Sports 08-24-2017

From the Press Box

A return to Hurd Stadium

By: Jim Lederman

The 2017 Winthrop Vikings football season kicks off Saturday morning at 11 a.m., when the Vikings scrimmage the Beverly ‘Panthers’ at legendary Hurd Stadium.

The ‘Panthers’ played their games on the road in 2015 while they tore down the old stadium. A new turf field with only one large set of bleachers was built. The Vikings scrimmaged Beverly at the ‘new stadium’ in 2016.

The rivalry between Winthrop and Beverly started in 1972 when Beverly joined the old Northeastern Conference. The last conference game between the two rivals was in 2010.

Beverly is in ‘tier one’ of the new NEC with Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody and new team Malden.

Beverly, Gloucester, Swampscott and Winthrop captured many NEC titles in the original Northeast Conference.

I can remember Beverly and Winthrop chasing a NEC championship in 1981 and 1992 in two classic games at Hurd Stadium.

In a battle of two undefeated teams in 1981, Chuck Sullivan’s thrilling 75-yard touchdown was the only score in 1981 as the Vikings won the Division 2 Super Bowl at Foxborough.

In 1992 with two teams both undefeated, another classic at Hurd Stadium, the Vikings prevailed (20-7) behind two touchdowns from all-scholastic Anthony ‘Touchdown Tony’ Palmer.

There are now eight divisions in Massachusetts. Two NEC teams are in Division 2 North Peabody and Medford.

Division 3 North consists of four NEC schools Lynn English, Lynn Classical, Beverly and Danvers.

In Division 4 North Revere, Marblehead and Danvers represent the NEC.

Swampscott, Saugus and new rival Lynnfield have been placed in Division 5 North. Salem and Winthrop are in Division 6.

Are you ready for some football?

Let the Games Begin!



Vikings Report

Coach Sean Driscoll greeted 44 players when practice opened on Friday. Seven seniors, nine juniors, 11 sophomores and 17 freshmen.

‘I was very pleased with the condition and dedication of the players over the spring and summer workouts,” said Coach Driscoll.

“We have the largest freshman turnout in my eleven years as head coach,” “the future looks bright and with a new football stadium we hope to bring another championship to Winthrop.”

Coach Driscoll will be assisted by Jon Cadigan, Robert Nimblett, James Fucillo, Matt Love and Art Irzyk.

“I am counting on my seniors to lead this young team. Calvin Tufa, Jake Adamson, Jaidon Brown, Christian Lyons, Tyler Chiudina, AJ Massa and Sierra O’Connell will lead the Vikings.

The sophomore and freshman (28 total) will play a schedule once a week.

The Vikings will scrimmage East Boston at East Boston Stadium on Wednesday, August 30th at 3 p.m.

The Vikings will play Malden on Friday, September 1st in the Everett jamboree with a tentative game of 6 p.m.

If you are heading to Beverly for the Saturday (11 a.m.) scrimmage, travel 128 North get off exit, take a right on Route 22 – Essex Street, cross the railroad tracks, take the 5th left Warren St., and you will fin d the rear entrance to Hurd Stadium. See you in Beverly!

Go Vikings!

Let the Games Begin!



Extra Points

Dan Ventura, the Boston Herald high school sports editor and “Guru” has dusted off his ‘crystal ball’ and picked the top eight teams in the eight divisions in the North included are last years records in parentheses.

Division 3 North

Tewksbury (10-1)

Billerica (9-2)

Concord Carlisle (6-5)

Malden Catholic (4-7)

Beverly (9-3)

Danvers (9-2)

Winchester (5-6)

Arlington (3-8)


Division 4 North

Marblehead (11-1)

Wayland (4-7)

Gloucester (8-3)

Dracut (6-5)

Melrose (8-3)

Revere (6-5)

North Reading (9-2)

Burlington (4-7)


Division 5 North

Watertown (9-2)

Lynnfield (6-4)

Triton (9-3)

Pentucket (5-6)

Bedford (5-5)

Swampscott (4-7)

Somerville (6-5)

Newburyport (4-6)


Division 6 North

Hamilton-Wenham (7-4)

Stoneham (7-4)

Bishop Fenwick (7-4)

Shawsheen (8-4)

Salem (3-8)

Northeast (8-3)

Whittier (3-8)

Essex Tech (4-7)


Coach John DiBiaso begins his 36th year of coaching high school football. The highly successful Everett mentor had 100-players report for practice last week. No wonder the NEC principals and athletic directors would not let the ‘Crimson Tide’ play football in the new Northeastern Conference!

Let the Games Begin!

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