Pride was the theme for the Gloucester football team over the stretch run of the recently finished 2012 season.
At 1-7 Gloucester was out of the running for a playoff spot and had only pride to play for over its final three games, and its pride shone through.
The Fishermen, whose record does not do justice to the way they played this season, came out and played with the same hunger over the final three weeks than they did on opening night and the results could not have been better. Gloucester finished the season with three straight wins and a 3-2 record in Tier 2 of the Northeastern Conference/Cape Ann League finishing behind 11-0 Beverly, the consensus best team in all four tiers of the NEC/CAL.
“That’s what we have been stressing, Fishermen pride, have pride in what you’re doing,” head coach Tony Zerilli said. “Pride in blocking, running, tackling, covering, everything, and it started with the seniors.”
The turning point of the season for Gloucester came in week nine against Salem. After a first half where the Fishermen did not play very well, falling behind 19-7, they kicked their game into high gear in the second half.
Gloucester outscored the Witches 21-0 over the final two quarters en route to a 28-19 win. While Zerilli was hesitant to call it a turning point at the moment because the team still had two games to go, it was certainly an eye opening performance.
Three weeks later that second half of the Salem game proved to be the turning point as Gloucester went on to pound Swampscott 43-20 the next week and finished off the year with a 28-19 win over Danvers on Thanksgiving Day; its eighth straight win on Thanksgiving and the 16th win in the last 18 years.
Down the stretch Gloucester beat teams by playing good old fashioned Fishermen football, pounding teams with physical play on both ends of the field and great execution. Late in the year Gloucester’s secondary also made strides giving the team a feared defensive unit.