hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

Sports

May 2, 2012

Hillies again in demand by college football teams

(Continued)

"He's a gentle giant," said O'Connor. "He is a hard worker in the weight room, on the field and in the classroom."

"He's a big kid with a lot of potential," said Trinity head coach Jeff Devanney. "I think he has the desire to want to be good, he's a very hard-working man who cares about his academics and wants to be a good football player. We are very excited about him coming to Trinity."

"It's an awesome school with a great campus," said Haskell. "I always envisioned myself playing football at the next level, but I didn't think it could become a reality until this season."

Filliger is looking to play center for the first time in his career at Worcester State after an excellent senior year at guard as a Hillie.

"He's a true team player," said O'Connor. "He worked 100 percent whether it's a practice or a game. He will be sorely missed next year."

"We liked his drive," said Worcester State head coach Brien Cullen. "He's a little bit undersized but has good knowledge of the game. He seemed like a dedicated person and someone who will be able to help us out down the road."

Coming into high school, Filliger did not think he would have a shot at ever playing beyond Haverhill High.

"I didn't think that I could play at the next level," said Filliger. "But I credit (O'Connor) for giving me confidence to know that I could."

Nick DeFusco, a senior co-captain is attempting to walk on at Division 1 UMass-Amherst as a linebacker this fall. Blaine Joia, the team's MVP in 2011, is hoping to play a post grad year next season at the Hyde School in Woodstock, Conn.

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