Another pigskin squad with a new head coach, Ipswich (with Greg Brotherton now at the helm), starts its quest for greatness at home vs. North Reading on Sept. 13. The only other scheduled home games for the Tigers are against league foes Georgetown (Oct. 4) and Lynnfield (Oct. 25); they’ll meet long-time rivals Newburyport on the road (Sept. 20) in one of their two non-league contests.
Hamilton-Wenham is among the last teams in the state to open up, kicking off their season at home on Saturday, Sept. 14 against North Shore foe Bishop Fenwick. Including Thanksgiving morning, the Generals have six of their eight scheduled games taking place during the daytime. H-W will hosts its long-time Turkey Day rival, Ipswich, on Sept. 28 (1 p.m.) before playing the Tigers on the road at Jack Welch Stadium exactly two months later on the holiday.
Bishop Fenwick follows that opening date in Hamilton with a home game against North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie (Sept. 20) at Donaldson Stadium. Then the Catholic Central League Large dates kick in; the Crusaders go on the road to play Arlington Catholic (Sept. 27) and Cardinal Spellman (Oct. 4); return home to play Austin Prep Oct. 11; take on host St. Mary’s of Lynn at Manning Field Oct. 19 in a Saturday night showdown; and play their last non-playoff game vs. Archbishop Williams at home Oct. 25.
The only non-MIAA team in our area, Pingree, starts its season on the road Sept. 21 at Portsmouth Abbey in Rhode Island. The Highlanders will, for the first time ever, play half of their games (4 out of 8) at night, including a Nov. 2 home date against Evergreen League Clements Division rival Holderness, in which portable lights will be brought onto the South Hamilton campus.
Phil Stacey is the sports editor of The Salem News. Contact him at email@example.com or 978-338-2650, and follow him on Twitter at @PhilStacey_SN.
OPENING GAMES FOR SALEM NEWS-AREA FOOTBALL TEAMS Date Team Opponent Time Sept. 6 Danvers vs. Marblehead 7 Sept. 6 Marblehead at Danvers 7 Sept. 7 Swampscott Triton noon Sept. 7 Beverly Haverhill 1 Sept. 7 No. Shore Tech Tri-County 1 Sept. 7 St. John's Prep Bridgewater-Raynham 1:30 Sept. 12 Masconomet at Melrose 7 Sept. 13 Salem at Gloucester 7 Sept. 13 Peabody at Lynn English 7 Sept. 13 Ipswich North Reading 7 Sept. 14 Bishop Fenwick at Hamilton-Wenham 1 Sept. 14 Hamilton-Wenham Bishop Fenwick 1 Sept. 21 Pingree at Portsmouth Abbey 1:30