Abdallah Khalil-Defending Norwood Week After Week

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
December, 2018
Article Body: 

Almost as soon as he learned how to walk, Norwood’s Abdallah Khalil was hitting the holes on the football field like a professional. Having a secret weapon in his dad, the Norwood resident was able to take part in the sport at a very early age.
“Football started in second grade, but by dad knew someone who got me on a team in first grade,” Khalil said. “Football was something that I really wanted to do; I loved watching it on tv and couldn’t wait to get onto the field myself.”
During his time playing on the town youth football team, Khalil played every position on the field at one point or another, but he specifically found his love for the game on the defensive line. The now senior captain of the Mustangs football squad would eventually show that he belonged on the defensive side of the ball.
“I’m happy to play offense or defense, but deep down in my heart I’m a defensive guy,” Khalil said. “I don’t model my game after anyone in particular, but I do love the way (Chicago Bear’s) Dick Butkus played the game, he was a monster. Nowadays, I pay attention to (Carolina Panther’s) Luke Kuechly and try to pick things from him, like the way he reads the play so quickly and reacts.”
It was in the seventh grade that Khalil realized that he had the talent to make a difference for his team on the field when a Walpole Coach came up to him after a game and told him that his team had to basically scheme primarily around his play. From that day on, not only did the Norwood linebacker know that he was special, but that other teams respected his game.
“Abdallah has been a starter for us since his sophomore season,” Norwood Coach Jim Tighe said. “Although he plays fullback and linebacker for us, he is willing to do just about anything that we ask of him.
Although a member of the varsity squad since his second year at Norwood High School, Khalil was a member of the freshman team when he got a chance to join the team on Thanksgiving Day against Dedham.
Prior to his sophomore campaign, Khalil found the weight room and according to Coach Tighe, became a big proponent of the work and dedicated himself to becoming stronger and getting faster.
“I wasn’t a big guy at about 175-180 pounds that year and I knew that I needed to get bigger; I’m around 230 now,” Khalil said. “I was doing a lot of leg strengthening and to my surprise, it actually helped me with my speed and explosiveness.”
In addition to his work ethic, Khalil finds himself watching films every chance he gets. He dissects it bit by bit until he finds something that will give him the edge on the upcoming opponent.
His endless work off the football field not only allowed him to dominate against his opponents, but it also earned him a Bay State Conference All Star award as well as being named the Best Defensive Player on the Norwood team, where he lead the squad in tackles.
Coming into his final campaign with his Mustang brothers, Khalil was hoping that the team could go out on top.
“I set high expectations coming into this season being my senior year,” Khalil said. “I’m hoping that the team can go .500, but there are a lot of good teams in the Tri-Valley League. Individually, I want to be named to the TVL All Star Team, having already being a BSC All Star; I would also like to be an All Scholastic.”
While Norwood has had a bit of a struggle this season, Tighe believes that things could have been a lot worse, if not for his star linebacker.
“He has been a big part of this team and his leadership to Norwood football has really motivated the younger kids,” the Norwood Coach said. “Although he hasn’t committed to a college yet, I think that he is still looking for an opportunity to play football.”
Khalil would definitely like to continue playing football on the collegiate level, but for the time being he is taking it one game at a time and waiting to see what happens.