By Cary Shuman
The Everett High School football team opens its season Saturday (2 p.m.) when it travels to Westwood to play Xaverian Brothers High School, the No. 1-ranked team in Massachusetts and owner of a 24-game winning streak.
Coach John DiBiaso’s Crimson Tide, ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 1 in Division 1 North, are poised to renew the state’s best inter-sectional high school rivalry. A capacity crowd of more than 5,000 fans is expected to attend the game.
Even DiBiaso, whose program has won 10 Super Bowls and been involved in numerous marquee regular-season games, feels that the showdown with Xaverian falls in the “big game” category.
When asked if Saturday’s game was one of the biggest opening games during his remarkable tenure as coach, DiBiaso replied, “Yes, whenever you play Xaverian, it’s a big game.”
Xaverian, led by coach Charlie Stevenson, has several players back from last year’s Super Bowl championship team, including senior defensive back Mekhi Henderson, who has started every game since his freshman year.
Everett has looked impressive in pre-season scrimmages against Portland (Maine), Leominster, and Lynn Classical.
Jordan McAfee, Marvens Fedna, Jason Maitre, and Michael Sainristil all scored touchdowns in a 27-0 win over a Classical team that is expected to be a playoff team out of the Northeastern Conference.
“We’ve had a good preseason, now we have to do it for real,” said DiBiaso.