GRAFTON, Mass. – It was a breakfast menu every Super Bowl-minded football team would "step into" before a practice in the rain: pancakes, scrambled eggs, mini- bagels and crispy bacon.
But at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Grafton football players Joseph Houston and Matthew & Michael Schena, bleary eyed and wishing they were in bed, were serving, not eating.
More than 350 locals filed into the high school and paid to have breakfast with the champions, a fundraiser to host a banquet for the Division IV MIAA Super Bowl champs who won it all for the first time since 1986.
"This was my year coaching these kids, they’re very special," said head coach, Mike Ross. "I'm happy for the kids and I'm happy for the community."
The banquet is scheduled for March 10 and will include a dinner, Super Bowl rings, and a varsity jacket. But more money needs to be raised first.
Jim Coughlin, father of player Jonathan Coughlin, said the reason the team won it all was because it was an extremely tight squad of players who didn't rely on a few to make the plays. "We had about four or five running backs who had at least 500 yards this season," he said.
But when the year was over, the team, their parents, and the town rallied together to raise the money for their celebration night. Before the breakfast numbers was counted, more than $9,000 was raised, according to Coughlin, with a $12,000 goal. "A big thanks to the town," Coughlin said. "There were many who donated large amounts."
The team said there were many who needed to be recognized for making the pancake fundraiser a success, including:
• The entire Grafton Indians Boys' Varsity Football Team and the coaching staff
• The donations from individuals and businesses
• Kevin Bradlee
• Paul and Deb Charpentier
• Jim Coughlin
• Erin Griffin
• Pauline Joncas
• Terrie McManus from "Catering by Terri," who donated paper goods, coffee and coffee makers
• Mark McVey
• Evelyn Materas
• Carol Murphy
• Principal James Pignataro
• Linda Rice
• Bob "Chef" Rynning for working in the kitchen and donating the food
• Kathy Trotta-Sidman
• Deb Steinmetz
The team is very close to its fundraising goal of $12,000. Attached is a donation application for those interested.