The Winthrop High and Revere High football teams will renew their annual Thanksgiving rivalry Thursday at 10 a.m. at Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere.
The two teams did not play last fall or in the abbreviated spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This yearâ€™s matchup is also particular intriguing because the two teams – who were league mates in the Northeastern Conference before Revere returned to the Greater Boston League â€“ have played widely diverse schedules in 2021.
Revere, whom many consider the favorite over Winthrop because of its strong 7-2 record, played mostly GBL schools and had an impressive 28-0 win over Belmont in a non-league game. Revere did not qualify for the state playoffs and is thus putting heavy emphasis with the â€œplayoffâ€ label on its contest against Winthrop.
Meanwhile, Jon Cadiganâ€™s Vikings (5-5) qualified for the state playoffs, defeating South Hadley (35-0) and coming within one score (37-34) of toppling Rockland, who went on to defeat Blackstone-Valley and qualify for the Super Bowl.
Coach Cadigan is confident that his team can pull the upset the Patriots.
â€œI think the schedule that weâ€™ve played all season has prepared us for this moment,â€ said Cadigan. â€œEven in our last game against Rockland, theyâ€™re playing in the Division 6 Super Bowl and were right there with them, with a chance to win it in the end. I think playing a tough schedule means something, and I hope to see that through on Thursday morning.â€
So Close to Super Bowl
Once No. 1 seed Stoneham fell to Blackstone Valley in Winthropâ€™s side of the playoff bracket, many felt that Winthrop or Rockland would emerge as a finalist for the Super Bowl.
Winthrop put a season-high 34 points on the board for a Rockland opponent and had the ball late in the fourth quarter with a chance to win the game.
â€œItâ€™s one of those things where you feel good about where you are as a program, being so close, but then it obviously hurts a lot more when you realize the team that beat you is in the Super Bowl,â€ said Cadigan. â€œWeâ€™re close, but I donâ€™t want to be close, I want to be in it.â€
Â All-Stars to be Selected Monday
Coach Cadigan said he will attend an NEC football coachesâ€™ meeting Monday to select the Northeastern Conference All-Stars.
Winthrop High players Pete Jurovich, Cam Martin, Ian Harris, and Mike Chaves certainly merit serious All-NEC Conference recognition, based on their performances this season. Running back Welvis Acosta and quarterback Robert Noonan also should receive votes.
Speaking of Jurovich, the 6-foot-4-inch lineman made a visit to the University of New Hampshire in Durham this past weekend. â€œNo.1, Pete is a great kid, and No. 2, heâ€™s obviously a really good football player,â€ said Cadigan.
â€˜The Voiceâ€™ Returns
Jim Lederman, the long-time Voice of the Vikings, reports that he and former Revere High All-Scholastic quarterback Al Petrilli will be doing the play-by-play for the broadcast of the Winthrop-Revere game on cable television.
Lederman has attended every Winthrop-Revere game for more than six decades and the former Winthrop High and URI running back says he is looking forward to calling a Winthrop victory over Revere.