Valley Hockey League
Tanner Pride at it's Best!


It was opening night for the 2019 High School football season and The Peabody Tanners stormed their home field with high hopes and equally heavy hearts for their opener under the lights in front of their home fans. The game was being dedicated to Evelyn Pinto who lost her life in a car accident Labor Day weekend. Kickoff was just over 24 hours after her services – her son freshman running back Will and daughter Bianca were honorary captains at midfield surrounded by an endless amount of love and support “I’d do anything for anyone on this team, and I know they’d do the same for me. It’s unfortunate what happened to Will. We tried to do the best we could to come together for him," said captain Colby Therrian.

The game was one sided in Peabody's favor and the crowd was very familiar with the sadness surrounding the Pinto family. “I knew the game was being dedicated to my mom. I didn’t think I was going to get in," said Will Pinto.

"The crowd was chanting loudly and I heard them. They were yelling "We Want Will, We Want Will," said head coach Mark Bettencourt. "It was like the movie "Rudy," I thought maybe one carry and that's it but after hearing the crowd I couldn't take him out." Will carried the ball four straight times. He picked up a first down. He would be unstoppable on this night and with the ball on the five-yard line Will got the call and the ball. Touchdown!

“I obviously thought of my mom and all I could think of that’s for you mom," Will told me. I was super upset that she couldn’t be there to congratulate me. After every game she would be there."

“In the end zone he was a couple of feet off the ground, added captain Declan Russell. " It was awesome. He was so excited pointing up to his mom. His mom had a front row seat, it was awesome."

“I ran to Coach Betts..I jumped on him..he expected a hug but I jumped on him," said Will. The moment provided temporary relief for a grieving family that had been embraced by the entire Peabody community. In his first varsity opportunity Will Pinto stood ten feet tall.

 "Lots of emotions were going through my head and my heart, obviously I played my heart out for my mom and my family." Mom and all of Peabody were proud of the Freshman who played the role of a senior leader when it was needed the most!