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August 16, 2013

Best of Newell- No. 8, 1995: Super Bowl champs epitomized Fishermen football

If there is one team that most represents the prototypical Gloucester football team during its run of success over the last two decades that team would be the 1995 Division 3 Super Bowl champs.

Terry Silva’s second state title squad had everything Gloucester football fans have grown accustomed to seeing - a relentless running attack featuring multiple backs out of the wing-t offense, a versatile and dominant line on both ends of the ball, an opportunistic, physical defense and top notch talent across the board.

“We were all about defense and running the football,” said Nate Bertolino, who started at quarterback and in the secondary for the Fishermen that season. “All I had to do was hand the ball off and it was eight yards, 10 yards, all the way down the field. You could see it was a special team at practice, both ends of the ball we went hard every day.”

The ‘95 team shook off an opening night loss to Reading and turned into an absolute juggernaut, running the table the rest of the way en route to the Division 3 Super Bowl title.

Everywhere you look, Gloucester had high quality football players fielding seven Northeastern Conference All Stars along with three or four other players who were legitimately snubbed.

The ‘95 team’s depth of talent, and the fact that it took care of business week in and week out during a strong year for the Northeastern Conference solidifies its spot as one of the top 10 teams in school history.

The Players

The Fishermen entered the 1995 season with a well established and feared defensive unit, but an offense filled with new starters had the coaches of the NEC vote Gloucester just third in the preseason poll behind Salem and Lynn Classical.

Gloucester’s 5-3 defense was powered by a strong pair of linebackers in senior captains Rob Benjamin, the Northeastern Conference MVP and Jim Curcuru, who was voted team MVP by his peers. All star Tom Pirano was a force at defensive tackle while Greg Moses and Jason Eliot were standouts at the end positions playing all star caliber football although they were not recognized on the All Conference team. Vito Ferrara and senior captain Peter Noble split time at the other defensive tackle spot, both were NEC All Stars on the offensive side of the ball, while Dan Cabral effectively manned the middle despite weighing just 165 pounds.

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