Apparently it takes at least 50 pounds of food to feed a Massachusetts high school football team, but if that much to bring the boys of the Westford Academy Grey Ghosts together, their parents think it's well worth it.
With just over 24 hours left until their critical Dual County League game with Lincoln-Sudbury, members of the varsity team came together at the home of starting quarterback Troy Faretra to have some fun, eat some food and mentally prepare for the contest with their rivals.
Each week the team meal jumps from house to house among parents of the team, and Vanessa Faretra was happy to do her part.
"We've been doing this for at least three years, and I know parents before us have been doing this even before that," said Faretra. "It's just a tradition."
Thursday's meal took Faretra two days to make, but her effort was common among the parents of the team.
At the beginning of the season Jeff Mount, father of team captain Justin Mount, helped bring 58 full pans of pasta and other food items to the home of Ann Antes, mother of linebacker Alex Antes and Westford Patch football photographer.
"I think this builds good team morale. Here, everyone's equal," said Mount, who believes the ritual marks a difference from his days with high school football in Duxbury. "We just want to make sure that if they don't eat anything tomorrow, they still won't be hungry."
At first glance, looking at fare like scores of Buffalo tenders and cutlets of chicken parmesean might not seem it would fit within a modern athletic training regimen. However, with a prohibition on soda at the table and a focus more on team building than calories, the tradition has earned the approval of Westford Academy head coach Rich McKenna as well as members of the team.
"The food's really good and it's a good bonding experience," said junior linebacker and offensive lineman Matthew McGorty. "I think it really affects the chemistry on the field."
Game time tonight for the Grey Ghosts is 7 p.m., tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students.
We will have the box score up as soon as possible on Friday night along with pictures from the game in Monday's newsletter.