When Jonathan Cadigan met with his Winthrop High football team before the pre-season, the coach asked his players, â€œWho wants to be an All-Star? Please raise your hand.â€
â€œEverybody raises their hand and I tell them, â€˜the more games you win, the more All-Stars you can getâ€™.â€
And that obviously came true, added Cadigan.
Indeed the Northeastern Conference coaches took note of Winthropâ€™s superlative championship season and the teamâ€™s many outstanding individual contributors by selecting nine players to the NEC All-Conference and All-Star teams.
Bobby Hubert was named the NEC South Player of the Year and to the All-Conference Team. Ryan Hovermale, Matt Hurley, Stevie Perullo, and Duke Doherty were named All-Conference.
Chris Ferrara, Cam Conway, Brian Conceicao, and Michael Carter were named All-Stars.
Jonathan Cadigan was named the NEC Coach of the Year.
Cadigan was asked about his own award.
â€œIt feels good,â€ said Cadigan. â€œWhen youâ€™re surrounded by a good team and a great staff, itâ€™s more their award than it is my award. I was just actually happy for them to get it.â€
Hubert, a four-year varsity player, was the unanimous choice for Player of the Year. He is a three-time All-Conference player.
â€œI was very excited about that award for Bobby,â€ said Cadigan. â€œBefore the season every year we have goals and before Bobbyâ€™s junior year, Bobbyâ€™s goal was to be MVP of the league. He didnâ€™t get it his junior year but he got it his senior year so I was very happy for him.â€
Offensive guards Perullo and Hurley took home their All-Conference awards for the Vikingsâ€™ powerful offensive line. They were All-Stars in the 2019 season as well.
Hovermale was clearly one of the leagueâ€™s premier two-way performers. He reminded many Winthrop fans of former greats Bobby Kneeland and Joey Murray on the jet-sweep plays. The last defensive play of Hovermaleâ€™s career was a now-iconic, game-sealing breakup of a pass deep in Vikingsâ€™ territory to preserve a 16-14 win over Masconomet Regional.
Doherty, a reigning All-Scholastic quarterback, will take his All-Conference Award to the United States Naval Academy where he will be continuing his football career.
All-Star Ferrara, a member of a famed athletic family in Winthrop, formed the other half of the power and finesse running attack alongside Hubert. Ferraraâ€™s specialty was the buck-sweep play and he had key touchdowns in Winthrop victories. He also excelled in the Vikingsâ€™ defensive backfield.
Conway, a tight end and defensive lineman, made it two NEC All-Star Awards in consecutive basketball and football seasons.
Conceicao, a two-time NEC All-Star who will head to Amherst College and play for the Lord Jeffs, completed his excellent career with a 12-tackle performance versus Masconomet.
Carter was immense on the offensive line all year and if this were the NFL, Bobby Hubert would likely be buying watches for Carter and the rest of the Big Five: Nick Shea, Stevie Perullo, Matt Hurley, and Pete Jurovich â€“ and honorary member Cam Conway.
The players will receive plaques and award certificates in recognition of their athletic accomplishments.
â€œThe certificates are really impressive, kind of cool,â€ said Cadigan. â€œThey have logos of all the teams in the league and it will say â€˜All Conferenceâ€™ or All-Star on the certificate.â€