By Matt Noonan
CAMBRIDGE, MA – Framingham State’s Tom Kelley is certainly excited for tomorrow’s contest, as his Rams will face his son’s Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buccaneers in the “Kelley Cup.”
This particular game certainly has a special meaning for Kelley, along with his sons Mike Kelley (Massachusetts Maritime) and Patrick Kelley (Framingham State).
“(I’m) excited (and) I am nervous because they’re a very good team,” said Tom Kelley, who will be coaching against his son Mike for the seventh time.
“Their offensive (line) is scary, they’re better defensively than people are giving them credit for and we’ve watched them (on film) the last couple weeks and they’re really coming around defensively and everyone’s giving us fits, (especially) our offense, so I am sure they’re going to come up big, so we’ve got to play our A-game for sure.”
After Wednesday’s New England Football Writers’ luncheon at Harvard University concluded, Noontime Sports caught up with the seven-year head coach to chat about the game.
On coaching against his son: “I’m real proud to be part of this (tradition) and have two sons involved in the greatest profession on earth. It’s really an exciting time. There is going to be a lot of family and there are going to be a lot of alums looking at this game, so this it what it’s all about.
“It (isn’t easy), but that’s the way it’s broken down and Mike’s at his alma mater, he’s really proud of what they’re doing down there and his career as an athlete and a coach, but it is what it is.”
On the Kelley Cup tradition: “There’s some tradition, but this will be our seventh one. They won the first one and moments – I don’t know, but it’s a bitter sweet thing (because) when you win the game you’re really happy to do that and then you look on the other side and that’s my son.”
On last year’s overtime thriller: “They had us. It was particularly tough on my son because they were up the whole game and we came roaring back and we had to make huge plays at the end of regulation to tie it up and then we got into overtime and we had some veterans that stepped up at that point, so I am sure they’ll remember that and it’s going to come back to motivate them.”
On containing the Buccaneers offense: “I don’t think you stop them. I think you try and slow them down a little bit and we’ll do that by trying to control the ball, (but it’ll) be a big challenge because our guys are going to be out there a lot. We play a lot of guys on defense, which is a good thing, but can you get them in and out because they’re a fast paced (offense) that’s pressing all the time, so we’ll have to suck it up and come up with big plays.”