Shayne Kerrigan enters his senior season as the starting quarterback for Foxboro High.
It’s one of the few positions he did not play in a game during his junior season as he started at wide receiver, defensive back and special teams. Kerrigan, among the best athletes the high school has to offer, rarely came off the field.
However, while it may appear on the surface that coach Jack Martinelli and the Warriors were forced into the decision, forced into throwing their best athlete at the most important position on the field, it’s far from the case.
It was a plan put in place four years ago.
Kerrigan entered his freshman year at Foxboro High hoping to play wide receiver. He had been a quarterback at the youth level, but with the athletic ability he’s showcased over the last four years, he thought catching touchdowns was something he thought he could excel in.
That was until assistant coach A.J. Dooley told Kerrigan to continue to developing as a quarterback. Dooley and the coaching staff saw down the road, they knew the program would be lacking at the position as the Class of 2019 went into its final season.
“At first, I was kind of bummed out,” Kerrigan recalled. “I always wanted to be a receiver, but once I realized it would mean I touch the ball on every play, it was like, I just felt like having the ball in my hands a lot will help my game and help the team.”
Kerrigan played quarterback on the freshman team and was a back-up on junior varsity level, all while continuing to play a plethora of other positions. That continued last year during Kerrigan’s junior season. While learning a new Foxboro playbook at receiver, as well as, defensive back and special teams, Kerrigan was also sporadically practicing with the quarterbacks.
It’s not his time to lead the Foxboro spread offense into the 2019 season.
“In the spread offense, to make it go, you want your best athlete at that position,” Martinelli said. “And he certainly fit that bill. You don’t have to depend on someone else getting him the ball, he has it. And he has the uncanny ability to extend plays when something isn’t there.”
Martinelli and Kerrigan both said playing so many different positions has helped him at quarterback.
Kerrigan understands the routes the wide receivers are going to run because he was in that position last year. He understands defensive coverages, and how a cornerback will play a receive, because he was in that position last year as well.
“We’re real happy with his progress, and not surprised by it,” Martinelli said.
Kerrigan will likely not see as many snaps in either defense or special teams as he did last year, strictly due to the Warriors wanting to keep him as fresh as they can. But he certainly has the ability to play the bigger snaps, and in the biggest of games.
“I think we’ll pick our spots on defense with him,” Martinelli said. “Right now, there’s some pretty good athletes in the secondary as well. And if we can have Shayne (Kerrigan) play one way, it makes him more effective.”
As a competitor, depicted by his success as a three-sport athlete at Foxboro, Kerrigan would like to be on the field as much as possible. He would like the showcase the tackling ability he gets from being a multi-time South Sectional champion wrestler, as well as the speed he has developed from being a standout on the coach Matt Noone’s lacrosse team.
But more than anything he just wants to help his football team win.
“I’m determined to win, I hate losing,” Kerrigan said. “We just want to play one game at a time. I think we have a good enough team, it’s good competition like it always is, but I think we have the team to do it.”