Story by Bob Marra
The Greater Boston Stallions began their New England Football League season with a “victory” that came much more easily than they ever would have imagined: as the Stallions prepared to take their home field at Harry Della Russo Stadium for Saturday’s 6 p.m. kickoff, they discovered that their opponent the New England Bearcats could not field a full team and were forced to forfeit.
Many of the Stallion players expressed an “a-win-is-a-win” attitude, but were clearly disappointed that they would have to wait another week for game action. “We were psyched to get out there and playing,” said Winston Jeune, a safety for the Stallions. Jeune commented that he played at Harry Della Russo Stadium when played for Malden High School years ago. “It was only my first year at Malden, then Revere moved to another (Northeastern) conference and we didn’t play them anymore.”
Jeune noticed the vast improvement at the Stadium since his last gridiron experience in Revere. “Oh yeah, it looks great,” he said. “I’m looking forward to playing here.”
As distant thunder and lightening suggested that the game would have been delayed if not washed out altogether even had an opponent taken the field. players mingled with family and friends. Some played catch with youngsters until the rains arrived.
“Bummer!” a fan yelled as he entered the stadium, only to learn that there would be no game.
“We’ll get out here. We’ll play some football soon enough,” said Stallions assistant coach Brad Yancey.
The Stallions travel to the Roberts Sports Complex in Holyoke this Saturday to face the Western Mass. Blitzin’ Bears. They’ll play their first home game at Della Russo Stadium on Saturday, July 31 at 6 p.m. against the Worcester Wildcats.
The Stallions are part of the New England Football League. The League notes on its website that it is a nonprofit organization to provide men, eighteen years of age and older, the opportunity to play full contact amateur football in a controlled, organized and structured environment at various levels of skill while being neither exclusionary nor discriminatory towards any person or persons wishing to participate. It is recognized by the NCAA as a true amateur adult football league, meaning college eligibility is not lost by playing in the NEFL. The New England Football League games are played under NCAA rules with certain modified rules to further enhance play. Since it’s humble beginnings in 1994, NEFL has become one of the largest, most successful and competitive semi-pro, minor football leagues in the United States.