BEVERLY — It might not be exactly like the scene in “Hoosiers” when a caravan of cars rolls out of a small Indiana town to watch their team play in the big game.
But with thousands of fans making plans to head to Foxborough tomorrow to watch the Beverly High football team play in the Super Bowl, it might be close.
Nine or 10 buses full of players, cheerleaders, band members and fans are scheduled to depart from the high school parking lot for Gillette Stadium, where the undefeated Panthers will face Natick for the Division 2A championship at 3:30 p.m.
With a 12-0 record, Beverly already has the most wins of any team since the program started in 1891. Tomorrow’s game has become such a community event that the Greater Beverly YMCA decided to postpone youth basketball games scheduled for tomorrow so that the 400 players and their families can attend the Super Bowl.
“Our thought is that because the ‘Y’ is so big in the community, it was important to be able to support the Beverly High football team,” YMCA sports director Casey Sudak said. “The kids really look up to these guys. To be able to go down to Gillette and see people they know play on that field is a huge opportunity.”
Beverly High athletic director James Coffey said he is expecting about 3,000 Beverly fans to make it to the game, despite the fact that they’re facing a long drive, cold weather, and the option of staying home and watching the game on TV.
In the parlance of football, the Beverly fans are said to “travel well,” meaning they generate unusually large crowds for away games. Panthers fans say they had a larger crowd than Burlington did for Tuesday night’s playoff game, even though Burlington was the home team.