Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

October 17, 2013

Community Tailgate to serve Warrior pride

Pre-game event kicks off last home matchup of season

By Judy Wakefield

---- — Tom who?

Andover’s got its own superstars when it comes to Friday night football — starting with the Jack Attack — and the public is invited to attend a Community Tailgate this week in support of the fast-running Jack Sylvester and the rest of the Golden Warriors football team.

The tailgating — in advance of the last home game of the season — starts at 5 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 18, on the practice field near Eugene V. Lovely Memorial Field at Andover High. AHS then takes the field against La Salle Academy of Providence, R.I. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Even New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would probably support this prideful event. The four sponsors — Andover Youth Services, Andover Youth Council, AHS Football Boosters and the Jungle (aka AHS football fans) — simply want to show some community spirit for the Warriors and have teamed up to host the event.

“We want to show off and show La Salle how we do it in Andover ... We want to really show our support for this team,” organizer Kyle Lightner of Andover Youth Services said.

With music, face-painting, football contests and a unique menu inspired by the 2013 Warrior team, Lightner promises the whole family will have fun.

Organizers certainly had fun planning this menu as team players definitely proved inspiring. Here’s a sampling of what will be up for grabs:

THE SYLVESTER CLASSIC in honor of running back Sylvester (217 yards, three touchdowns last week against Billerica) is an all-American cheeseburger that will have you running back for more.

THE DOUBLE offers twice as much meat and cheese and is named after lineman Ommel Bonilla, a player with double the personality and double the heart.

THE EIKEN-BURGER is smothered in cheese just as linebacker Will Eikenberry smothers opposing teams’ offenses.

PERRY’S PULLED PORK is named after coach EJ Perry, who loves to pull apart opposing teams’ defenses. He eats one of these sandwiches before every game.

THE HEARTY HARTFORD is a monster steak tip sub named for lineman Ben Hartford and encourages anyone who eats it to protect themselves against hunger like Ben attacks and protects on the field.

Football contests, including a field goal competition and quarterback challenge, will round out the fun. And there will be plenty of rounds of the Warrior Chant throughout the night, too.

The town clamped down on tailgating on school grounds a few years ago over concerns with fire and safety regulations, liability issues and health permit requirements.

But Frank Melendez, nutrition coordinator at the senior center, is running the food station for this tailgating event and all permits are in order, Lightner said.

Admission to the event is free; there will be a charge for the food offerings.