Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association gave its football divisions a new look when coaches approved a realignment plan that officially goes into effect when this fall. But in Westford, that won’t be the only major change for the 2013 season.
The Grey Ghosts will have a new coach patrolling the sidelines this year, as former assistant Adam Gagne takes over the program after one year in Salem, New Hampshire.
“I’m excited,” said Gagne. “It’s a great place, great community, and the community is great. The kids are the best. I’m excited for the opportunity, and there was no way I could turn down the opportunity to teach and coach in the same building.”
As far as the realignment, Gagne’s charges find themselves in Division 2 North this year along with Billerica, Haverhill, North Andover, Reading, and others.
Gagne did not have a hand in the vote to approve the realignment since he was not yet hired when it took place. The coach said he’s not sure which way he would have voted had it been up to him, but added that he likes several aspects of the new system.
One aspect of the new system that opponents of it do not like is that some teams will play their Thanksgiving rival more than one time. That is the case with Westford Academy, but Gagne said it won’t impact the magnitude of the game.
In addition to a Turkey Bowl tilt with Acton-Boxborough, Gagne’s charges will travel to face its rival on September 27. That will be the team’s third game of the season after opening up at home against Lowell on September 6 and on the road versus Chelmsford on September 13.
Last season Westford Academy was 7-4 while Gagne was coaching in New Hampshire. This year the coach believes he will quickly get acquainted with his players, especially since he worked with many of them two years ago when he was last on the Grey Ghost staff.
“Every year, every day, you learn something new. It’s a continuing process,” said Gagne. “Having a year as a head coach, I feel more confident coming into the season. I feel that my experience in Salem was important. I had a great time up there and I’m excited to be back in Westford.”