Sports 07-31-2018

Lynn has two star quarterbacks

Matt Severance preps for a big senior season at Lynn English


Matt Severance is already a bona fide high school football star quarterback.

The 5-foot-9-inch, 185-pound Lynn English senior is coming off a magnificent season in which he led the Bulldogs to a 10-1 record and a berth in the North sectional finals. Severance, who throws left-handed, passed for more than 1,000 yards last season. He threw 16 touchdown passes and rushed for 600 yards and nine touchdowns. And at his safety position, he made 91 tackles.

Severance made his local debut for the 2018 season in the Tournament Saturday at Manning Field. He was in a word, impressive, displaying the multitude of talents that make him one of the most exciting players in the area.

Severance is not looking back at his breakout season that earned him Northeastern Conference and Daily Item All-Star recognition. He is looking ahead and preparing daily for the new dynamics of being a captain of a highly regarded English squad.

Severance has been working out at the Lynn Fitness Center in addition to his strength and conditioning sessions at Lynn English.

Known for his accuracy and poise under pressure, Severance has a strong group of pass receivers in Prince Brown, who was the MVP of Saturday’s tournament, Mathias Fowler, Jadiel Tejada, Jaliel Tejeda, Taj Purda, and D.J. Fowler. The outlook is very bright for the Bulldogs, especially on offense.

“I think we have a very good chance to win the conference,” said Severance. “Of course, the Super Bowl is always in the back of my mind. I always think we can do it. We just have to stay focused and continue moving forward.”

He and the seniors are in their fourth season, beginning their careers when former English and Bentley standout Chris Carroll became the head coach.

“When he got the job, I was a freshman and we’re going to be his first graduating class,” said Severance. “I really like our coaching staff and I always have. They’re a really good group of guys.”

Severance, 16, is on the radar of college football programs. “I’m really interested in schools like Bryant, Bentley, Sacred Heart, Harvard,” said Severance, who has a 4.02 grade-point average. “I’ve visited those schools and hopefully things work out. I really like the environments there. It reminds me a lot of Lynn English.”

Severance played youth football in the East Lynn Pop Warner and Lynn Chargers organization. He said his favorite quarterback is Tom Brady (“Probably because I’m Boston-biased,” he noted), but he showed his knowledge of NFL history by listing Steve Young as No. 2 behind Brady. Like Severance, Young was a southpaw who led the San Francisco ‘49ers to a victory in the Super Bowl.

And the Super Bowl is where Matt Severance and the Bulldogs would like to be on the first Saturday in December.

Keith Ridley Jr. meets future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning


From the campus of Harvard University to the fields of Nichols State University in Louisiana, it’s been a summer of growth and development for Lynn Classical senior quarterback Keith Ridley Jr.

One of Ridley’s most memorable experiences was meeting future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning at the Manning Passing Academy at the Nichols State football complex in Louisiana.

“It was great meeting him – he’s bigger than he looks on TV,” said Ridley. “To learn from him, the little things that matter to him on the field, he gave me some great advice. I also met Eli [Manning] and their father [Archie] was also there.”

The college visitations, QB camps, junior days, and spring practice invitations have made it a busy summer for Ridley. Ivy League powerhouse Harvard is among the schools corresponding with Ridley about his collegiate intentions.

Ridley understands that the expectations are high for the 2018 Lynn Classical team and himself. Coach Brian Vaughan’s program is moving quickly toward the top of the Northeastern Conference.

“We have a lot of guys returning and we’re optimistic,” said Ridley. “We just have to keep working hard in the weight room and on the field, and we should be good this year. We have high expectations. The Super Bowl is always the hope.”

Ridley, who is 6-foot-4 inch and weighs 225 pounds, looked sharp in the Tournament Saturday at Manning Field. With his strong arm, good size, and ability to make quick decisions, Ridley be a major test to opposing defenses this season.

Keith is the son of Keith Ridley Sr. and Samantha Marshall. He is the grandson of former Tech and St. Mary’s Principal James Ridley and Ann Ridley and the nephew of former Lynn Classical basketball star Helen Ridley, who holds the Lynn city scoring record of 52 points in one game.

Keith Ridley Jr. himself looks primed to add to the family’s notable athletic tradition and put his own name his record books as the Lynn Classical quarterback, a position once held by the legendary Harry Agganis and Trinity College star Eric McGrath, among other excellent Ram signal callers.

Ridley is well aware of the other budding superstar quarterback who plays for crosstown rival Lynn English.

“Matt [Severance] is very good,” said Ridley. “We’ll see them on Thanksgiving. We need to win that one this year.

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