chat from Bentley University.
“It goes back to the strength and unity of the senior class,” said Newton. “This past offseason we grew very close because we hung out way more, and enjoyed working out together. Everyone on this team genuinely enjoys each other.”