As Milton head coach Steve Dembowski wrote out his quarterback depth chart for the 2017 season, the third name he inserted was junior Luke McMenamin. A little over a year later and McMenamin has the Wildcats as a Super Bowl favorite heading into the postseason.”It was probably the first time in my life that I misread a quarterback race,” said Dembowski.
McMenamin was destined to be a Wildcat from the moment he fell in love with football. He began playing in third grade, participating in Milton’s Pop Warner and youth leagues where his games took place on Milton High School’s own Brooks Field.
His teammates growing up turned into his high school classmates and what originally was a hobby quickly turned into a passion.
“It started as being able to use football as a way to stay close to friends I had in school, but then it turned out we were pretty good,” said McMenamin. “We won when we were younger, and once you start winning it’s so fun to be a part of.”
Slowly growing into a six-foot-four inch, 205 pound frame with budding athleticism, McMenamin appeared to be the perfect cookie-cutter quarterback for Dembowski’s varsity system.
He continued to mature during his first two high school seasons playing for Milton’s lower-levels, increasing his arm strength and developing a rapport with his teammates. But upon arriving to camp his junior season, McMenamin discovered he was behind the other two quarterbacks on Milton’s roster.
“It was definitely really hard on me, showing up and starting as the third guy,” recalled McMenamin. “At the same time, I felt like always had a chance.”
McMenamin quickly showed in he deserved to play. His arm strength, accuracy and demeanor raised eyebrows. He gained Dembowski’s trust in commandeering the Wildcats spread, up-tempo offense and in week two of the regular season, with just over two minutes remaining in the first half, he entered the huddle against Quincy.
“I quickly realized that Luke needed to play,” said Dembowski. “So, I put him in in the second quarter of our second game, and he took us down the field and scored so fast in a two-minute drill we got the ball back before the end of the half.”
Since then, McMenamin has turned into one of the premiere quarterbacks in Eastern Mass. Over the course of nine games last season he threw for 2,027 yards and 20 touchdowns as the Wildcats reached the sectional final.
This past spring, he ran track to work on his quickness and athleticism to become more of a true dual-threat. Now, as a senior, McMenamin looks as if he has saved his best for last.
He’s dismantling defenses with his pre-snap adjustments, precision passing, and elusiveness.
Through six games McMenamin has compiled 1,243 yards and 16 touchdowns. Last week he surged the Wildcats into first place in the Bay State Herget throwing a pair of perfect deep balls for touchdowns as Milton took down Div. 1 foe Needham.
“I thought the Needham game was his best as it pertains to in-game management,” said Dembowski. “He didn’t hesitate. It just showed how much he has progressed.”
Milton will enter the Div. 4 South tournament as the number one overall seed where McMenamin will have a chance to lead the Wildcats to a Super Bowl berth on the same field a decade after he was introduced to the game, and where he earned his first opportunity.
“This is my 10th year playing on this field,” said McMenamin. “We’re going out there trying to earn one more to chance to play on this field together. As long as we keep going out, and doing what we’re doing, we’ll get as many chances as possible.”