Huge congratulations to Chloe Bergeron for becoming the first girl to win the Gnoza award. Check out her feature in the January 9th edition of the Item.
BERGERON BECOMES FIRST GIRL TO WIN GNOZA AWARD
January 9, 2023
Chloe Bergeron, who just turned 14, is an eighth-grade student who recently played football for the Lynnfield Pioneers’ A-team. Bergeron was the recipient of this year’s Bob Gnoza Award, named after the former commissioner of the Cape Ann Youth Football League (CAYFL).
Each team in the CAYFL nominates one player for the award. The annual award is given to an eighth-grader who exemplifies the principles that Gnoza stood for: courage, dedication, discipline, sportsmanship, and teamwork.
Bergeron is the first girl in history to win the Gnoza award.
“It’s pretty cool being the only girl [to win the award],” Bergeron said. “It’s definitely harder to win it being a girl. I think it’s a great achievement.” Being the only girl on the football team, Bergeron said she uses it as motivation because she has to “prove herself more” while out on the field. “Football is just fun. Playing against kids that I know are better than me is fun,” Bergeron said.
However, she almost couldn’t play this year over safety concerns her parents had. “We [Chloe’s parents] initially thought we would allow Chloe to play football in third and fourth grade, but that would be it,” Annmarie said.
However, when Chloe reached middle school, Annmarie said that’s when Chloe – in addition to her twin brother Chase – begged her to play. “Chase was a big supporter of Chloe playing. They wanted to play together so we went along,” Annmarie said.
Bergeron’s parents evaluated her before each season to decide if Chloe should continue to play. After Chloe’s season in seventh grade, Annmarie figured that may be the last season. “These kids are pretty big. Let’s just give it up,” Annmarie said.
Similar to how she is playing football, Bergeron didn’t go down without a fight. “I had to convince them,” Bergeron said. We played teams made up of seventh and eighth-graders so I told them ‘if I can compete with eighth-graders now while I’m in seventh grade, then I should be able to compete with them while I’m in eighth grade.” Sure enough, that experience helped influence Annmarie and her husband Paul to let Bergeron play one more season.
“The boys are so good with her. They, along with the parents are so supportive and love to watch her play,” Annmarie said.
Bergeron plays both offense and defense for the Pioneers. On offense, she plays left guard and sometimes running back, while on defense, she plays tackle and defensive end. The team earned a playoff spot this past season with Bergeron playing a key role.
“It was a really great way to end the season,” Annmarie said.
Although this might have been her last season playing football, Bergeron plays several other sports. She plays on a club U18 softball team in addition to field hockey and lacrosse. Bergeron also plays JV basketball for Lynnfield.