Gloucester Fishermen Football '07

Gloucester's Andrew Fulford breaks a tackle by Revere's Joe Fabiano while returning a punt in the first half of the Oct. 19 football game at Gloucester.  » Roger Darrigrand, Staff Photographer

Football for Fulford

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Wednesday, April, 16 By Matt Langone
Sports editor

Football or hockey or both?

That was a question that Gloucester High School senior Andrew Fulford had been pondering over the past several months, as he was simultaneously narrowing down his college choice. After four years of playing both sports at a very high level (he was All-Northeastern Conference in both this year) at Gloucester High School, it was well-within reason to believe Fulford could play either sport in college.

Finally, in the past couple months, things became a bit more clear for Fulford. He chose to attend Division 3 Norwich University in Vermont and it appears that he is choosing the cleats over the skates.

"I'm probably just going to focus on football," said Fulford. "The decision was tough. I never really even knew what I would concentrate on until the last couple months. I've played hockey basically my whole life, but you need to make choices and move on at some point."

Academics-wise, Norwich is a private military university, combining a structured military lifestyle with regular academic courses. Fulford also looked into American International College in Springfield and Springfield College, but in the end he felt Norwich was the best fit.

"I feel like the strictness will help me with my time management and discipline," said Fulford. "Plus it has a good communications department."

Gloucester head football coach Paul Ingram agrees that Norwich is a good fit for Fulford.

"It's a good fit for Andrew academically and football-wise," said Ingram. "He will be able to compete there, but the academics will be the important thing. He'll get a good education."

Athletically, Fulford's decision may have been influenced by the spectacular season he enjoyed last fall on the gridiron during the Fishermen's 13-0, Division 2A Super Bowl-winning campaign. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound running back rushed for 1,308 yards and 33 touchdowns, solidifying himself as one of the top offensive players in the state.  

Ingram believes those gaudy numbers don't lie, and he would love to see Fulford keep chewing up yards at the next level.

"(Fulford's) strength is running the ball," said Ingram. "I'm not sure what (Norwich) runs for an offense, but since they were recruiting him, I would think they'd want him to run the ball. He can catch the ball out of the backfield too. So there are a lot of different things you can do with him."

Fulford's numbers on the ice were also quite impressive. The captain tallied 14 goals and 22 assists as a forward for the NEC champ Fishermen this past winter. He also surpassed 100 points for his career and is fifth all-time at GHS with 129. However, the jump to college hockey often has potential to be tough.

"I think kids are finding out that colleges are usually only interested in the most elite players out of high school," said Ingram. "There are very few kids that can go play in college without prepping for a year."

Norwich plays in the Empire 8 and finished with a record of just 2-8 last fall. The Cadets have a talented feature running back in Darnel Jackson, who ran for 1,052 yards and eight touchdowns last year. But Fulford should be able to fight for carries with the rest of the running backs.

"They seem to want me to run the ball," said Fulford. "That's what I love to do and that's what I want to do."

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