Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

December 12, 2013

Stabile was the total package on the gridiron

(Continued)

Stabile was a three-year starter and led the Eagles’ defensive backs in tackles his final two years with a combined 150.

En route to BC, Stabile racked up an impressive career at Andover High, rushing 118 times for 876 yards and scoring 12 TDs as a senior in the Warriors’ pass-oriented run-and-shoot offense.

His sweetest high school memory? That’s easy.

“It has to be the Super Bowls,” said Stabile, who grew up in the Shawsheen section of Andover. “It has to be a thrill for kids today. At the time, it was probably even a bigger thrill.”

He played for legendary coach Dick Collins, who for the 1976 Eagle-Tribune All-Star team said of Stabile, “Offensively and defensively, I don’t think there is a player around who can touch him.”

“In my mind’s eye, Dick was always an icon,” said Stabile, who was inducted into the Andover High Hall of Fame in 2006. “He ruled the old-fashioned way, discipline and the concept of team and everybody playing a role. That really taught me hard work and discipline and teamwork. It sounds cliche, but they are life lessons I carry with me today.”

The second of four athletic brothers, Stabile said the tragic loss of his oldest sibling, Tony, to a stroke at a young age left “a huge hole” in the family.

Tony Stabile was being touted as one of the top running backs Andover had seen in years. A week after he was named MVP of the East-West game (the town’s junior high schools), he succumbed to a stroke.

“It had a tremendous impact,” he said of his brother’s death. “It had a lot to do with who I became and what I was able to accomplish.”

His younger brothers were also talented athletes. Bob Stabile scored a team-high 7 TDs for Andover in 1983 and then starred at UMass Lowell. Steve Stabile overcame major kidney surgery to start for the Golden Warriors and also captained the gymnastics team.

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