Anthony Rudiman wins 2022 DCL Thorpe Player of the Year


Provided by: Anthony Rudiman

Anthony Rudiman poses for a picture with his helmet and pads.

James McDermott, Sports Editor

Westford Academy Football won their first DCL title since 2015, and posted a stellar 6-2 regular season record, not once losing a single DCL matchup along the way. Senior running back and captain Anthony Rudiman was a large reason for the Ghosts’ success. He posted an impressive 1,415 rushing yards, 355 receiving yards, and 20 touchdowns over the course of 11 total games. As a result, on Nov. 21, Rudiman was awarded the 2022 DCL Thorpe Player of the Year.

While running through the DCL week in and week out, Rudiman put many teams on notice. His tough running style combined with his strength made him a player no one looked forward to trying to bring down on a Friday night. 

“He spent a lot of time in the off-season lifting weights,” WA Football Head Coach Bruce Rich said. “Two years ago he was disappointed that he was not the starting running back. He worked his butt off the next two years and became one of the best backs in the state.”

Rudiman’s drive comes from pushing himself to be the best player on the field. He stated that he does not believe in superstitions because in his opinion they do more harm than good, so instead, he mentally prepares himself by getting amped up for the pure competition ahead. 

Rich made it very clear that what impresses him the most about Rudiman is his determination.

“His work ethic is tremendous,” Rich said. “There is no one in the league that works harder than him.”

When asked what caused him to realize that Rudiman had taken the leap to become a DCL Thorpe Player of the Year caliber player, he cited one specific play from the 2022 season. 

“When we were playing Lincoln-Sudbury, we were driving down the field,” Rich said. “We called a sliding route to him and he wasn’t open, but our quarterback threw him the ball anyway. He caught it and with four guys on his back he scored a touchdown. That game we won by one score, and that was a big one.”

The situation no athlete enjoys thinking about is when their high school athletic career will come to an end. Being a senior, this situation had become a reality for Rudiman. While this award was an amazing way to end his high school football career, it is still difficult for any athlete to grasp the reality that putting on another Westford jersey is not in their future. 

“I will remember all the time we spent together and the close bond this team had forever,” Rudiman said.

Luckily for Rudiman, his talent and work ethic have given him the opportunity that a very small percentage of athletes ever get; to continue his athletic career in college. 

“I do plan on playing football somewhere next year,” Rudiman said. “I am still keeping my options open.”

While Rudiman was rewarded with an incredible individual award, this season meant so much more to him than just the accolades. 

“This season meant putting the Westford Academy name on the map and I felt the team and I have done that well,” Rudiman said.