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Mateo Goldman, 13, serves as a daily inspiration for the Duxbury football team as honorary captain

Mateo Goldman, 13, serves as a daily inspiration for the Duxbury football team as honorary captain

Before every game, members of the Duxbury football team sit in the locker room and gather around honorary captain Mateo Goldman.

Goldman, 13, has had pediatric cancer since age 8 and paces around the inner ring like a boxer and delivers an inspirational pregame speech to strengthen the Dragons. His speeches frequently include a world leader's wisdom, and he sometimes sprinkles in personal details about everything he's endured to make sure the message resonates.

Goldman then screams Strength! and his teammates chime in Honor, Liberty! and send him a scream.

Senior captain Bowman Rhinesmith said, "Everyone loves Mateo. He's an amazing kid.

Goldman, who has attended every practice and game this season, will be there Friday at 7:30 p.m. as the second-seeded Dragons (10-1) face top-seeded Scituate (10-2) in the Division 4 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.

Goldman, who has had two bone marrow transplants including one from Leo in the last four years, is now in remission. doctors checked his lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, and blood at a checkup on Wednesday, and determined what his family and teammates already knew: he's flourishing.

Senior captain Delby Lemieux said, "He's not the oldest on the team or one of the most powerful, but he's undoubtedly the toughest and strongest,' He said every day. "He comes to practice with a smile on his face and a positive attitude that has an impact on the whole team."

When Leo first suggested the idea of his brother standing on the sideline for a game, Duxbury coach Matt Landolfi took it one step further. He proposed that Goldman go to every practice and every game, then join the team, and conduct pep talks every Friday night.

Goldman takes his profession seriously, investing hours into every speech from Monday through Friday to ensure he's prepared for each game, which makes him feel a sense of joy he wasn't sure he'd ever experience again, and he wants to help return the spirit as soon as possible.

Goldman stated, "They make me feel really special, but I feel like one of the guys." "They make me feel really special at the same time, I'm like one of the guys."

Landolfi praised Goldman for his thoughtful smile that brightens up the room and said it's simple to tell how much his teammates gravitate toward him. It helps them to believe in one another and themselves while watching someone who's had so much, yet has so much incomprehensible energy and passion.

Mandy Goldman's mother, Mandy, feels engrossing at seeing her son experience such pure and genuine pleasure is beyond unsettling.

A year ago, their children weren't sure if they'd be together for Christmas, since her son was fighting for his life. Nearly a year later, watching him run onto the field as the Dragons dispatched Foxborough in the semis exactly five years after he was first diagnosed felt both surreal and immensely glad.

Seeing him is like hope in action, Mandy Goldman stated. Its stories like this that guide us through our darkest moments. Seeing a child embraced by a community, being perceived as super-human and smiling ear to ear, it's been special on so many levels, he added.

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Trevor Hass can be reached at.

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