In some ways it seems like just yesterday that Joe Linta took the reins as head coach of the Hamden Hall Varsity Football program. On the other hand Coach Linta and his staff have helped achieve such a string of notable success that he seems to have been here for decades. Actually, it has been one decade. Now in his tenth year, Coach Linta continues not only to forge our football squads into winners, but more importantly, help shape talented players into successful scholar-athletes. Having already won numerous Fairchester League titles and New England Bowl games and seen so many Hornets move on to enjoy successful careers in college, it might be understandable if he were to slow down or walk away. But there is no hint that this would happen any time soon, as he can be seen every day focused and animated, discussing the upcoming opponent with his coaches or providing some guidance for his individual players before or after practice. The coach's son, Nick Linta, plus Curry College standout, Melvin Wells, both Hamden Hall alums, have been added to the coaching staff, helping to provide the team with examples of football success.
The challenge to remain successful has become tougher as well. The Fairchester Athletic Association essentially no longer has football, leading the Hornets to join the Evergreen League, which includes most Class A and B prep schools outside of Boston’s ISL and the Founder’s League. And because of such a run of success, the Hornets have been placed in the highest tier of the league. Though the away games involve some substantial travel, the team enjoys the opportunity to play some of the best football in all of New England.
The team is currently 2-2, though just a few plays short of being undefeated. They kicked off the season with an impressive 21-8 win at Rivers in Massachusetts, thanks in large part to Konye Taylor’s running and the stingy defense led by Amari Phillips and Michi Holley. Then, punching well above their weight, the Hornets waged an incredible 4th quarter battle royal before falling 38-35 to St. Paul’s, a Class A team that has not lost in two years. The Hornets were not as fortunate on their return trip to Boston, falling to Dexter 21-9 after leading 9-7 at half to the preseason league favorite. However, they rebounded with a solid 34-28 win over Berkshire School at home last Friday. Down 14-0, junior Elijah Light sparked the comeback with an electrifying 84 yard kickoff return. Taylor and quarterback, Ethan Coady, combined for 335 yards and 4 touchdowns to best the visiting Bears.
The Hornets host the Huskies of New Hampton School from the lakes region of New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon in what should prove to be a true highlight of the Homecoming weekend.