At 4-2 with one game remaining on the regular season schedule the Gloucester football team has wrapped up a playoff spot in Division 3 Northeast. But that certainly does not mean that there is nothing on the line Saturday when the Fishermen visit Blocksidge Field to take on Swampscott (2 p.m.).
A postseason berth is secure, but head coach Tony Zerilli and the Fishermen still view Saturday’s contest as a must win game.
“It’s a really important week for us, a must win,” Zerilli said. “The kids know it’s an important game and they know we still have work to do.”
The reason Gloucester sees Saturday’s Northeastern Conference Large tilt as a game it must win is because its still in the running for a first round home playoff game. Gloucester is currently third in Division 3 Northeast, but with a bye coming next week, it still has a game in hand on the three teams below it in the standings Danvers, Masconomet and Beverly, all of which are in striking distance.
With Tewksbury and Marblehead essentially locking up two of the top three spots in the section, there are still a pair of home games to be won, and Gloucester must beat the Big Blue on Saturday to have a shot at one of those spots.
“It’s very important to us to have a home game,” Zerilli said. “It means a lot to these kids, and they’ve worked hard to get it, but it takes one more week against a league opponent. In order to get that home game we need to beat Swampscott.”
Gloucester has good reason to want a first round home game as it sports a 4-0 record in its inaugural season at the refurbished New Balance Track and Field at Newell Stadium. The Fishermen have also made a habit of beating good teams on their home turf in dramatic fashion topping Lynn Classical, Beverly and most recently Lynn English.