By Jeff Slovin, Contributing Writer
Northborough – The 5th grade Northboro-Southboro T-Hawks Youth Football team defeated Gardner’s Chair City Lions by a score of 21-7 to become the first Northboro-Southboro team to win a Central Mass. American Youth Football Super Bowl championship. The game was held Nov. 8 in Tyngsboro.
The 25 boys worked extremely hard this season to earn their championship. On Aug. 3, the team began practicing four days a week to prepare for the season, and continued to practice twice a week once school began.
Last year, this same group made it to the 4th grade championship game but lost to the Worcester Cowboys. That loss provided a significant source of motivation for this year’s team.
“Being runner-up in the Super Bowl last year, we had one goal this year, and that was to get back to that game and win. From the very first day of practice, the kids made a commitment to our coaching staff and to each other to work hard, trust in and play for each other.” said Head Coach Tony Guido. “We had a long hard season and had to battle through almost every game this year against some exceptional teams, but this team never panicked, never lost faith, and worked together. All season long we preached to them that if they did their jobs, trusted in one another and gave their all in practice and on every play the score would take of itself.“
Gary Maggiolino, assistant coach and president of the Northboro-Southboro Youth Football and Cheer Association, added, “A lot of the success of this team is based upon them coming up through the program together – many of them playing together since the Tiny Mite level (K/1). They have learned to play and trust in one another, they are friends who legitimately care and enjoy playing together. This entire team, from players to the coaches and parents, is one football family.”
The T-Hawks played to a 6-1 record during the regular season, losing only to Oxford-Webster. In the first round of the playoffs, the T-Hawks defeated the same Oxford-Webster team, and then Hudson, before meeting up with the previously undefeated Chair City team in the championship game.
The T-Hawks were honored during halftime of Friday night’s Algonquin Regional Football game against Fitchburg, where the team was able to show off their championship trophy and each player was individually introduced on the field.