When the Winthrop football team found itself at 2-5 at the end of the regular season, the Vikings had two choices. They could’ve taken the easy way out by throwing the towel on the season. Instead, first-year coach Jonathan Cadigan and his players decided to turn things around and give themselves a chance at ending with a winning record.
They’ve won three in a row and they’ll have a chance to reach their goal on Thanksgiving when they visit rival Revere.
“We got to 5-5 which was our goal when we were 2-5,” Cadigan said. “We wanted to play for a winning season on Thanksgiving, so that’s a positive.”
A former Vikings player himself, Cadigan knows firsthand what it’s like to be part of the Winthrop-Revere rivalry. Cadigan feels his players understand the tradition that comes with playing against Revere on Thanksgiving.
“It’s the great thing about playing football, in Massachusetts especially,” Cadigan said. “Every year, no matter what our record is, we’re playing for a championship. They have it and it’s hard to talk about. I was able to win four straight against Revere when I was in high school. A lot of Winthrop players have been able to do that the last 20 years. It’s been hard seeing that go the other way the last few years.
“This game is a big deal and it’s great,” Cadigan added. “It’s great to be involved in something like that and look forward to something like that every year.”
Offensively, the Vikings are led by senior quarterback/running back Bobby Hubert. Senior running back Feedle Small has done the heavy lifting on the ground. Sophomore running back Austin Daigneault has come around nicely to round out the offense.
Defensively, the Vikings received a boost when sophomore linebacker Brian Conceicao returned to action after missing a few weeks with a concussion. Senior defensive back Jonathan Applebee has recorded an interception in three consecutive games. Senior defensive lineman Chris Castro causes havoc in the trenches.
Winthrop lost to Revere, 17-14, when the rivals met last fall in the first game played at the new Miller Field. Cadigan’s hopeful the Vikings will erase the sour memories from last year’s game with a victory Thursday.
“It’s one of those things where you tell the kids you’re not looking past this opponent or that opponent,” Cadigan said. “I think they know the tradition that goes into it, especially around here. We had a lot of players come back and talk to the team. We wore throwback jerseys from the ’90’s against Essex Tech. We have a tradition and we’re pretty well versed in it. They understand the tradition of the game and they want to get that trophy back.”
Kickoff for Thursday’s game is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Della Russo Stadium.