In 1992 a small school from the southeastern part of the state was trying to build a program that would be respected by other schools in the state.
To this end they scheduled a game with New Bedford (one of the strongest division one schools in Massachusetts.
Mansfield won 35-14!
The 1992 edition of the Mansfield Green Hornet football team was one of the highest scoring teams in the school's history.
During the regular season they outscored their opponents 267-42 in the first half of their games.
This allowed the younger team members to play the second half of most games.
These younger players would use this valuable playing time to hone their skills, which would lead to another Super Bowl in 1994.
This team had tremendous balance. Two quarterbacks, Alex Aleman and Dave Camelio, a backfield of Tony Forte, Omari Walker, and Matt Carpenter, wide-outs Dave Lundell, Josh Hines, and Rich Ruffing, and a solid line lead by Jamie Sullivan, Steve Botelho, Mario Corona, and Josh Marder. In the defensive secondary there was Craig Nelson, Pat Titus, Kris Drew, and Ben Moore.
To many fans this was as good a team as any to play for Mansfield, and to some it was the greatest. Whether it was or not, the town of Mansfield is proud of the members of this team. They have become solid citizens in the world community and great roll models to the youth of Mansfield.
Ed note: Enrolment in Mansfield was one third the enrollment it is now.
1992 senior class; 126 students
2012 senior class; 362 students
It seems like a distant memory.
Coach Redding stood before the Mansfield School Committee and delivered an impassioned plea on behalf of the school's athletes to stay in the Hockomock League.
Mansfield, the smallest school in the Hockomock for most of the league's 60-plus years of existence, had been mired in its second division for most of the decade. And as usually happens every 10 to 15 years, concerns over the town's perceived reputation as a "loser" was voiced to the school committee.
After several weeks a sub-committee recommended Mansfield move to a smaller division. The school committee then held hearing in the school auditorium. To the committee's credit they listened to the people who spoke.
Recommendations to hire coaches who could be teachers and role models instead of baby-sitters, establishing the power of tradition. And, they listened to Coach Redding- not a Mansfield native, but a newcomer whose commitment to the Green and White is as strong as his love for the Red and White was when he played for North Attleboro.
All he wanted was a chance. A chance to implement his system. A chance to mold the next generation of student-athletes into young adults who understood the importance of dignity and sportsmanship.
The results came sooner than expected. "Fortunately, we had a very talented team," he said "It was a combination of talent and hard work during the off-season."
In 1989 Mansfield won the Hockomock League Championship and made its first Super Bowl appearance, and then in 1992 its first Super Bowl victory.
First week of 1992
By B.J. Schecter
DIVISION 1 NONLEAGUE:
Mansfield 35, New Bedford 14: Omari Walker scored three times, including a 90- yard kickoff return, to power No. 15 Mansfield and ruin Wayne Hamlet's debut.
Second super bowl appearance and first win.
Mansfield over Winthrop 20-12
By B.J. Schecter, Contributing Reporter
WINTHROP -- Mansfield has come up with big plays all season. Against a gutsy Winthrop defense yesterday, Mansfield struggled, but Omari Walker came up with the biggest play of the season to turn the game around.
With 10 seconds remaining in the first half and Mansfield trailing, 12-7, Walker showed why he is one of the top backs in the state. On fourth and 3 from its own 2, Winthrop punted. Walker picked up the ball at the Winthrop 44, bolted down the right side, cut inside and sprinted into the end zone for the touchdown as time expired, giving Mansfield a 13-12 lead at intermission. Backed by Walker's two touchdowns, Mansfield, ranked fourth in the Globe's Top 20 poll, defeated Winthrop, 20-12, capping a storybook season with the Division 3B Super Bowl title in front of 4,000 fans.
"I was supposed to get the ball and take a knee," said Walker. "When I got the ball and I saw all the room, I had to take off. I figured the worst thing that could happen is I could get yelled at."
Walker, who finished his high school career with 1,297 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns, didn't have a spectacular day (79 yards on 18 carries), but came through with key first downs and big plays when Mansfield needed them.
"With Omari, you always have to give him the green light," said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. "He has the ablilty to take control of the game. He didn't throw up the numbers he usually does today, but he made some pretty big plays."
Winthrop running back Anthony Palmer was impressive. The junior rushed for 96 yards and scored two touchdowns. More importantly he sparked his team, bouncing off defenders to gain the extra yard.
Midway through the second quarter, Palmer was hit at the line of scrimmage, bounced off another defender and went 58 yards for a touchdown, giving Winthrop a 12-7 lead.
Defense won this game. Mansfield (11-0), the Hockomock League champion, romped past every team it faced. Its closest game was a 27-9 verdict over Stoughton. Northeastern Conference champion Winthrop (9-2) played tough defense, shutting down Mansfield in the first half. Mansfield played solid defense as well, especially in the second half, forcing three turnovers.
"We never saw a defense this tough," said Walker. "We were all serious in the locker room at halftime. We had to change some things because they were picking us up so well."
With 4:24 remaining and Mansfield leading, 13-12, Jamie Sullivan knocked the ball loose from Winthrop quarterback Mike Mason and Eric Schleman recovered at the Winthrop 34. Six plays later, Tony Forte ran it in from 4 yards out. Sullivan's kick gave Mansfield a 20-12 lead.
"We stressed defense in practice all week," said Redding. "We knew we could score, and we had to stop them. Defense and special teams is the reason we won."
On ninth play of Winthrop's first possession, Mason (79 yards, 1 TD, 3 interceptions) connected with Palmer for a 31-yard touchdown. Mansfield answered early in the second quarter when Walker ran in from 2 yards. Sullivan's kick made it 7-6.
"They came up with the big plays, especially on special teams," said Winthrop coach Tony Fucillo. "Walker's touchdown at the end of the half really turned the game around."
11 David Lundell SR 12 Fred Vallett SO 14 David Camelio SR 17 Alex Aleman SR 18 Josh Hines JR 19 Warren Bacon SO 20 Robert Wickersham JR 21 Tremaine Johnson SO 22 Daniel Bennett JR 23 Jason Aleman SO 25 Richard Ruffing JR 26 Tony Forte (C) SR 27 Craig Nelson SR 28 John Armstrong JR 32 Gary DeGirolamo JR 33 Robert Smith SO 34 Robert Reed SO 35 Patrick Titus SR 40 Eric Palmer SO 41 Jonathan Carpenter SO 42 Judson Brown JR 43 Omari Walker SR 44 Ryan Palmieri SO 45 Michael Bernstein SO
46 Matthew Carpenter (C) SR 47 Carlos Medeiros JR 50 Jamie Sullivan (C) SR 51 Martin Bray JR 52 Steve Botelho SR 53 Eric Schleman SO 54 Brian Lavery SR 55 Craig Smith JR 56 Jeffrey Devine SO 58 Joel Botelho SO 59 Stephen Medeiros SO 62 Mario Corona SR 63 Sean Gray JR 64 David Sullivan SO 68 Matthew Levesque JR 69 John Ewens SO 71 Joshua Marder SR 72 Paul Lunn SO 74 Kristoffer Drew SR 79 Paul Marder SO 80 Chris Brides SO 83 Kerry Taylor SO 84 Benjamin Moore SR
BROCKTON'S FIRST IN TOP 20 POLLBoston Globe
By Mark Singelais
Brockton (10-1) is the No. 1 team in this season's final Globe Top 20 poll, selected by the school sports staff with input from coaches. Wellesley (2), Mansfield (3), North Quincy (4) and Xaverian (5) round out the top five.