STOUGHTON – Stoughton High senior Anthony Girolamo looks like someone who belongs to a football field.
Rated at 5-11 and 225 pounds, he plays running like a man among the boys. He’s a punishing ball carrier who only runs harder as the game deepens.
Getting onto the football field for his senior season, at least so early on, did not seem likely following an injury in the Fall II football season.
On April 15, Girolamo underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus. The initial prognosis was that he might be back in time for Thanksgiving.
As an undersized defender in the secondary, Girolamo has been through this. Just over five months after the surgery, he returned to the field on September 24 against Mansfield and has hardly been released since.
“Honestly, I was scared, but I knew what to do and I went,” Girolamo said of his rehab. “My doctors and physiotherapists are wonderful. I give them a lot of credit and came back here and it feels good.
Girolamo has given the Black Knights a boost since his return. He was a major factor in the victories over Oliver Ames (35-7) and Brockton (31-13).
Even with the quick recovery, Girolamo says he feels good.
“It’s just icing and stuff,” Girolamo said of the current process. “I feel 100% right now. It feels good to have all these litters and come back.
Against the Tigers, he only needed 12 carries to total 118 yards and two touchdowns. His bulldozer mentality has exhausted OA.
“Girolamo is getting in shape and when he gets going just forget about it,” Stoughton coach Greg Burke said after the win.
Against Brockton, Girolamo ran 19 times for 168 yards and two touchdowns. The victory catapulted Stoughton from outside the top 16 in Division 3 to No.13.
“This kid just had serious knee surgery five months ago,” Burke said. “I am very proud of the children, it’s good for us. We remove a monkey from our back to put us at 3-3. “
Against the Boxers, Girolamo had just six races in the first half before having 13 in the second half.
“We just started our attack and we realized the running game was there and we just hammered it in the second half,” said Girolamo.
As the Black Knights try to advance to the playoffs, Girolamo, who also plays linebacker, will surely play a big part in that push.
“(Brockton’s win) will give us a lot of points, we’re just trying to qualify for the playoffs,” said Burke. “I think every week we’ll get better, but we have two tough guys left and that’s it. “
Without Girolamo, the Black Knights lost to Norwood, 21-14, but rebounded to defeat Braintree, 27-26, as Jonah Ly managed the tying TD reception with two seconds remaining and then scored the winning extra point.
“It was a little scary,” Girolamo said. “I missed the first few games, but I trusted my team, I came back and we are performing very well.