Two Chelsea High football standouts will be playing in the 49th annual Harry Agganis Football Classic on Wednesday, July 14 at Manning Field in Lynn.
Daniel Martinez and David Cortez, key members of last fall’s Red Devil football team that fell one game shy of winning the Commonwealth Conference championship, began practices with the North squad Monday.
The top graduating senior football players in the area are invited to play in the game that is named after legendary Lynn Classical and Boston University great Harry Agganis. After starring as the BU quarterback, Agganis opted for professional baseball and became the starting first baseman for the Boston Red Sox. He died unexpectedly at the age of 26 in 1955.
Martinez was a star running back for the Red Devils, who had the Commonwealth Conference’s best offensive attack last season under head coach Mike Stellato. He also excelled on defense.
“It’s an honor to be representing Chelsea High in the game,” said Martinez, who will be continuing his football career at Framingham State College.
Cortez was a two-way starter for the Red Devils and added another dimension to the CHS running game behind quarterback Nelson Molina. Cortez will be attending culinary arts school in the fall.
Cortez was involved in an interesting exchange at the North’s first practice. As a shirtless Cortes was going through his stretching and conditioning, North head coach Don Heres of Northeast Regional approached and offered Cortez a gold Northeast jersey to wear, but the CHS graduate politely declined. Cortez later donned the jersey but wore it inside out.
Chelsea High fans will appreciate Cortez’s loyalty to the Red and Black. Think of Bobby Fee or Anthony “Chubby” Tiro wearing an Everett High football jersey and you know what we mean.
It was chief rival Northeast Regional that bested Chelsea in a conference showdown last fall, denying the Red Devils the CAC title and a berth in the playoffs. The following week Northeast went on to clinch the title with a 55-20 win over North Shore. The Golden Knights won their semifinal playoff game and ultimately captured the school’s first-ever Super Bowl title.
Heres, who also coached in the Shriners Classic and was recently named athletic director at Northeast Regional, handled the Cortez shirt situation admirably.
“He [Cortez] is showing a lot of passion and I like that,” said Heres.