The Revere High School football team will open its season with its toughest test in years on April 16: defending GBL champion Everett High School at Harry Della Russo Stadium.
Of course, everything sports-related during the COVID-19 pandemic depends on the mutual approval of Revere public health officials, Mayor Brian Arrigo, Schools Supt. Dr. Dianne Kelly, and Director of Athletics Frank Shea.
But on paper, it’s a dream matchup between Coach Lou Cicatelli’s Patriots, who in 2019 had their finest season (10-1 record, NEC champions, North Sectional finalists, and a Thanksgiving win over Winthrop) in history and new Everett Coach Rob DiLoreto’s Crimson Tide who likely would have been preseason ranked No. 1 in the state in 2020, if not for the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in the postponement of the fall season.
Revere High Athletic Director Frank Shea said the GBL Athletic Directors voted to start the league’s winter season on March 1 and the Fall 2 season on April 12.
“That’s separate from what the rest of the state is doing because of our COVID-19 infection rate within GBL communities,” indicated Shea.
The GBL football season would run from April through the end of May with a five-or-six-game season and no playoffs.
“The hope is that Revere gets to play football in mid-to-late April or May and the weather is better at that time,” said Shea.
Revere has played Everett in Pop Warner football but its high school teams did not meet as Revere switched its membership to the Northeastern Conference. Revere is back in the GBL where Everett has reigned in football for the past 25 years, winning 12 Division 1 Super Bowls.
If attendance is not limited due to the coronavirus, the Revere-Everett game could draw the biggest crowd in many years.
“There would be a tremendous lead-up to that game in the two communities,” predicts Shea. “The hope is by that point, the vaccines are being distributed widely and we’re able to have some sort of normalcy.”
Revere’s outstanding, returning senior quarterback Calvin Boudreau will go up against a powerful Everett defense that has players committed to Division 1 college football programs.
Boudreau, who also plays safety, has been named one of the Revere captains. The other captains are defensive end and guard Ryan Doucette, linebacker and running back Jon Tran, and linebacker and tailback Adetayo Attebbi. Returning player Billy Genepra also figures prominently in Revere’s offensive attack that rolled behind Boudreau and All-Scholastic Joe Llanos last season.
Lou Cicatelli said he meets once a week on Zoom with members of the team.
“Playing football in the spring is kind of exciting,” said Cicatelli. “We can start practice on March 8 and hopefully that date sticks.”
As for the season opener against Everett, Cicatelli offered, “I think we can play with any team, no doubt. We really like what we have on our roster. I think we’ll put a lot of points on the scoreboard this season.”
The Revere-Winthrop game is up in the air right now because Winthrop is currently slated to play its football season during Fall 2 (March and April) Interestingly, Everett’s 2019 All-Scholastic quarterback, Naval Academy-commit Duke Doherty, has transferred to Winthrop High School and he will be the quarterback of the Vikings, who have 21 seniors and look to be contenders for the NEC title.
“I’m hoping we can put something together with Winthrop,” said Cicatelli.