Big things are a foot in North Shore football circles next Fall.

The Northeastern Conference Athletic Directors met for their monthly meeting on September. 30. The main topic of conversation was the impending Cape Ann League/Northeastern Conference Megamerger.

The new league will be broken into four divisions

Division 1 – Peabody, Revere, Lynn English, Lynn Classical, Masconomet and North Andover.

Division 2 – Beverly, Salem, Danvers, Gloucester, Marblehead and Swampscott.

Division 3 – Saugus, Winthrop, Amesbury, Newburyport, Triton and Pentucket.

Division 4 – Hamilton-Wenham, Ipswich, Manchester Essex, Georgetown, Lynnfield and North Reading.

Each Division is based on school enrollment and natural rivalries within the division. Revere-Winthrop and Peabody-Saugus will keep their Thanksgiving games. The new league will play games the last five weeks of the high school season.

Winthrop will try to keep their games with long time rivals Marblehead, Swampscott and Danvers.

Winthrop will look to add two more games to their schedule in 2011.

There are no “mandatory” crossovers between the divisions. Next Spring, athletic directors and school principals from the NEC and CAL will meet with the secretary for both leagues Dick Baker, to decide whether these crossover games should become mandatory or not. A two-thirds “yea” vote (16 out of 24 schools) would be needed for this declaration to pass.

Gridiron Notes

Ex-Viking standout Matt Duplin is playing end for the North Shore Generals of the New England Football League.

Anthony Fucillo set a Tufts record with 71 pass attempts in a loss to Bates. The jumbo co-captain completed 35 in the new spread offense.

Ex-Salem all star Melikke VanAlstyne rushed for 245 yards, leading Framingham State to a 42-48 victory over Fitchburg State.

Ex-Gloucester all-scholastic halfback rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns for Norwich in their victory over Galludet.

Six Games

There are six games left on the Vikings schedule. Five games with NEC South opponents. The first league game is Friday night at home with the Saugus Sachems.

The Vikings lost their fifth game of the campaign to Peabody (30-6) Friday night at Miller Field.

“We played well for the first twenty minutes of the first half but we allowed Peabody to score 10 points in the fin al 1:20 and give the Tanners a 16-6 halftime lead,” said coach Sean Driscoll.

The Vikings had a 10-play, five-minute drive to score their only points of the game. Captain Nick McCarthy (17-85) swept the right side from six yards and a 6-9 Vikings lead.

Peabody evened the score on their first possession. Nat Gaye raced 38-yards after a Vikings fumble and after another Winthrop fumble they kicked a 32-yard field goal as time ran out in the half for a 16-6 advantage.

Saugus (3-1) won a 30-28 three overtime thriller over Arlington Catholic on Saturday night.

Senior Shamir Gurlaume rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns for the Sachems.

“He is the best back in the conference,” said coach Sean Driscoll. The six-foot, 200-pound senior has scored 62 points for Saugus.

The Vikings hope the return of Nick Donovan and the inspired play of sophomores Dan Feeley, Dave Gallo and Tom Lund can contain the Saugus ground game.

Jimmy Barker won the “Black Shirt Award” for the third consecutive week. The junior linebacker recorded 16 tackles.

The future looks bright for the Vikings. The sub varsity (8th and 9th grade team) won their third game of the season defeating Peabody (24-6).

Quarterback Dylan Driscoll tossed a touchdown to Zack Deeb and scored on a rush to pace the offense. The young Vikings defeated Gloucester 14-8 and Salem 8-6.

I watched the youth football games on Saturday and the program looks strong with many ex-Vikings coaching. With the new balance in the NEC, coach Driscoll will have a strong program in the future.

Congratulations to Ignacio Oyola on his appointment as the new coach of the “Lady Vikings” basketball team.

Beverly (0-5) lost a (40-20) decision to Lynn Classical (3-2). The Panthers play Danvers under the lights at Hurd Stadium Friday night.

Danvers (0-4) lost to undefeated Lynnfield (40-18). Marblehead defeated Revere (21-20) to improve to (2-3). Trae Weathers leads Division 1A in scoring with 113 points.

Swampscott (4-1) defeated Triton (0-5) 33-27. Quarterback Michael Walsh (18 of 32 for 275 yards) passed for four touchdowns. Triton will play the Vikings in the new conference in 2011.

Swampscott plays Lynn English (3-2) at Blocksidge Field on Saturday, at 2 p.m. Marblehead plays at Salem (3-2) Friday night.

Let the Games Begin!

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