By Pete Legasey
For the Transcript
Opening day for Winthrop Youth Football is just over two weeks away. All four Vikings teams will make their 2009 debut on September 13 against Masconomet Youth Football (the location of the games has yet to be determined) in the first of their nine games scheduled for this season.
Two Winthrop teams â€“ the 6th grade team and the 7th/8th grade team – will be looking to win enough games to clinch the top spot in the Walsh Division of the Cape Ann League. If either team is able to do so, they will play against the winner of the Kitchin Division on November 8 for the CAL championship.
Joe Ferrara is entering his tenth season as president of Winthrop Youth Football, which welcomes back a coaching staff that is nearly identical to the one that guiding the Vikings through the 2008 season.
In the top age group, Peter Caggiano returns as the head coach of the A Team (which includes 7th/8th graders). His staff will include assistant coaches Jim Gallo, Jim Griffin and David Mills. The C6 Team (all 6th graders) will answer to head coach Mike Norris, who is also an assistant varsity hockey coach at Winthrop High. His staff will include assistants Jay LaFratta and Ross Collignon.
In the younger ranks, Rich Fucillo will serve as head coach of the C5 Team (all 5th graders) and receive help from assistant coach Chris Ferrara. The League recently announced that Rob Dougherty would be the head coach of the D Team (3rd/4th graders). His assistant coach will be Jimmy Adamson, who was a member of Winthrop Highâ€™s Super Bowl winning team in 1983.
In all, about 90 kids are signed up to play football for one of the four Winthrop Youth Football teams this season.
The program will also field three cheerleading squads with Susan Hughes set to return as the cheerleading program. Rachel Mustone will be the coach of the A Team, while Tracie Turransky will guide the C Team and Marissa Ferrara will coach the D Team.
In previous years, the games have been split up with some age groups traveling while others played at home. But this year, all four Winthrop teams will play all of their home games on the same days, and each of the four teams is guaranteed to play at least four home games during the season.