The Winthrop High School football team will be tested right away as Division 6 title contender Stoneham High comes to Miller Field Friday night for the 2021 season opener.
Head coach John Cadigan led the Vikings to the 2020 Northeastern Conference South title in the spring, but several seniors graduated from that memorable contingent that brought another title banner to the program. Cadigan will look to several, first-year starters in the Vikings’ lineup this season.
“I’m intrigued to see how we’re going to play,” said Cadigan. “I think the 11 guys that we put out there are going to be very good. We’ve played really good football in the pre-season, but we still have to be more consistent on both sides of the ball.”
Stoneham and Winthrop are similar in that they are the smallest schools in their respective leagues (Middlesex, NEC), but both programs have enjoyed success through the years playing against the bigs. Stoneham won the 2018 Super Bowl and was a North sectional finalist in 2019.
“They’re a very impressive team,” said Cadigan. “They defeated Winchester handily in a scrimmage last Thursday.”
Stoneham’s lineman, Peter Godfrey, a 6-foot-6 inch, 290-pound senior, was listed among the Boston Herald’s “Dandy Dozen” players in Divisions 5-6.
Three of Winthrop High’s seniors, wide receiver Mikey Chaves, lineman Pete Jurovich, and linebacker Ian Harris, were listed on the Boston Herald “Players to Watch” List.
Winthrop battled Manchester-Essex to a 6-6 tie last Friday on the Hornets’ home field. Cam Martin, who continues to impress out of the backfield, scored on a 6-yard run after setting up his TD with an interception.
The Vikings outscored the East Boston Jets, three touchdowns to none (18-0) in a scrimmage at East Boston Stadium. Robert Noonan, who is succeeding Dillon “Duke” Doherty as the starting quarterback, threw two touchdown passes.
Pete Jurovich has had an excellent preseason. “I think Pete will be one of the best linemen in the conference,” said Cadigan. “Just watching him in practice and in the scrimmages – he’s a physically imposing kid (6-foot-4, 270). He’s been tremendous for us on the offensive and defensive lines [at tackle].”
Large Crowd Expected for the Opener
Jon Cadigan is expected a huge hometown crowd at Miller Field following the limited-seating policy (due to COVID-19) during the spring season.
“I think we’ll see a lot of people at the game, with the first football game back after COVID-19,” said Cadigan. “The new fieldhouse is officially done, even though it won’t be dedicated until later in the season. The concession stand (led by Viking Football Booster Club Director Marissa Ferrara) will be open. The weather is going to be nice. I think we’ll have a good crowd.”
Olympic gold medalist Mike Eruzione is traveling in Nashville, but The Captain said he will be on hand for the Vikings’ season opener.
Winthrop Superintendent of Schools Lisa Gill and Stoneham Superintendent of Schools John Macero are also expected to be in the house.
Coach Cadigan was waiting for an update on the status of senior Kyle Testa, the Vikings’ starting center who injured his ankle in the Manchester-Essex scrimmage.
Sophomore Ryan Harris will likely be called upon to move into the starting center position for the opener.