It doesn’t quite match the gains of our beloved Red Sox, who’ve gone from “worst to first” in the American League East, and now onto the American League pennant and a berth in tonight’s first game of the World Series.
But the rising tide of Gloucester Fishermen’s football this fall is indeed worth noting, especially as this band of local student-athletes enjoys a bye this weekend and the players and coaches can already set their sights on the playoffs.
If you hadn’t noticed, third-year coach Tony Zerilli’s team has risen from a 4-7 campaign last fall to a record of 5-2. And the Fishermen have done it in style, gritting out four of their five wins by fewer than seven points, including last weekend’s overtime win at Swampscott, a dramatic last-minute home victory over Beverly, and, of course, the team’s grand Newell Stadium reopening triumph over Lynn Classical.
Indeed, games that this young team might have lost in the last have turned into narrow victories. And that only happens when all of the players and the team’s coaching staff pull in the same direction, believe in themselves and in their teammates, and then add that little extra drive and dedication it takes to get over the top.
In short, they’re showing us what high school football — and high school sports – can and should be all about.
While the Fishermen have clinched at least a tie for the league title, it remains to be seen who they’ll face in their playoff opener, or, of course, how they’ll fare. But given the gutsy performances we’ve seen to date, don’t bet against them.
They’re not yet sporting Red Sox beards, but they’ve shown they’ve got Red Sox-style chemistry and Boston’s flair for the dramatic.
Keep it going, Fishermen. We’re with you all the way.