Summer is always an exciting time for everyone—whether it is spent at Yirrell beach, having barbecues with friends and family, or even playing a nice game of flag football. This summer, kids have the special opportunity to play on the new and improved flag football league through Winthrop Parks and Recreation. Director Sean Driscoll and coach Eric Mack are giving it their all this summer after seeing other towns having success with the league.
“We saw some other towns that were doing it and having success, and it was becoming more and more popular,” said Driscoll. “It gives kids the chance to see if they like football at a younger age,” he added with enthusiasm. The age group is geared to children from third grade and up.
The flag football league is sponsored by the NFL, giving each player their own jersey with their name on it. The teams play their games every Wednesday and Sunday night, sometimes adding a pre-game practice to prepare. The coaches decide individually when the practices are, which makes it easier for the kids to be able to participate.
“We thought a couple of nights a week to play around with friends would be good,” Driscoll said about the weekly games at Ingleside Park.
The hopes for the league are to “see the kids have fun, get some exercise, and get out from behind the computer and video games,” said Driscoll. “Getting kids to move and run around is the main goal of any recreational director,” he added.
The children are having fun by doing something they enjoy with their friends. Winthrop Youth Football is also behind the league, and hoping to see each individual develop into better players. This summer is bound to be fun for all participants, who hope the success of the league will flourish each year.
From the Press box
A recent trip to Marblehead refreshed my memory. Fifty five years ago “The Blue Devils” played Marblehead and Swampscott on Saturday during the football season.
I drove past Blocksidge Field in Swampscott. Then, I passed the new Marblehead High School and the old Marblehead High School high up the hill.
Marblehead High has a new football stadium. Piper Field is behind the beautiful high school complex. Marblehead has enjoyed many successful season since Piper Field was constructed. The enrollment at the high school has increased over 250 students since Piper Field was dedicated.
LaCrosse in Marblehead produced two MIAA playoff teams this season. The new track has lead to two track teams finishing 2nd in the conference.
With a new modern high school/middle school and the hope for a new football stadium/track, many more student/athletes will attend Winthrop schools. The City of Gloucester has a new stadium replacing Newell Stadium. New Balance donated $500,000. In addition, The Fisherman Foundation and the City of Gloucester raised the remaining balance. The New Balance Track and Field at Newell Stadium is a jewel for the community.
I congratulate Town Manager Jim McKenna for his leadership to begin a study for a new Miller Field. Since the lights were installed in 1998 attendance has increased. The entire community is looking forward to a new athletic complex that we all can be proud to enjoy.
SKIMMING THE SIDELINES
The crowd at the Annual Father’s Day Pancake Breakfast was large and very enthusiastic. I spoke with many football parents. The families were very excited about the prospects for the Vikings ths season.
Is was great to see Nick McCarthy, the Viking Captain in 2010. Nick was a defensive standout for Bentley University in 2013. Nick is projected to be a leader for The Falcons this season.
Congrats to junior John Griffiths who was recently named to the First Team NEC Lacrosse All-Star Team. John scored 41 goals and had 14 assists. He hopes to play Lacrosse in college.
Speaking about Lacrosse, Jessica Ford will play Lacrosse at Salva Regina College in Newport. Jessica was a three-sport athlete at WHS and the goaltender on The Lady Vikings Lacrosse Team.
Jim Lederman is a resident of Winthrop and has been commenting on Winthrop High Sports for more than 40 years