Gloucester Fishermen Football '07

Linsey Tait, Staff Photographer

2007 Fishermen rank amongst best in school history

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Tuesday, December, 04 By Nick Curcuru

Now that the 2007 football season has come to an end and the Gloucester Fishermen have been crowned Eastern Mass. Division 2A champs, there is still one more debate to be waged.

Where do the 2007 Fishermen rank amongst the greatest Gloucester football teams of all time?

The answer is not very simple, as the Fishermen have had a slew of powerhouse teams throughout their storied history. Players from the 1956 or 2000 teams will probably make the argument that their team was the best. As for the 2007 team, it is quite obvious where they put themselves.

"We are definitely the top (Gloucester football team) of all time," Fishermen center Sal Taormina said following Gloucester's 41-0 trouncing of Hingham in the Division 2A Super Bowl on Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. "This is the closest team I have ever played on, our teamwork is (unmatched)."

The 2007 bunch also has the talent to go along with the teamwork. The team placed eight players on the Northeastern Conference All-Star team. Senior captain and running back Andrew Fulford was named the conference MVP and he was joined by fellow seniors Mario Peritore, Cam Marston, Anthony Enderle, and John Celata, as well as juniors Dylan Morrissey and Robert Lowe on the all-conference squad.

The 1956 team has been looked at as one of the best Gloucester High School football teams for the last 50 years. The team sported a 9-1 record and captured the Massachusetts Class B state championship. The lone blemish on the Fishermen's record came at the hands of Miami (Fla.) Senior High at the Orange Bowl in Miami. According to Peritore, assistant coach Jack Radcliffe — a member of that 1956 squad — believes that the latest Fishermen team was better than the 1956 team.

"Coach (Jack) Radcliffe was on the 1956 team that went down to Florida, and he is actually saying that we might have just taken over that team's spot as the best Gloucester team of all-time," Peritore said. "Because of that, I feel like we are close to the top."

That brings us to the 2000 team, which ironically has a lot of similarities to the 2007 team.

For starters both this year's team and the 2000 team are the only two teams in Gloucester High School football history to finish the season undefeated. The 2000 team was the first Gloucester team to accomplish that feat, capping the season off with a 35-26 win over Foxboro in the Division 3 Super Bowl.

The two teams also had a running back break the school's touchdown record. In 2000, team quad-captain Adam Orlando broke Ted Williams' record of 33 touchdowns. Orlando would finish his career with 37 scores. Fulford would go on to shatter Orlando's record this season, finishing with 58 scores.

Both teams also sported a four-headed rushing attack. Both teams had a dominant defense that recorded four shutouts. The two squads each sported a running back named Brian Harnish (no relation). The 2000 team's Harnish was Northeastern Conference MVP.

The two teams also put up similar numbers offensively and defensively. This year's team outscored their opponents 489-113, beating their opponents by an average score of 37.6-8.7. The 2000 team scored 365 points and allowed 79 in two less games, beating opponents by an average score of 33.2-7.2.

So which team was better?

That question may be too tough to answer. Terry Silva's 2000 squad may have had more talent, they were bigger up front and equally as fast as this year's team.

This years team, however, ran the wing t offense more smoothly than any team has ever run it at Gloucester High School and won games in a more dominating fashion. Now matter how many numbers you crunch, how many times you compare or which team it is that you believe to be the best; one thing is evident.

The 2007 Gloucester Fishermen belong in the conversation as one of the best Gloucester football teams in school history, and they have the Division 2A Super Bowl trophy to prove it.

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