Love of the game drives semipro football players

Players like Pat Caruso, 53, speak of a reverence for a game that melds speed, violence, friendship, adrenaline, and a type of discipline that teaches lessons to live by off the field.By Steven A. Rosenberg

BUSINESS PLAN

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/07/19/BostonGlobe.com/Regional/Images/lorenz_26nosmallbiz_002.jpg Grapes the passion at Alfalfa Farm Winery

“I’ve tried to learn as much as I can along the way; there’s a huge amount. Between planting grapes and bottling the wine, you have to make about 2,000 decisions.”

LOCAL FARE

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/07/11/BostonGlobe.com/Regional/Images/26nodine02.jpg Wow Barbecue brings authentic Chinese flare from food truck to Malden

Malden restaurant “corners’’ the market for authentic Chinese barbecue that “wows” the American palate.

Latest Globe North headlines

Football players are still game

To understand the lure of playing in the NEFL, consider the sacrifice that players and coaches make. There is no pay, and players dole out up to $200 for the right to make the roster. Semi-weekly practices begin in the early spring, and the season stretches to the fall. Injuries are the norm, ranging from broken bones to blown-out knees. On game days, players often carpool to venues in Maine and Connecticut.

‘Logic says I don’t belong here.’

I am pretending to run on a field filled with football players one-third of my age. I am supposed to be doing a lap or two, but after 20 yards my steps slow and before long I stand in the middle of the field and sigh.

CATCHING UP WITH ...

Catching Up With ... Heather Oldham: Woburn High/UMass Lowell track & field

The five-time All-American recalls the day she broke the 50-foot mark at the NCAA national championships in 2003.

NOTEWORTHY

GlobeNorth: Noteworthy performances

Noteworthy athletic performers in the region north of Boston

Steven A. Rosenberg

Finding the Promised Land at Revere Beach

It’s morning at Revere Beach and I find a spot in the sand to sit.

LOCAL FARE

Wow Barbecue brings authentic Chinese flare from food truck to Malden

Malden restaurant “corners’’ the market for authentic Chinese barbecue that “wows” the American palate.

Taking tattoos to a different (and non-permanent) level

Nahant native Degelis Tufts launched TribeTats as the “intersection of jewelry, tattoos, and body art.”

The Argument: Should the state put a three-year moratorium on high stakes testing?

Two public school teachers weigh in on the controversy.

Globe North commentary

Readers give their thoughts on the quirky police reports of the week, and Harper Lee’s not-so-new novel.

HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS

Andover sophomore holds court at an early age

For 15-year-olds Ryan Fu of Andover, competing against older tennis players is part of the plan.

Informer

INFORMER: Openings, closings, events, and more north of Boston

Step into the Gatsby age with the Crane Estate’s Roaring Twenties Lawn Party on Aug. 2 in Ipswich.

Up close

Sharing hope after losing a loved one

“We believe it will give a message that people do heal,” said Patricia Comeau-Simonson. “Helen [Cogan] and I are living proof.”

Blotter tales

BLOTTER TALES

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/07/17/BostonGlobe.com/Regional/Images/04152009_15road-7211785.jpg Dude, where’s my car?

A man drives off with the wrong car, a beer pong tournament gets out of hand, and DPW workers get scolded in this edition of Blotter Tales.

Cartoon Caption Contest

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/07/22/BostonGlobe.com/Regional/Images/scrod%20valley.jpg Scrod Valley

Send us your submissions for this week’s cartoon, and see the winning caption and finalists from last week’s contest

On The Move

on the move

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/07/20/BostonGlobe.com/ReceivedContent/Images/sky4.jpg Getting a high falling from the sky

“. . . For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to fly like a bird. I thought skydiving would be the closest I could get to being a bird, the calm, serene, gliding through the air, taking in the earth below.”

Globe North Community News

Gloucester

Gloucester is awarded $240,000 to replace street lights

The change is expected to save $130,000 annually while reducing the lights’ carbon footprint by 50 percent.

Beverly

Gran Prix of Beverly welcomes cyclists of all levels

The 7th annual Windover Construction Gran Prix of Beverly will be held Wednesday, July 29.

Chelmsford

Rail trail in Chelmsford to get spruce-up in August

The town of Chelmsford has hired Arbor East Tree Service, a local company, to prune and remove trees and clear debris along the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.

South

The new Wegmans market in Westwood is under construction and scheduled for an Oct. 11 opening.

Wegmans set to open in Westwood in October

After years of anticipation, Wegmans finally is set to open its doors in Westwood this fall. The New York-based supermarket chain’s new store at University Station is scheduled to open Oct. 11, the fourth in Massachusetts.

Interactive Graphic

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/06/11/BostonGlobe.com/Regional/Images/2013-03-21T021641Z_01_PXP452_RTRMDNP_3_BOXING-BRAIN.jpg High school concussions

See the number of concussions reported by area high schools with a sortable table.

Globe e-book

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/07/19/BostonGlobe.com/Special/Images/beckham.png The Best of Beverly Beckham

I was the sun, the kids were my planets, and other reflections from the Globe columnist.