The Lynn Classical football team celebrated its 2019 season at an awards banquet Tuesday at the Knights of Columbus.
Senior quarterback Daniel (Dan) Thomas Gisonno received the team’s MVP Trophy that is named after Classical legend Harry Agganis. Gisonno, a 6-foot-3-inch, 190-pound senior, had one of the greatest seasons in school history, throwing for more than 2,200 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Head Coach Brian Vaughan announced to the large gathering of players, coaches, parents, and guests that Gisonno had committed to attend Western New England University in the fall.
All that hoopla made it a night of mixed emotions not only for Dan, but also for his parents, Daniel Edward and Kim Gisonno, who were wrapping up six consecutive years of involvement in the Classical program. Kim is the president of the Lynn Classical Boosters and she and the other volunteers were recognized by Vaughan for what was a terrific banquet that included the awarding of the traditional green and white letter jackets to the Classical eniors.
“It’s bittersweet – we’ve been part of it for six years,” said Kim, whose son, Matthew, also starred for the Rams and is now a sophomore at UMass Dartmouth. “We’re going to miss it.”
There is plenty of athletic talent and height in the Gisonno family. Matthew, a member of the World Series Lynn Babe Ruth team, is 6-feet, 5-inches, father Daniel, who played football at Tech and Georgetown, is 6-feet, 4-inches, while Dan is 6-feet, 3-inches. There is also exceptional leadership in the Gisonno family. Daniel is the former president of Pine Hill Little League while Dan was a captain at Classical. Matt is a past recipient of the Harry Agganis Scholarship. Kim’s contributions as Boosters President were “amazing,” according to Coach Vaughan.
Dan said he made the decision to attend Western New England earlier this month.
“I’m excited to start a new chapter in my life and in my football career,” said Dan. “I hope to compete for the starting position.”
Asked about his record-breaking senior season, Dan replied, “I had something to prove to a lot of people this year after being the backup quarterback the last two years.”
Dan added that playing football for Coach Vaughan was a tremendous experience.
“He’s a great coach and a great man,” said Dan. “You just listen to what he teaches and he’ll help you become a better football player.”
Dan said he is looking forward to playing in the Harry Agganis All-Star Classic in June. “I plan on being there, representing Classical and honoring Harry Agganis’ memory. The rest of the summer, I’ll be working and getting ready for college.”
Dan credited his parents for their support – from his days in Pine Hill Little League and East Lynn Pop Warner to those years in Lynn Babe Ruth and at Lynn Classical.
“I would like thank them for everything they’ve done for me – getting me to where I need to go today and making me the person I am,” said Dan. “And I’ve looked up to my brother, Matt, a lot in my life. He’s been a great example for me.”
Head coach Brian Vaughan, a former All-Scholastic running back for the 1990 Lynn English Super Bowl team quarterbacked by Chris Warren, said he witnessed “something special” at the Rams’ QB position this season.
“Dan had an unbelievable senior year, one of the best performances by anybody in the state,” said Vaughan. “It was the best season I’ve seen by a quarterback in this area in a long time.”
Vaughan, who rushed for 2,473 yards during a spectacular career at Northeastern, believes that Gisonno can excel at Western New England.
“Dan was recruited by a lot of D-2 and D-3 schools and he chose Western New England because he felt it was the best fit for him academically and athletically,” said Vaughan. “I think he’s going to play a lot of football there. He’s a competitor all the way and I’m excited for his future.”