With now less than 12 hours to go till kickoff between Wellesley and Needham I wanted to continue a tradition of my own which is getting a Needham perspective of both the team and the rivalry. This year I caught up with Stephen Bascio, a Needham alum and current PA announcer and Needham Channel Broadcaster. Here’s a look at what he had to say!
Q: What are your overall impressions of the Needham High football team in the 2018 season leading up to Thanksgiving?
A: My overall impression of this team it’s a really good one. We started out the season 5-0, which we hadn’t done since the year we went to the Super Bowl, then we finished out losing two very tough games to Milton and Walpole.
We had a really good showing in the playoffs, as we had the number two seed in the division one S., we won our first game by seven against Newton North, and then we bowed out in the second round to a very talented division one S. Champion, Catholic Memorial. This team has no quit, even in the game against CM, Needham was down very quickly 14-0 early in the first, but stormed quickly back to tie it. This team will have a lasting impression on this game
Q: Who are the impact players for Needham we should be watching for on Thursday?
A: There are 3 big impact players for Needham. First Charlie Ogeltree the QB, probably the MVP for most games. Jack Murmes 88 and of course Matt Smith, the Duke Blue Devil commit. Playing college football next year, number 80 Matt Smith. There were two catches that stood out in my mind that Matt Smith made. Hopkinton in week 2 and the next week against Newton North, with 12 seconds to go he made an unbelievable scoop off the ground catch in the end zone exactly like the one against Hopkinton to extend Needham’s lead heading into the half that play really depicted him as a player.
Q: Being a lifelong Needham fan and Needham alum what makes the Wellesley Needham rivalry so special?
A: Well I’d basically be echoing Wellesley and Needham alums when I say that Needham/Wellesley the rivalry always has a special meaning for a lot of people. For me it was my senior year 2015 when as you know we didn’t play in Wellesley or Needham but Fenway Park. That we won basically at the end of the first when my good friend Joe Gowetski ran it back 96 yards for a pick 6 which basically decided the final score 12-7, which was our last win. That’s how much it means to me.
Q: What does Needham have to do to win Thursday and snap the 2 year losing streak?
A: Needham has to get back to the way they were the first 5 weeks of the season. If they play the way they did they’ll be fine. If Needham gives the ball to Tyler Reid, and throw the ball the Matt Smith who makes incredible catches, and finds Jack Murmes then they’ll pick up a victory.