NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

November 21, 2012

For all the marbles

Newburyport, Amesbury game will decide playoff berth

Ed Gaudiano laughs as he considers a question regarding how Amesbury coach Thom Connors has evolved since he served as an assistant on the Newburyport staff from 1994 to 2000.

“He’s gotten a lot more ornery on the sideline, I think,” says Gaudiano, who has coached Newburyport since 1988. “He’s a great game-day coach. He has some good calls on the sideline. He knows how to manage a game. He’s always had that. I think that’s what he does best.”

Gaudiano will coach against his former assistant for the 11th time on Thanksgiving Day. Connors took over the head job at Amesbury in 2002, and has since led the Indians to a record of 57-63 over 11 seasons. Gaudiano’s Clippers have posted a 6-4 record over Connors’ Indians on Thanksgiving, although Connors’ teams won the only two battles in which a playoff berth was decided by the winner of the game in 2007 and 2008.

That will be the stakes tomorrow when Amesbury (8-2 overall, 4-0 CAL) hosts Newburyport (6-4 overall, 3-1 CAL) at Landry Stadium for the 90th meeting between the schools. Amesbury has already clinched a share of the Cape Ann League Division 3 championship. Newburyport can split the title with a win, and advance to the Eastern Mass. Division 3A postseason for the second year in a row. Last year, the Clippers fell to Hamilton-Wenham one game shy of the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.

Gaudiano holds an overall career record of 160-107, which includes a 14-10 mark against Amesbury. He believes the Thanksgiving rivalry offers plenty of motivation for the players, without even factoring playoff berths, league titles or former coaching allegiances.

“I can’t remember what went on last week, but I know in 2007 and 2008, we didn’t win those games,” Gaudiano said. “One year, our quarterback Joe Clancy couldn’t play, so that was an interesting game. But I don’t think this game needs that hype. It’s still Thanksgiving, it’s still a league championship, and Amesbury already has a share. We’d like our share too.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season
Special Features