The second spike in COVID-19 cases has ravaged Massachusetts in recent weeks and left many student athletes unable to compete in their fall season sport.
With the fall season soon shifting into winter, Framingham State’s football captain, junior Cully Curran reflects on the season that could have been.
“We felt a ton of disappointment, but at the same time it’s a situation that’s not in our control,” Curran said.
Curran grew up in Arlington playing football since early elementary school, and was voted captain at Framingham State his sophomore year.
“I have an older brother that was playing, and older cousins that were playing, so it worked perfect for me,” Curran said. “And once I started playing, I fell in love with it.”
Last year, the team ended their season 8-3 overall where they fell in the first round of the NCAA playoffs against Wesley College.
Curran ended his 2019 season with 46 solo tackles, 30 assists, and an interception.
This is Curran’s second year as captain, and although disheartened to hear he and his teammates would not get the chance to play together, he is grateful for the chance they’ve had to stay together as a team – even off the field.
“We’ve kind of had to bond over something that isn’t football. We’re all used to having it as the middle ground in our relationship,” Curran said. “For us, it was learning how to deal with adversity together and continue relationships when it’s outside of sports.”
The student-athletes were fortunate the University provided opportunities for conditioning and training during the offseason to assure their physical and mental health.
“Right now, we do have small socially distanced team workouts for those off or near campus a couple times a week,” Curran said. “Everything is just adjusting on the fly for us.”
Like many other captains, Curran was faced with the challenge of keeping the team spirit alive and maintaining hope to play in the future. He added that a big factor behind his leadership is head coach Tom Kelley.
“It’s easy to be a leader when things are going well,” Curran said. “But, I think a true test of a leader is how you hold yourself and others accountable during the bad times and that’s something they’ve really emphasized with me.”
Curran said how proud he was of his teammates for the dedication and passion for the sport they have demonstrated in troubling times.
“I’ve seen growth from a lot of people that we didn’t have last year,” Curran said. “They became more motivated individuals, and seeing them develop as people is what I’m most proud of.”
Curran hopes life will be back to normal by next season for another chance to compete in the NCAA tournament alongside his team.
“I’ve made relationships with people that I’ll know for the rest of my life that came through playing football, and that goes way beyond just games and running plays together.”
Even though Curran is only a junior and still has another potential year to play, he leaves some words of advice for the incoming and current underclassmen.
“Don’t worry about X factors that you have no control over because it’s just going to be a waste of energy. Just put all of your energy into things that you yourself can control,” Curran said. “And if you do that, everything else will take care of itself because you did the best of what you could.”