CCHS star honors family member  

By Bill Sones Correspondent
December 3, 2023

Football may be just a game, but it often transcends the blocking and tackling, the “X’s and O’s,” and can touch a family for a lifetime.  

The DeMayo family had a touching Thanksgiving Day moment that drives home how special this uniquely American game can be.   

In the early 1980s, senior running back Ryan DeMayo’s uncle, Paul DeMayo, starred for Malden High School. Wearing #44, Paul DeMayo rushed for three touchdowns on Thanksgiving Day, 1984. Paul later became a professional bodybuilder with a huge following and passed away tragically in 2005, before Ryan was born. Ryan’s father, Don DeMayo, also wore #44 in his high school career with Malden and then Malden Catholic.   

In what is now a family tradition to honor their lost family member, Ryan’s cousin, Eric DeMayo, a former Peabody High School football star, started wearing Paul’s #44 game jersey under his pads in his games.  

Ryan has carried on the tradition and has worn #44 for his Concord-Carlisle High School career.   

On Thanksgiving Day, Ryan, the Dual County League’s Offensive Player of the Year, scored three rushing touchdowns just as his late uncle did, while wearing his uncle’s #44 under his pads to honor his memory.