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2023 Gloucester Football preview

Lexi Thomas
The team celebrates after a touchdown against Essex Tech.

After a long-standing lull in championship and playoff wins, the GHS Football team is back and ready for vengeance for the 2023 season. 

From training camps to summer workouts at Good Harbor Beach, the Gloucester Football Team is a prominent part of Gloucester’s fall culture. With the current standing deficit in championship wins, the Fishermen are ready to take the field and Division 5 by storm. 

An addition to the GHS Football program this year is a full Freshman Team, lead by Head Coach Ray Ortiz. In previous years, numbers had not been adequate enough to create a third team for the Fishermen, but the influx of willing Freshman players made the new team possible. 

“The return of the freshman program is awesome,” Coach Craig Bren said. “Coach O’Connor has done a great job fostering relationships at the middle school and the Gloucester Youth Fishermen organization did an amazing job with the last two classes of athletes coming into our school.”

Leading the Fighting Fishermen is a strong lineup of senior captains, including Ethan Mahoney, Michael Toppan, John Gucciardi and Cameron Widfelt, all with the goal to lead the team to a winning record. 

“I have high hopes for this upcoming season,” Varsity Captain Michael Toppan said. “The team looks strong and ready for the challenges up ahead. Coming out of Summer, we looked good and that momentum has carried over into the first two scrimmages. Hopefully, we can keep this streak of high energy for the season.” 

In just a few weeks, the Gloucester High School Fishermen have already produced some standout players and people to watch out for this season. When sitting in the stands this Friday, don’t be surprised to hear some of the names mentioned below over the loudspeaker. 

“It takes a special type of person to pour their heart and soul into something during tough times,” said Bren. “So [the team this year] is resilient.”

Key players for this season include Senior Captain Cameron Widtfelt, who is the new starting quarterback for the Fishermen after filling the shoes of previous QB Nick Carey. Other key players include sophomores Joe Allen and Jaylen Severino, who have both shown strength and agility on the field. Additionally, there is only one freshman on the Varsity team this year: Max Thomas.  Thomas played center in youth football and will play left tackle this year. His flexibility is his strong suit, and tags him as someone to keep an eye on.

Last Friday, all three fishermen teams—Freshman, JV and Varsity—played and won against Essex Tech in the second scrimmage of the year. To keep the streak going, the fishermen’s home opener against the Somerville Highlanders is this Friday, and the players are looking for a win to start the regular season off strong.

“We’ve had a good week of practice,” said Widtfeldt. “And we’ll let that build into Friday’s game”

Here is the Varsity Football schedule: 

9/8 7:00p Somerville Highlanders at Home

9/15 7:00p Weston Wildcats at  Home

9/22 7:00p St. Bernard’s Central Catholic Bernardians at Home

9/29 6:30p Salem Witches – Away

10/6 6:30p Winthrop Vikings – Away  

10/12 6:30p Saugus Sachems at Home 

10/20 7:00p Peabody Veterans Memorial Tanners –  Away 

10/27 7:00p Beverly Panthers at Home

11/23 10:00a (Thanksgiving Game) Danvers Falcons  – Away 

All other schedules and rosters can be found on

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About the Contributor
Lexi Thomas
Lexi Thomas, Staff Writer
Lexi Thomas is a Junior at Gloucester High School, and a second year staff member for the Gillnetter. She enjoys writing creatively and can't wait to regularly publish! When Lexi isn't writing or getting caught up on schoolwork, she has been a Varsity Cheerleader for the past three seasons with no plans of stopping! Lexi is also an aspiring photographer who has made many appearances at all-level sports events.  She is very excited to be a jack of all trades this year on the Gillnetter staff and can be reached at

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    bernard mazzaOct 19, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    Go getting, You guys should be proud of yourselves..You all played your hearts out . Be proud of the city you play for. Glocester is a historical city The citizens of Gloucester honor you, never forget that