PEABODY — Bishop Fenwick offensive lineman Tom MacDonald has made a decision for the next step in his career, signing a letter of intent to play football at Div. II Assumption College. MacDonald’s final list of schools came down to Assumption, Bentley University and Merrimack College. He made his choice shortly after a visit to Assumption’s campus in Worcester.
“I didn’t really know much about the school before I went there, but I had some Assumption coaches visit me at school during the year,” said MacDonald. “I was a little skeptical at first, but after I went on the official visit, I just fell in love with the place. It was really Coach (Tommy) Galt, the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, who sold me on it. The coaches really know their stuff over there.”
The 2018 season was a successful one for MacDonald. A Fenwick team captain as a senior, MacDonald’s play at left tackle earned him the Catholic Central League Offensive Player of the Year award and a CCL All-Star nod. Off the field, MacDonald’s leadership earned him the Brandon Burlsworth Character Award, a national award given to high school football players who give 100 percent on the field and to stand as a moral example to their team. MacDonald has also been selected to play in the 41st annual Shriner’s All-Star Football Classic this June.
“It’s obviously a huge honor to be chosen for those awards,” MacDonald said. “I’m not really one to draw attention to myself, but it is nice when offensive linemen get awards since it’s such an under-the-radar position.”
According to Dave Woods, MacDonald’s coach at Fenwick, it’s no surprise that everything came together for the senior this year.
“He really matured as a player and as a leader this year,” said Woods. “He’s a tremendous leader. He’s always positive out there and he was a great mentor to our younger players. He led our offseason lifting program, and he was the guy driving around picking up the younger guys to make sure they got to the facility every day. There would be times during practice when we’d just let him take the whole offensive line and run drills by themselves. He was that kind of leader.”
But now it’s time to turn the page and start preparing for his first season of college football. At 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, MacDonald certainly has the build to play offensive line at the next level. But Woods knows that MacDonald also has the skills and the drive to get the job done in college.
“He has all the tools, physically and mentally, to play in college, and he’s only going to get better,” said Woods. “He’s dedicated to working, and he’ll stick to whatever plan they give him to work on when he gets to Assumption. They guy is a workout warrior in the offseason, and he’ll be more than committed to getting better each and every day.”
MacDonald has already started to prepare for next season, hitting the weight room and the practice field to bulk up and hone his skills before training camp in late summer.
“I’m at 270 (pounds) right now, so I know that I’ll have to put on more weight to play college football,” said MacDonald. “So the idea right now is to work out and bulk up, both in terms of weight gain and strength gain, and just keep working on my fundamentals and my footwork and all that.”