Lynn English came into Miller Field in 1991 as the defending Northeastern Conference champion, holders of a 6-0 record and another Super Bowl appearance in its sights.
Long-time Winthrop fans will remember the sight of the huge English offensive line going through pre-game warmups attired in their somewhat intimidating all-Red uniforms.
But Coach Tony Fucillo’s Vikings weren’t going to be denied in front of their home fans and they upset the favored Bulldogs. If memory serves us correctly, it was linebacker Freddy Long who raced to the edge and made the superb, diving, shoe-string tackle that upended the English ballcarrier, denying English the go-ahead touchdown and ensuring Winthrop’s dramatic victory.
Fucillo would guide the Chris Godfrey and Anthony Palmer-led Viking contingents to the 1992 and 1993 Super Bowls. Both games were played at Miller Field before thousands of fans.
It appears that Winthrop’s football games
against Lynn English and Lynn Classical will be coming to an end after this season. The two Lynn schools will be leaving the Northeastern Conference and moving to the Greater Boston League in Sept., 2021. The GBL athletic directors voted unanimously to admit English and Classical to the league. Pending a vote by the Northeastern Conference athletic directors and principals, including Winthrop AD Matt Serino and Principal Matt Crombie, the two Lynn schools will be formally released from the NEC.
Serino expects NEC officials to grant English and Classical their official release from the NEC.
“I hate to see them leave since they’re longstanding members of the Northeastern Conference and we have a great tradition with both those schools in all of our sports,” said Serino, who played against both schools during his career as a Saugus High ice hockey star. “Selfishly, it’s a tough thing to see them leaving because we’d love for them to stay, but certainly we understand where their athletic directors are coming from and they have to make a decision based on the best interests of their student athletes. So I can’t fault for them for that.
“Everyone has to do what’s best for their schools and going to the GBL – they think it is the best for them, which I respect – but we hate to see two outstanding members leave.”
Serino said he would schedule English and Classical for non-league games in certain sports. Serino also noted that the co-op agreement between the Lynn schools and the Winthrop High girls hockey program would continue. Currently, Lynn has one player, Amelia Spencer, competing in Coach Butch Martucci’s Lady Vikings program.
Winthrop’s intra-conference rivalries with Classical and English has been competitive through the years. Coach Ron Spinney’s girls basketball and softball teams had some great battles against the two Lynn teams with Winthrop and such greats as Lisa Monteleone and Maureen McManus prevailing over Classical and English. Boys basketball coach Henry McCarthy took the smallest school in the conference into the Classical and English gymnasiums and generally fared very well.
And Winthrop High’s hockey teams went into the old Lynn Arena on Boston Street and usually came home with victories.
But that was then and this is now and as Lynn English AD Dick Newton told the Lynn Journal, “Times have changed. Demographics have changed. Schools leave leagues all the time. Lynn English is not the Lynn English of 1980 and anybody who thinks it is, hasn’t really been awake.”
In a related matter, Revere AD Frank Shea said that Revere – who moved back to the Greater Boston League after being a member of the Northeastern Conference – intends to continue its Thanksgiving football game with Winthrop. Beginning in the fall of 2021, Revere will play seven GBL opponents during the regular season and keep Thanksgiving open for Winthrop.