The Shriners All-Star Football Classic is back for its 39th annual game, pitting the best high school football players from Eastern Mass against each other in a North vs. South battle.
Last year’s game, at Cawley Memorial Stadium in Lowell, saw the South come away with a 30-20 victory. This year, the stage shifts to Bentley University in Waltham for a 4 p.m. start on Saturday.
For the players – 100 graduating seniors – the game represents a special opportunity to raise money for the Shriners Hospital for Children, where patients and parents bear no financial responsibility.
For coaches, the game can be just as meaningful. Bill Kinsherf has coached 22 seasons at Archbishop Williams but will be making his first appearance as head coach in the Shriners game.
“I’ve been an assistant before but this is my first time as head coach and I’m really enjoying it,” Kinsherf said. “It’s awesome to be able to work with other local coaches and see how they manage their teams.”
Kinsherf, who runs a Pro-Set offense with the Bishops, will operate the spread offense run by his assistant, Brighton head coach Randolph Abraham, at his school. With athletic wide receivers such as Brian Espanet of Millis, the Division 4A Player of the Year, Kinsherf says coaching this team has been pleasurable.
“Players like that make life easier,” Kinsherf said. “They’re good players who know the system and do what you ask them to do the first time.”
Many of Saturday’s participants, like Everett’s Marvens Fedna, are simply looking forward to getting back out there one final time at the high school level before playing college football in the fall.
“It’s a good feeling to get back out there,” Fedna said. “I’m looking forward to going out and just competing.”
Fedna earned Globe All-Scholastic honors last fall as he led Everett to a Division 1 Super Bowl title and will be playing at Framingham State this fall. He notched 39 career touchdowns for the Crimson and will be joined by teammate RJ Fiali on the North Team.
The North is highlighted by a talented corps of running backs led by Fedna. Other members of the backfield include fellow All-Scholastics Mike Pedrini (Melrose), Scott Peary (Northeast), Matt McCarthy (North Reading), Kellen Field (Malden Catholic), Nick DiNapoli (Reading), and Division 2A Player of the Year Christian Sanfilippo (Gloucester).
City League Baseball/Softball All-Stars
The Boston City League will cap its 2017 sports season with the Baseball and Softball All-Star Games on Saturday at MIT in Cambridge.
The games were moved back one hour to accommodate for Saturday morning’s wet weather. Baseball will begin at 12 p.m. with softball to follow at 12:30 p.m.
The games will pit the best players from the City League North against the City League South.
Both North teams will be coached by O’Bryant staff – softball coach Bridget Ryan and baseball coach Ted Curley. Latin Academy’s Anthony Bernazzani will helm the South baseball team while Brandon Arthur will manage the South softball team.
Westford Academy names new AD, football coach
Changes will be coming to the Westford Academy athletic department this fall after the school announced Friday named Patrick Gendron as its new football coach and former head football coach Adam Gagne as interim athletic director, effective July 1.
Gendron takes over as head coach after serving as an assistant since 2009 and replaces Gagne, who went 21-22 in six seasons as the Grey Ghosts’ head coach.
Last season, Westford earned the fourth seed in the Division 1A North playoffs with a regular season record of 3-4. Westford was eliminated in the first round after a 35-19 loss to Peabody and finished the season 4-7.
Gagne will replace current AD Dan Twomey, who will be assuming a new administrative role at the school next year.