Recent News from Matignon High School
Dolores Carey-Marujo '20 Makes Her Mark on the Matignon Gridiron
November 20, 2017
by Matt Noonan of the Somerville Journal
Before her first JV football catch was seen on Twitter last month, sophomore Dolores Carey-Marujo was primarily known for her athletic ability as a member of the Matignon JV girls basketball team.
Her hardwood skills were so impressive that it was hard for anyone to look away, especially the school’s football coach Mike Hill, who described Carey-Marujo as a “very physical and talented basketball player.”
Yet, little did Hill know that one day he would be coaching that basketball player he enjoyed watching when she approached him about competing for a spot on this year’s team.
“I was really hoping this was true,” Hill said of his initial conversation with Carey-Marujo.
Indeed, it was true. Carey-Marujo, who lives in East Somerville, has watched her younger brother compete on the gridiron while also playing catch with her dad in the backyard over the years, and had always wanted to play the game herself, and now that dream could become a reality on the varsity level with the Warriors on the North Cambridge campus someday soon.
Since joining the JV team, Carey-Marujo has been extremely dedicated, according to Hill. She’s focused on improving her skills, both on offense and defense, while doing the best she can to master the playbook between games and practices.
“She has been extraordinarily committed,” said Hill. “She came to pretty much every lift during the summer, every team activity we had she was there and she is easily one of the most committed members of the team. It has been awesome to see her grow.”
To assist with her growth, her initial catch, which was seen by many on social media last month, provided Carey-Marujo confidence that should certainly help her become the player she aspires to be.
“There was a ton of support (after that catch went viral), and everyone was super proud of me,” said a smiling Carey-Marujo, who admitted she was unsure if she was going to be able to catch the pass in zone coverage. “But it was awesome.”
Hill smirked when asked about the catch seen on Twitter. He just said that everyone was talking about it, instead of the team’s potential comeback against Whittier Tech.
“No one wanted to talk about the game,” he said. ”(Instead), the talk was ‘Did you see Dolores’ catch on Twitter?’”
The catch continues to remain on the minds of both Hill and Carey-Marujo, who know it is just the first of many receptions to be recorded between now and the end of the season. Carey-Marujo hopes the reception will inspire both her friends and peers to consider trying out for the team next season, or perhaps, to pursue another sport or activity they love.
“At first, it was just weird for everyone, because it was like, ‘Whoa, a girl (is playing football)?’ But once I am out here (they realized) I was just another football player,” said Carey-Marujo, who also has aspirations to compete on the collegiate level.
“It is nice to know we all are getting the opportunity to do something we have an interest in and finding a love for it.”
Hill, who was extremely welcoming to Carey-Marujo since that first conversation, admires her courage to try out for the team, and said he has been approached recently by other female student-athletes at the school who are interested in competing for the Warriors next season.
“What she has done is allowed others to see this is not undoable. And even though there are other girls that play throughout the state (for their respective high school football programs), it is always good to have one in our program,” said Hill.
“I know from within the hallways, it is a source of pride, and (football) should not be an exclusive game, it should be for anyone that wants to play.”
Carey-Marujo certainly wants to play, and she hopes to use the remaining days in the current season to improve her skills. She also hopes she can assist the JV team in securing their first win of the season. Matignon is winless through five games, but those setbacks haven’t stopped Carey-Marujo from continuing to hone her skills in a game she plans to be a part of for some time.
“Football has always been something in the back of my mind, I just never really had the guts to do it, and so knowing how open my coaches were about the whole situation I thought I really had to give it a try in my sophomore year,” said Carey-Marujo.
The experience has certainly turned out quite well for her.
Said Hill, “Everyone loves that she is doing what she is doing. They’re just so supportive, and she deserves it. She has done great things for us, and it is (why) more (student-athletes) want to join the team.”