It’s a rare occurrence where the opening game of the football season is one of the most important games of the season.
On Friday night, the Gloucester football team is facing that exact unique situation, as there couldn’t be more at stake tonight when Lynn Classical visits the newly refurbished New Balance Track and Field at Newell Stadium (7:30 p.m., opening ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m.).
For starters, Gloucester is looking to open the season on the right foot against one of its toughest rivals. It also wants to open up its brand new stadium in style. Lastly, while it may be a non-league game, there is a little more on the line for Gloucester tonight as Lynn Classical plays in a higher division - Division 2 compared to Division 3 for Gloucester - meaning that 12 points are on the line towards the Division 3 Northeast standings as opposed to the standard 10 points for a win against a team in the same division.
A win tonight also gives Gloucester the opportunity to earn even more points down the road as Lynn Classical does not look to lose many games this season in the Northeastern Conference Small. If the Fishermen pick up a win tonight, they earn three additional points for each win the Rams pick up throughout the season.
If that weren’t enough, Lynn Classical has been Gloucester’s fiercest and toughest rival over the last two decades as games between the two are rarely settled by more than one score. The Rams also sport a two-game winning streak over the Fishermen including a 22-20 overtime heartbreaker last October.
To put it simply, a win tonight would carry extra meaning for the Fishermen.
“This is the most important game of the year,” Gloucester senior captain Connor Adkins said. “We need to use last year’s game as motivation. They are always tough but we expect to beat them.”