No. 15 Chelmsford finds its Joy

CHELMSFORD, Mass. -- Four years ago, Chelmsford defeated Marshfield, 23-20, in the Division 1A Super Bowl.

At that time, Tim Joy was playing linebacker for Chelmsford’s Pop Warner team, but he knew that through hard work and dedication, his time with the Lions would come.

Last week, Joy was elected a captain for this year’s squad, and is determined to get Chelmsford back to that point.

“Second place is never good enough for me,” Joy said. “I just want my team and myself to the be the best it has ever been and that’s my goal.”

Chelmsford head coach Bruce Rich has been around the program for 50 years now and said that Joy is the first junior captain he could ever remember. Rich knows that Joy is an amazing tight end and linebacker, but also thinks he has a good leader for the next two years.

“His leadership is outstanding, he’s years ahead of his time,” Rich said of Joy. “I could see back in middle school that he had that work ethic and that Tim just saw what he needed to do.”

When Chelmsford was making that playoff run in 2007, Joy – then in eighth grade – would come into the Chelmsford weight room before school almost every day to bulk up. He started as a freshman at inside linebacker and, now, as a junior, is one of the most feared players on the roster.

Joy now stands 6-foot-2, weighs 205 pounds and has a 4.7-second 40-yard dash time. Boston College already has shown interest in recruiting Joy to play at Chestnut Hill.

“He’s a very mature young man, the kids look up to him, and as you can see – he’s a man-child,” Rich joked about Joy’s size. “He’s earned that respect.”

The Lions are coming off of a 6-5 campaign last year and return starting running back Joe Gennaro, who rushed for over 1,300 yards last season.

Joy believes that with fellow co-captains Gennaro, Zach Hayes, and A.J. Rotella as the team’s core, the team is poised to make a run in a loaded Merrimack Valley Conference.

“I think we’re already motivated enough, but I’m just going to show them how much it matters to me,” Joy said of his teammates. “I think everyone in [the locker room] shares the same desire to win a championship this year.”


2009 record: 6-5

Coach: Bruce Rich (16th year, 106-46-2)

Players to watch: Tim Joy, Jr., LB/TE, 6-2, 205 lbs.; Joe Gennaro, Sr., RB, 5-8, 170 lbs.; Zach Hayes, Sr., DB/FB, 5-10, 190 lbs.; A.J. Rotella, Sr., QB, 5-10, 170 lbs.; Arron Witkus, Sr., WR, 6-0, 175 lbs.; Anthony Andre, Sr., WR, 6-3, 175 lbs.; Kevin Stuczynski, Sr., DL/OL, 6-5, 240 lbs.; A.J. Jaquint, Sr., WR, 6-2, 185 lbs.; Eddie Sheridan, Sr., DB, 5-10, 165 lbs.

Strengths: Skills positions, speed.

Weaknesses: Physicality, depth.

Outlook: Coach Rich will have to fill some big holes along the offensive line in order to compete with opposing defenses in the MVC. The Lions’ offense will run mostly through Gennaro; whether they have him line up in the backfield or split him out wide, teams will have to watch his speed and quickness. On defense, Chelmsford switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme in the offseason. Joy will stop the run in the middle of the set and the secondary will look to beat teams that underestimate its quickness and balance.