, Salem, MA


July 15, 2013

Phil Stacey column: Making sense of the North Shore football schedule


Danvers and Marblehead get the honor of kicking off the 2013 North Shore high school football season when they meet under the lights at Danvers’ Dr. Deering Stadium on Friday, Sept. 6. The Falcons will follow that with another home date, this time against Beverly, then have their bye week before five straight weeks of league games: at Peabody (Sept. 27), home vs. Revere (Oct. 4), at Lynn Classical (Oct. 11), home vs. Salem (Oct. 18) and at Winthrop (Oct. 25).

Marblehead follows its opener with its home opener against Lynn Classical on Thursday, Sept. 12 (in observance of Yom Kippur, which starts the following night). A non-leaguer at Salem the following week (Sept. 20) ends the Magicians’ non-league slate; for their first league matchup, they’ll face arch rival Swampscott on the road (Sept. 28, 2 p.m.) in a non-Thanksgiving Day scheduled tilt for the first time in 104 seasons.

The defending Super Bowl champions from Beverly will travel a grand total of about 12 miles for their three non-league games to start the season, hosting Haverhill (Sept. 7) and North Andover (Sept. 21) while playing at Danvers on Sept. 13. The Panthers begin their league schedule at Gloucester on Sept. 27, have the next week off and then play, in order, Marblehead (Oct. 12), at Lynn English (Oct. 18) and Swampscott (Oct. 26) before the playoffs begin the first weekend in November.

The area’s other Super Bowl titlist of a year ago, St. John’s Prep, begins defense of its crown at home against Bridgewater-Raynham on Sept. 7. Three of their traditional non-league rivals follow in Brockton, Central Catholic (on the road) and Everett before Catholic Conference play begins Oct. 5 at home against Malden Catholic. Playing just four league games, including Xaverian on Thanksgiving, their next two regular season games (against Catholic Memorial and B.C. High) are both on the road.

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