Gloucester Fishermen Football '07

Deborah Hammond, Staff Photographer

Team 'grandma' roots for her Fishermen

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Friday, November, 30 By Kristen Grieco
Staff writer

Gloucester is filled with Fishermen fans who will be trekking to the Super Bowl tomorrow, but Alice Lewis is arguably the most faithful of them all.

Lewis, 81, is the team's "grandmother" and, over the years, has attended the games faithfully. The team even gave her a number a few years back | 49 | and she's received team sweatshirts and a game ball and has hosted a championship trophy in her Centennial Avenue home.

Signs cheering on her "grandsons" and American flags in their honor decorate her front porch.

In return for her honorary team membership, Lewis sends the team a card every week and attends all the games, no matter what. ("Anything for the boys," she says.) Three weeks ago, she broke her leg on the way to watch them play Salem | and sat through the entire game before seeing a doctor.

Yesterday, Lewis, who graduated from Gloucester High School in 1944, was perhaps the most nervous "member" of the team. The tension takes a toll.

"Terrible, terrible," she said. "I say a prayer every night. I get so nervous."

Lewis will be just one of an excited stream of Fishermen fans making the 70-mile trip to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro tomorrow afternoon to see the team try to capture a Super Bowl title against Hingham. It's the first Super Bowl trip for the Fishermen since their victory in 2000.

"It's been something we've been hoping to do since (we were) Pee Wees," said Kyle Habecker, a senior quarterback who was a water boy for the 2000 Super Bowl team.

The team's preparation will continue right up to game time. Yesterday, six team members sat cloistered in a classroom during lunch hour, skipping the social scene in the cafeteria to watch tapes of Hingham's plays.

For seniors, this is their last chance at a championship. It will also be the first time Gloucester has played in Foxboro in 20 years. And the six studious players were quietly confident.

"It was one of our goals," said running back Anthony Enderle, a senior. "We worked hard to get here." Some of the students planning to go to the game were even more confident.

"I think we'll probably kill them," said senior Alex Schad, a basketball player. "Schools don't know us because we're kind of small. This will put a good spotlight on our school."

The school wasn't planning to host a pep rally or pride day as of yesterday morning, having just had one the day before Thanksgiving. And the crowd at Foxboro may be heavily leaning toward male students | the school's semi-formal is the same evening as the game, and several girls said their hair appointments overlapped game time.

But at least one group of girls (and one boy) is just as excited as the football team to land in the Super Bowl: the Fishermen cheerleaders.

"The best part is being at Gillette and being able to cheer there," said freshman cheerleader Erica Quince. And as Fishermen signs and banners are raised in windows around Gloucester, it seems many fans feel the same pride as the team's unofficial grandma.

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