The Everett Crimson Tide Pop Warner ‘D’ team will experience the thrill of a lifetime when they take the field for an exhibition scrimmage at halftime of the Green Bay Packers-New England Patriots preseason game Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.
“Our players are ecstatic about this opportunity to play at Gillette,” said ‘D’ head coach Rick Pulsifer.
Pulsifer, assistant coaches Dave Frye, Brian Vaughan Sr., Jason LaMonica, and Ryan Lafave, and their 34 players will board a team bus and head to Foxboro and participate in the 10-minute running time game. The players will watch the Patriots’ game from their seats in the stands for the first quarter and then head to the field and watch the second quarter from the sidelines.
More than 68,000 fans will be in the stadium when Everett takes the field at halftime. Knowing the unmatched tradition of Everett High School and Everett Pop Warner football, there should be significant interest among the fans in seeing the Crimson Tide compete against another eastern Massachusetts Pop Warner team.
Two months ago, Patriots officials contacted Pop Warner president Brian Dimond, who then asked Pulsifer if his team would be interested in playing a game at halftime of a Patriots’ game.
“I jumped all over the opportunity,” said Pulsifer. “I felt it would be a great experience for the kids and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them to play on the field at Gillette and be on the sidelines as the same time as the Patriots are actually playing. We’re grateful to the Patriots for this opportunity.”
There is a good chance that Patriots coach Bill Belichick will address the Everett players.
Pulsifer will count on starting quarterback Giacobbe Ward to hurry up the offense a bit in the running-time format. The coach said all 34 players will take the field for at least one play in the scrimmage.
“We’re going to go tight and run our double-wing offense,” said Pulsifer. “We have to hurry up and get the team to the line scrimmage quickly and run our plays. On defense, we’ll be running a 5-3 (five linemen, three linebackers).”
One of the players to watch on the Everett team is tight end Brian Vaughan Jr., son of former Northeastern University football star running back Brian Vaughan Sr. Also expected to shine for the Crimson Tide this season is running back, Adam Penaflor.
Pulsifer is coming off a very successful season in 2014. He was an assistant coach (Dennis Willcox was the head coach) of the Crimson Tide’s Patriot Division contingent that captured the Pop Warner national championship last December in Florida.
The Everett ‘D’ team has been practicing at Sacramone Park in preparation for the new season.