By Patrick Flaherty, BPSsports Correspondent
EAST BOSTON — While the East Boston Jets cruised to a 51-12 victory over the Boston English Blue and Blue, it was the halftime ceremony at Sartori Stadium that brought a large East Boston crowd out on a cold and windy Friday night.
John Sousa, 15-year head coach at East Boston, and Jermaine Wiggins, former East Boston quarterback and 9-year NFL tight end, had their jerseys retired during halftime.
A graduate of East Boston High School, Sousa enjoyed a 15-year journey as East Boston’s head man. He compiled at 126-37 record with the Jets, earning 9 Boston North titles and two Super Bowl victories in 1994 and 2004. Coach Sousa capped off his stellar head coaching career when he became the first coach from the city of Boston to coach in the Shriners game at Gillette Stadium.
After the emotional halftime ceremony, Coach Sousa stressed the importance of community at East Boston. “It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.” Coach Sousa said. “I’m truly grateful to Mr. Rubin and the community at East Boston High.”
Former East Boston quarterback Jermaine Wiggins was a standout football and basketball player for the Jets from 1989 to 1993. Wiggins spent his collegiate football career at Marshall University and the University of Georgia. Jermaine then enjoyed a 9 year NFL career, playing for the New York Jets, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings. His pro career was highlighted by a Super Bowl 36 victory with the Patriots in 2002.
When asked about his jersey retirement, Wiggins talked about the legacy that he has left behind. “It’s something that my kids will be able to see as they get older.” said Wiggins. “It’s something that will always be around long after I’m gone, so it’s pretty exciting to have my number retired.”
As for the game, the victory gives East Boston a 3-0 Boston North record this season. The Jets will face Madison Park next week and South Boston on Thanksgiving, needing wins in both games to earn the Boston North title and a spot in the playoffs.
Pat Flaherty is the producer and play-by-play announcer for Mayor Menino’s Game of the Week, which airs on Sundays at noon and Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m, on Boston City TV (Ch. 24). The games also airs on BNN Channel 9 on Mondays at 9:30 p.m.