PEABODY — The Bishop Fenwick football team wrapped up its season by celebrating its Division 5 Super Bowl championship at the school’s cafeteria last night. In the process of handing out awards, it seems the argument about which team was the best in school history was slammed shut.
Fenwick’s championship teams from 1965 and 1999 were always in the discussion as this year’s Crusaders made their run through the Catholic Central League, then the Division 5 playoffs. By the time Fenwick rolled through Northbridge at Gillette Stadium in December, pretty much everyone came to an agreement.
“We had a bunch of guys from the ‘65 team here tonight and guys from the 1999 team and everybody, to a man, says this team was better than those teams,” Fenwick coach Dave Woods said. “The ‘65 team is tough to compare. It’s very different eras, but the most impressive thing about this team was where they came from.”
Fenwick’s senior class had a few players that contributed on the varsity as freshmen, and several more broke into the starting lineup as sophomores. They battled through a pair of 3-8 campaigns, before turning it around with an 8-3 season as juniors.
At that point, this senior class was extremely confident it could make a Super Bowl run.
“They decided as freshmen, ‘We’re winning.’ Everything they had to do to put themselves in that position, they did,” Woods said. “It’s rare to get kids that committed to set a goal and follow through on it.”
The Super Bowl championship still hasn’t complete sunk in for the players yet.
The high praise they have received from the coaching staff means just as much to them, especially all the talk about the 2013 team being the best in school history.
“That’s pretty cool. That might mean more than a state championship,” said Fenwick senior linebacker/quarterback Nick Bona, who was awarded the Ralph LeDuc MVP Award. “Coach Woods saying that we could be the best team he’s ever coached, that’s pretty cool. That’s saying a lot, I know Fenwick has had a lot of great teams.”