LYNNFIELD MIDDLE SCHOOL eighth-grader Chloe Bergeron made history last fall by being the first girl to win the Cape Ann Youth Football League’s Bob Gnoza Award. (Annmarie Bergeron Photo)


LYNNFIELD — Lynnfield Middle School eighth-grader Chloe Bergeron won the Cape Ann Youth Football League’s Bob Gnoza Award last fall.

Chloe is the first girl in history to win the Gnoza Award, and is the first Lynnfield player to win the award since Jac Contardo won it in 2015. She suited up for Lynnfield Pioneer Youth Football & Cheer’s Pioneers A-team last year. The award is named after former CAYFL Commissioner Bob Gnoza.

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.

“It’s pretty cool being the only girl to win the award,” said Chloe. “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, Chloe said she used it as motivation because she had to “prove herself more” while out on the field.

“Football is just fun,” said Chloe. “Playing against kids that I know are better than me is fun.”

However, Chloe almost didn’t play this year over safety concerns that her parents had.

“We initially thought we would allow Chloe to play football in third and fourth grade, but that would be it,” said Chloe’s mother Annmarie.

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,” said Annmarie. “They wanted to play together, so we went along.”

Chloe’s parents evaluated her before each season to decide if she should continue to play. After Chloe’s seventh grade season concluded, Annmarie figured that might be her last season.

“These kids are pretty big. Let’s just give it up,” Annmarie said to Chloe.

Similar to how she plays football, Chloe didn’t go down without a fight.

“I had to convince them,” said Chloe. “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 Chloe play one more season.

“The boys are so good with her,” said Annmarie. “They, along with the parents, are so supportive and love to watch her play.”

Chloe plays both offense and defense for the Pioneers. She played left guard and sometimes running back on offense. She is a tackle and defensive end on defense. The team earned a playoff spot this past season with Chloe playing a key role.

“It was a really great way to end the season,” said Annmarie.

Although this might have been her last season playing football, Chloe plays several other sports. She plays on a club U18 softball team in addition to field hockey and lacrosse. She also plays JV basketball for Lynnfield.