Thanksgiving game at home provides one last memory for six seniors
For Viking players and fans alike, Winthrop’s big varsity football game this week against the Revere Patriots will bring with it a lot more than the usual excitement that surrounds this traditional and fabled rivalry. By now, every Winthrop resident must have heard at least an inkling about that there new field they got down across from the high school. Well the unveiling coincides with said big game, and the current Viking edition will be the first to represent the town on that new and improved Miller Field. Of course, the holiday itself will add assurance that many Blue and Gold alumni will be on hand to check out the new digs. All in all, the event should serve up more amusement than all of Uncle Lester’s jokes and Aunt Polly’s quips combined at the turkey table.
Starting off the festivities will be the Senior Day Ceremonies. Along with the highly successful group of senior cheerleaders that belted out their all this season for The Vikings, six senior players will be escorted across Miller Field with their families for due recognition. These six, QB Jake Adamson, RB Jaidon Brown, RB/FS Tyler Chiudina, LB A.J. Massa, Tackle Calvin Tufa, and End Christian Lyons will be calling it a Viking Football career with the last snap at this Thanksgiving’s game.
Nobody can deny that this group of athletes left everything on the field each and every week of their careers. From the two a day practices each sweltering August to the frigid Friday night frays each November these last few years, these seniors played the game with passion, and for the right reason. They enjoyed it. No matter what the score was, whether they were winning or losing, or whatever the scenario, none of them wanted to come off the playing field. There were a few injuries along the way, mere obstacles, eventually overcome, in the way of the bigger picture .. playing time. They competed with heart and with an unmatched dedication for their coaching staff, their families, and their fans.
They can look back with satisfaction, knowing they committed much of themselves and their time to represent Winthrop at the Varsity Football level. In a period where more and more students were signing on to other fall alternatives these six stuck it out in what was arguably the most grueling. All fall sports, all school sports in general, are demanding, but the fact that the Winthrop football enrollment has dwindled significantly from as early as ten years ago creates even greater challenges for those who desire to play.
It’s difficult not to think of what Gene Hackman, as Coach Dale, pointed out to the assembly in Hoosiers. “These six individuals have made a choice to work, a choice to sacrifice, to put themselves on the line …. to represent you, this high school. That kind of commitment and effort deserves and demands your respect. This is your team.” With that in mind, it’s difficult not to applaud the six Vikings whose high school football careers come to a close this Thursday.
When asked a favorite memory over his career, Adamson mentioned his sophomore year, and in keeping with the Thanksgiving rivalry theme, the game against The Patriots that year. “We beat Revere on Thanksgiving. All of the odds were against us and their quarterback at the time was the NEC MVP and we beat them.”
Massa chose a much more recent memory as one he’ll always remember. It was during last week’s game versus Northeast Metro. He described the conditions as “very cold, about 20,” a statement most Viking fans on hand that night won’t debate, before reciting his recollection.
“We won in OT on our first play on offense. I don’t think I’m going to forget when we got into that huddle before the play and looked each other in the eyes, and from then on I knew we were going to score because of the trust we had in each other. I have to say that was an unforgettable night.”
A more cognitive memory was communicated by Tufa. He’ll remember what assistant coach, Jon Cadigan told him. “Whatever you do in life, you should always think about W.I.N. – What’s Important Now – and forget the other distractions that come your way.”
It’s safe to say these seniors had a few distractions come their way this past year, first and foremost a season spent described as visitor on scoreboards throughout the Northeast. True to Cadigan’s advice, they forgot about such deviations and simply did what they enjoyed doing. They played football. Thanksgiving Day, they play one last time. With the help of their underclassmen teammates they have tutored through it all, they have an opportunity to make one more great Varsity Football memory.
WHS sports Years
10 years ago
November 21, 2007
The Winthrop High and Revere High football teams will meet at Miller Field on Thanksgiving for a 10 a.m. kickoff when the archrivals renew their Turney Day rivalry. The Vikings, who have had an up-and-down year, will be seeking to improve to 7-4 for the season, while Revere, which also has had its shares of ups and downs, enters the contest at 4-6, but dropped two contests by a total of three points.
Winthrop Little League President Frank Harris said that the 2008 Little League season will get underway on schedule. He dispelled rumors that a delay in this year’s draft was connected to the issues the league is facing involving a dispute with a neighbor of the L.L. field.
20 years ago
November 27, 1997
The 6-4 Winthrop High football team will be seeking to extend its seven-game winning streak against Revere on Thanksgiving Day when coach Tony Fucillo’s Vikings clash with the 1-9 Patriots at Miller Field.
30 years ago
November 25, 1987
A 3-6 WHS football team rates as the favorite to defeat an 0-9 Revere squad when they clash in their annual gridiron contest on Thanksgiving at Miller Field. Revere has not won a game at Miller since 1973, the year that the Patriots went to the Division I Super Bowl.
40 years ago
November 23, 1977
The WHS football team will be looking to make it three holiday victories in a row over archival Revere when the rivals clash on Thanksgiving Day at Miller Field. Winthrop stands at 7-2 on the season, which includes a win by forfeit, while Revere is 3-6.
50 years ago
November 22, 1967
Despite its 1-7 record, the Revere High football team rates as a slight favorite to defeat a 4-4 Winthrop squad when the rivals meet on Thanksgiving Day. Revere has played a stronger schedule than Winthrop and outweighs Winthrop on the line. If Revere prevails, it will even the schools’ 37-game rivalry dating back to 1913 at 17-17-3. There have been two interruptions in their rivalry stemming from near-riots that broke out after the games in 1945 and 1928.
Winthrop’s George Hill, who was a football star at Harvard with the Class of 1949 where he was a roommate of Robert F. Kennedy, will be an official at the upcoming Army-Navy game.
60 years ago
November 21, 1957
The WHS football team will meet Danvers on Thanksgiving Day. WHS head coach Ed McFarland said that it is difficult to get his team “up” for the contest every year because of the lack of a rivalry between the two schools, unlike when Winthrop played former archrival Revere on the holiday. Revere and Winthrop have not played since 1946. Winthrop severed relations with Revere following a post-game riot after the 1945 contest in which Winthrop upset a heavily-favored Beach City team.
The WHS football team defeated Billerica this past week, 20-0, led by the play of Buster Ferrara, Bob Milne, and Bobby Vadenbouncouer.
70 years ago
November 21, 1947
The WHS football team will meet its new Thanksgiving Day rival, Danvers, for the first time this week. A victory for Winthrop will earn Winthrop a tie for the Northeastern Conference championship with Marblehead. Although Winthrop is 4-5-1 overall, it sports a 4-1 record in NEC play. Danvers stands at 5-4 overall.
Paul Millerick scored a touchdown and passed for two others to Marshall Haraden and Billy Gallagher to lead the WHS football team to a 20-6 win over Stoneham this past week.
90 years ago
December 2, 1927
The North Shore League has voted to dissolve, leaving Winthrop High sports teams without any affiliation.