By Cary Shuman
The Everett High School football team will play one of the most anticipated games in its proud history when it takes the field against Xaverian in the Division 1 Super Bowl Saturday (1 p.m.) at Manning Field in Lynn.
Everett (9-2) is riding a seven-game winning streak in to the game that will decide the Division 1 state champion and the No. 1 ranking in Massachusetts for the 2016 season. Greater Boston League champion Everett rolled to victories over Haverhill, Central Catholic, and Andover in the playoffs to earn its berth in the Super Bowl. The Tide beat Masconomet, 35-24, in a hard-fought game on Thanksgiving
Xaverian (10-1) defeated Franklin, Catholic Memorial, and BC High in the playoffs and edged St. John’s Prep, 7-6, on Thanksgiving eve to claim the Catholic Conference title.
Everett is seeking its 11th Super Bowl championship under head coach John DiBiaso. The Tide last won the title in 2012, completing a run of three consecutive championships. Xaverian is the two-time defending state champion.
The Everett and Xaverian captains and head coaches John DiBiaso and Charlie Stevenson convened Monday at the MIAA Football State Championship Breakfast (see photos, page 3) at MIAA headquarters in Franklin. Both coaches and players were interviewed for the NFHS Network (www.nfhsnetwork.com) broadcast of the game before speaking with reporters.
Stevenson talked about the significance of the game, conceding that the Xaverian-Everett rivalry has surpassed the Xaverian-Brockton rivalry on the Hawks’ schedule.
“Clearly right now Everett-Xaverian is probably the best rivalry,” said Stevenson. “We enjoy competing against Everett. Everett is a great team and John [DiBiaso] is a great coach. In order to win the game, you have to play your very best and that’s the way a state championship game should be. Everett is an outstanding football team, so we’re going to have to play great to beat them.”
Stevenson said he personally scouted Everett on Thanksgiving and in the playoff games versus Haverhill and Central Catholic.
“Everett is definitely better than they were early in the year. Hopefully we are and it will be a great game.”
DiBiaso, whose postseason record is unmatched in Massachusetts football, said Everett has momentum heading into the clash of titans and is ready to compete for the championship.
“When you get to the championship game, I wouldn’t want it any other way than to play the best,” said DiBiaso. “If you’re going to become the champion, you have to dethrone the champion. That was our goal at the beginning of the year and now we have the opportunity. This is our chance.”
Supt. of Schools Frederick Foresteire has put together a Super Bowl Saturday package that Everett fans will appreciate. In addition to free bus transportation from Everett High School to Lynn for the game, there will be hospitality tent in the Manning Field parking lot being generously sponsored by Wynn Boston Harbor.
There is also a post-game party scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Silver Fox Restaurant. Crimson Tide Football Booster Club President Freddie Merchant and the Booster Club are sponsoring and hosting the event.