LYNN — There’s no doubt that Lynn Tech’s Emerson Ramirez left his mark on the football field during his time with the Tigers. After proving his worth at linebacker his sophomore year Ramirez became the backbone of the Tigers defense for two seasons before graduating this spring.
Ramirez is quick to give credit to Tech coach James Runner and defensive coordinator Jason McCuish for helping him emerge into the dominant linebacker he became.
“They’re literally the reason I am the way I am at linebacker,” Ramirez said. “Coach McCuish and all the coaches always said that I had a ‘nose for the football.’ But there’s another level when it comes to reading the little stuff and understanding the other team’s offense. He taught me how to read the plays and be where I needed to be.”
Now Ramirez will get one last chance to put on his pads and step on the turf at Manning Field when he closes out his football career at Thursday night’s (7) 58th Agganis All-Star football game.
“This was my last year playing football,” Ramirez said. “I love the game so much but I had a choice and work is something I’ve been doing since sophomore year and I’m focusing on that.
“If I knew what I was feeling I’d try to put it into words but it hasn’t really hit me yet,” Ramirez said. “I know it’s going to hit me hard Thursday at some point though.”
Ramirez will represent Lynn Tech on the South squad, along with teammate Elvin Gonzalez. Walking into the first team practices last week with a familiar face by his side made the moment even more memorable for Ramirez.
“That’s something that made me really happy when I found out,” Ramirez said. “Elvin, he’s like a brother to me, even apart from football. Having him there was a big deal and added to it all. It was great being able to walk in to the practices with him.
“Going in I didn’t know mostly everyone there,” Ramirez said. “But we’ve gotten to know each other as players and now we’re starting to play like it’s a real team. We’re all starting to act like brothers.”
Ramirez’s career as a Tiger came to a close at the hands of Pope John and coach Paul Sobolewski in a 24-0 loss in the Division 8 North semifinal. Now, with Sobolewski coaching the South team, the playoff rivalry has turned into a bond while preparing for Thursday.
“I can’t say anything wrong about (Sobolewski and the coaches),” Ramirez said. “They are good coaches. Talking to them the first day, we talked about the schemes they used playing against us, it made for a good laugh. There’s definitely no bad blood there we’ve all been excited.
“It’s definitely been an adjustment practicing after a few months,” Ramirez said. “But practices aren’t that different. It’s mostly just learning the defense. Since football season has been over I’ve still been working out. I had a feeling I might be playing in this game so I was staying in shape.”
Ramirez caught the eye of Sobolewski and the other Agganis coaches, recently being named one of four South team co-captains.
“Not to sound over-confident or anything but I looked forward to this game going into senior year,” Ramirez said. “This was one of my goals going into the season. When I found out I was playing in it I jumped a few times. I was also named one of three captains so far. For me, the other captains are all good players too.”
With his focus shifting to playing one last game Ramirez wants to leave everything out on the field, not just for himself but for all his South teammates.
“I just really want to have that defense ready coming in and just keep pounding every play,” Ramirez said. “Not just me personally but for the whole team. I told my teammates it’s going to have to be a team game. I don’t want to force anything and try to just have success personally. We want to give it all we have.”