Winthrop Football Opener Canceled Due to Peabody Coronavirus Situation

The Winthrop High football team will have to wait one more week to start its season as Friday’s scheduled opener against Peabody has been canceled due to a Peabody player having been in direct contact with the coronavirus.

Winthrop head coach Jon Cadigan said he was notified by Peabody officials on Tuesday about the health situation in the Peabody program.

TOUCHDOWN: Tyler Rockefeller (40) finds an opening and steps into the Marblehead end zone during Winthrop’s football scrimmage at Marblehead on Thursday, March 4. It was
the Vikings first contest on the gridiron since Thanksgiving Day 2019, and real play finally returns Friday at Peabody.
AIR DEFENSE: Bobby Hebert gets a piece of the ball to break up a Marblehead pass play.

Winthrop had been practicing in preparation for the kickoff to the regular season and had competed in a scrimmage against Marblehead last Thursday.

“As you can imagine it’s pretty disappointing right now, but I guess these are the times we’re living in,” said Cadigan. “We’ve been preparing the last couple of weeks getting ready for this game and watching Peabody on film. We’re trying to get over that disappointment and move on.”

Instead of Friday’s game, the Vikings will play their season opener against Saugus on Friday, March 19 at 6 p.m. at Miller Field. There will be a pre-game “Senior Night” ceremony honoring the 15 Winthrop seniors and their families.

Viking Captains Are Announced

Coach Cadigan has announced that seniors Stevie Perullo, Chris Ferrara, and Tyler Rockefeller will be the team’s captains.

The election process is that a player has to be nominated by a teammate and then accept the nomination. Each player and coach has one vote in the election, according to Cadigan.

Vikings score one TD versus Marblehead

The Vikings played in a scrimmage at Marblehead last Thursday, scoring one touchdown against the Magicians, who have been one of the winningest programs in the NEC for the past decade.

Tyler Rockefeller scored Winthrop’s only touchdown on a 1-yard run on the opening drive of the second half. Quarterback Duke Doherty threw a pass to Mike Chaves for the two-point conversion.

Marblehead scored three touchdowns in the 21-8 decision.

“As the game went on, I thought we moved the ball well offensively,” said Cadigan.

In a brilliant move a la Bill Belichick, Cadigan scheduled the scrimmage in the late afternoon to simulate the travel and time-of-day conditions that the Vikings would have experienced on their road trip to Peabody for the opener.

Herald ‘Players to Watch’

Duke Doherty was listed as one of Danny Ventura’s “Dandy Dozen” players in the Boston Herald football preview. Doherty has committed to the Naval Academy.

Tyler Rockefeller and Bobby Hubert were named as “Players to Watch” in the division.

Interestingly, Hubert will be handling all of the placekicking and punting responsibilities for the Vikings. Doherty will be the holder on field goals and extra points. Stevie Perullo is the center (long snapper).

Coaching Staff Is Ready

Jon Cadigan is beginning his third season as head coach and 19th season in the program. He received a Super Bowl championship ring in the undefeated 2006 season when the Winthrop Vikings defeated the Wareham Vikings, 25-8.

Cadigan will be assisted on the Winthrop coaching staff by offensive coordinator Bobby Nimblett, defensive coordinator James Fucillo, offensive line coach Chris Ferrara, defensive line coach Derek Brodin, wide receivers coach Mark DiGregorio, linebackers coach Tyler Gillis, volunteer offensive assistant Mark D’Ambrosio, volunteer assistant Rob Doherty, and volunteer assistant Frank Ambrosino.

Frankie Fabiano, long-time team manager and assistant to Athletic Director Matt Serino, will also have a position on the staff.

Fucillo, Smith at the microphone

The reports are that former Winthrop High standouts Anthony Fucillo and Alex Smith will be the broadcast team for WHS football games.

The former teammates went on to play college football, Fucillo at Colgate and Tufts, and Smith at Endicott. Anthony is currently an assistant football coach at Harvard. His father is Hall of Fame coach Tony Fucillo, the leader of the 2006 Super Bowl team that most consider the greatest team in WHS history. Alex’s father, Paul Smith, was instrumental in the success of the early days of the Winthrop Youth Football program.

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