LYNN — It’s safe to say that St. John’s Prep graduate Max Freedman gave his max effort in the final game of his high school football career.
Freedman, knowing the finish line was near, left it all on the field in last week’s 58th Agganis All-Star football game.
A wide receiver/defensive back from Marblehead, Freedman caught five passes (one for a touchdown) for 110 yards and recovered a fumble in leading the North all-stars to an exciting 20-14 win over the South at Manning Field.
“It was special and something I definitely don’t take for granted,” Freedman, who was named the North’s MVP, said. “I’m really lucky that I had the Agganis game to play in. I love football and I feel really lucky that I was able to play in that game.
“I wanted to have fun and make it a memorable game because it was my last high school game,” Freedman said. “I didn’t know how much I’d be on the field because of the rotations and things like that. I just wanted to have a good time. I think I did a good job making it a memorable experience. (It’s) one that I’ll never forget.”
Freedman was all over the field. He caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Danvers quarterback Brendan Treacy, putting the North ahead 13-0 toward the end of the first quarter.
Whenever the North needed a big play to help move the chains, Freedman delivered. But it was his defense that sealed the deal. With the North clinging to its 6-point lead, the South knocked on the door in the closing seconds on the North’s side of the field. Freedman’s fumble recovery squashed the threat and capped the victory.
“Most of the kids on the field were kids I’d heard about or read about in newspaper articles,” Freedman said. “It was a real honor to play with and against those kids on the field.”
Freedman couldn’t have asked for a better ending to his high school football career. He helped the Eagles to a 40-22 win over Catholic Memorial in the Division 1 state championship game at Gillette Stadium in December. Leading up to the Agganis game, Freedman had one final week of practice with five of his Eagles teammates (Kevin Dewing, James Hanley, Patrick Keefe, Colton Tangney and James Taylor) and their coach, Brian St. Pierre.
“It was a really good experience,” said Freedman, a two-sport athlete who also played baseball. “We all thought we had that last go-round together during the Super Bowl. It was a sad moment for us knowing that we all had to go our separate ways. We’re all playing at different colleges. It was great having one last moment with my teammates and coaches. I really didn’t take it for granted.”
His next chapter on the gridiron brings him to Division III Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. The Polar Bears begin preseason workouts next month in preparation for Sept. 14’s season opener against New England Small College Athletic Conference rival Hamilton.
“When I was looking for schools, I was really just looking for the best school I could go to academically,” Freedman said. “Bowdoin’s a prestigious school with a great track record for academic excellence. Right when I got there, I felt comfortable. If something happened and I couldn’t play football I knew I’d feel happy there. People tell you to make sure it’s not purely a football decision. That’s something I kept in mind during the recruiting process.”