In just a few weeks the Gloucester football team will kick off a new era of football in the state of Massachusetts. The MIAA instituted a two-year realignment for football in the state that will culminate with a state wide playoff and just six Super Bowl champions compared to the 19 that were crowned in 2012.
As a result of the realignment, the Northeastern Conference and Gloucester’s schedule has been turned on its head. The Fishermen will partake in a seven game regular season before the playoffs, which will take place in weeks 8-10. Gloucester will play Thanksgiving Day rival Danvers after the playoffs commence.
Although the season has a much different feel to it, Gloucester’s schedule is still filled with familiar faces from the Northeastern Conference and it’s also filled with challenges. If Gloucester moves on to the postseason this fall, it will have certainly earned it.
Here’s a look at who Gloucester will be competing against this fall and a look at some of its most important games in the upcoming season.
For the 2013 season, Gloucester will set up shop in the Northeastern Conference North and Division 3 Northeast. The NEC was split up by teams’ overall winning percentage from the last five seasons so the top tier of the league features the Fishermen along with Beverly, Lynn English, Marblehead and Swampscott.
In Division 3 Northeast, Gloucester will join Beverly, Danvers, Dracut, Marblehead, Masconomet, Revere, Salem, Somerville, Tewksbury and Wilmington. The top eight teams in the division will qualify for the playoffs.
Here’s where things get complicated. The top two finishers from each conference will automatically qualify for the postseason while divisional standings will be determined by a point based system. Each win over a team from a higher division is worth 12 points, each win over a team in an equal division is worth 10 points and each win over a team in a lower division is worth eight points. In addition teams will receive three points for each win a defeated opponent picks up and one point for each win a team that defeated you picks up.