PEABODY, Mass. -- Linebacker Tim Joy will be a happy guy if his senior season at Chelmsford High School mirrors what happened Saturday at the Northeast 7v7 Tournament at Bishop Fenwick High School, where Joy’s Lions went undefeated and earned a trip to Gillette Stadium.
Chelmsford won each of its eight contests, including a 20-13 victory over Oliver Ames in the championship game.
The victory earned Chelmsford some extra Under Armour apparel, and a trip to Gillette to compete in the Under Armour/New England Patriots 7v7 event Saturday.
“It’s exciting to be playing where the Patriots play,” Joy said. “Hopefully we’ll be playing there in December. It doesn’t get better than that.”
Chelmsford’s Colby Emanouil, who will shift from receiver to quarterback for his senior year, tossed three touchdown passes against Oliver Ames. Chelmsford built on its 14-6 halftime lead by scoring on its first second-half possession. It remained 20-6 until Oliver Ames scored on the game’s final drive.
“We came into this and we didn’t know what to expect because it’s our first year, but we kept winning and kept advancing so I think it was a very successful tournament for us overall,” Oliver Ames quarterback Jared Schneider said.
This year’s tournament featured 48 teams – 47 from Massachusetts and one from Connecticut (St. Paul’s). Both Chelmsford and Oliver Ames went 4-0 during pool play to earn a bye in the opening playoff round.
Twenty four of the 48 teams qualified for the playoffs. Methuen, Duxbury, Swampscott, Norwood, Longmeadow and North Andover were the other teams that earned a bye.
In addition to Chelmsford and Oliver Ames, Reading, Duxbury, Winthrop, Cathedral, Dracut and Marshfield made it to the quarterfinals. Chelmsford reached the championship game by beating Duxbury 20-12 in the semifinals. Oliver Ames advanced with a 32-20 victory over Cathedral.
Chelmsford also won the Bentley Shootout by beating BC High in the championship game earlier this summer.
“We play every day Monday through Thursday at our high school,” Emanouil said. “We pretty much practice all our plays. In an event like this it’s all about the intensity, and our intensity was the best.”
Chelmsford will be one of eight teams competing at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. The field will be divided into two four-team pools, and two teams from each pool will advance to the playoffs.
“This is the biggest field we’ve ever had,” Northeast 7v7 director Steve Dembowski said. “Last year we had 32, which was a record.
“My dream is to host three regional events in New England with maybe 42 teams maximum at a location. We would have a regional champion and then have the top teams come back for a 12-team tournament at Gillette.
“The key to this tournament are the refs. It would just be an average tournament if we didn’t have high school refs here with the stripes on. I think at this point the credibility of the tournament is growing.”
It was the second time Chelmsford has won the Northeast 7v7, which was formerly known as the Swampscott/Lynnfield Shootout. Chelmsford, which has reached the championship game in each of the last four years, also won the 2009 title.
“When you’re having fun out there is when you’re playing your best,” Joy said. “That’s what we were doing.”