Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

January 2, 2014

David beats Goliath as Giribaldi has game of life in annual classic

Giribaldi has game of life in annual classic

(Continued)

He’s a junior in class, but not in name. He and his father, also named David, have different middle names.

Big David was an Eagle-Tribune All-Star in football and basketball at Lawrence High and a Christmas Tourney All-Star in 1981. He was an assistant to Dan O’Rourke with the Rigo Nunez-led Lawrence team and was later head coach at Lawrence and assistant to David Fazio at Andover.

“He doesn’t talk about it too much,” young David said. “But I’ve heard from others. It’s nice to fulfill some legacies.”

Giribaldi and mates have plenty of skill, but he said this wasn’t about skill.

“We’re all a bunch of tough kids,” he said. “We were the tougher team (Saturday night).”

Giribaldi used to be the biggest, baddest kid on the block.

But he’s had an unusual career. He was the youth football and hoop phenom, but then kids shot past him.

He’s only about 5-8 ... the 6-foot he’s sometimes listed at is laughable.

“I used to be the biggest, now I’m the smallest,” said Giribaldi, who was a starter in football as a freshman, but gave up the sport.

Smallest except in the harder-to-gauge categories of quickness, confidence, resilience, skills and, of course, heart.

Coach Fazio seemed pleased and relieved but this had to mean everything to him. He had to endure the hazing scandal a few years back and while he’s one of the winningest coaches in state history (now 377-172 at Andover), all those losses to Central had to take their toll on the former Central star, who is in the school’s Hall of Fame.

Fazio brought his A game. He kept the “Oh, no, not again!!” thoughts out of his club’s head when his Golden Warriors fell behind 8-0 at the outset. Then Andover built a 16-point lead in the third, only to see Central charge back to within 1 early in the fourth.

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