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Wildcat Football Ready to Kick Off New Season

Wilmington plays Arlington of Friday at 7 p.m. under the lights of Alumni Stadium.

The football team has been one of the must consistent teams in Eastern Massachusetts over the last 10 years. On Friday night, the Wildcats hope to continue that trend.

Wilmington kicks off the 2012 campaign at 7 p.m. on Friday night, welcoming Arlington to Alumni Stadium under the lights.

According to statistics in a recent edition of the Boston Globe, Wilmington’s 101-30 record since 2000 is good for the seventh most victories in the region during that time frame.

“The bottom line is that our kids have a nice way about them, a spirit and a competitive attitude,” said head coach Mike Barry. “I think that’s what carries over from class to class. Being successful, you build on that and there’s an underlying confidence. They’re always going to play hard, and it doesn’t take a lot of motivating to get them there.”

Barry said the number of players is up to 65 this year, and as always the expectations are high for the team.

Though the Wildcats lost several key players from last year’s roster to graduation, Barry already has his eyes on those who will fill those roles.

The running back position will likely be filled by committee, though Justin McKinnon has the edge right now according to the Wilmington mentor.

Entering the season, James O’Regan and Pat Barry are poised to split snaps behind center. O’Regan is likely to start at quarterback Friday night, though Pat Barry will play in the second half.

“They both worked hard in the preseason and we have confidence in both of them,” said Mike Barry. “It’s healthy competition, and that’s good. Even though we’ve had such great competition at many positions, the attitude has been great among the players. They’re working hard and supporting each other.”

Brendan Ahern, Tim Woods and Brian Priem are the Wildcat captains this year, and Barry said he’s been impressed with the leadership they’ve provided so far.

One aspect of the season that Barry is looking forward to is the opportunity to play at Alumni Stadium, something that was up in the air due to the school appeals.

“We love playing those home games,” said Barry. “I’ve always got a confident feeling because I know they love it under the lights. It’s a great feeling, and sometimes it gives you chills.”

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