, Salem, MA


July 15, 2013

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


Playing a greater percentage of their games on Saturday afternoons (six out of seven) than any other North Shore club, the Bulldogs of North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie open up at home in Middleton against Tri-County Tech on Sept. 7. Other home dates include battles with Chelsea (Sept. 28) and Minuteman (Oct. 19); they also have an appealing road game at Bishop Fenwick on Sept. 20, the only time they’ll play under the halogens.

Swampscott will open the season with three games in 14 days, playing Triton (Sept. 7) at St. Mary’s of Lynn (Sept. 12) and at Winthrop (Sept. 20) before NEC play commences. The Big Blue meet Marblehead and Gloucester (Oct. 19) on their home turf; Lynn English (Oct. 4) and Beverly are road tests.

The third local team to play on Thursday, Sept. 12, is Masconomet, which begins the 2013 campaign at Melrose that night. The Chieftains’ home opener against Gloucester occurs the following Friday, and they’ll host CAL newcomer Saugus in their league opener seven days thereafter.

Playing on the brand new turf at Newell Stadium to begin the season, Salem is eagerly anticipating its Sept. 13 opener at Gloucester. The Witches will play for seven straight weeks (opening weekend is their bye), with home contests at Bertram Field against Marblehead (Sept. 20), Winthrop (Oct. 4) and Revere (Oct. 11) balanced out by road games at Lynn Classical (Sept. 27), Danvers (Oct. 18) and Peabody (Oct. 25).

With a new head coach in Mark Bettencourt, Peabody also kicks off its season Sept. 13 on the road at Lynn English. The Tanners will taste home cookin’ in back-to-back weeks against Somerville (Sept. 20) and Danvers (Sept. 27), the latter in its conference opener. They don’t have a scheduled day game through their first even, with night matchups at Lynn Classical (Oct. 4), at Winthrop (Oct. 11), home vs. Revere (Oct. 18) and home again against Salem (Oct. 25).

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