It’s been almost 30 years since Old Colony football won a program-high eight games in a single season. Well, now the clock resets after the Cougars won its eighth game for the first time since 1988 and only the second time in school history, taking back the Cougar Cup from Tri-County with a 35-28 finish on Thanksgiving Eve.
Old Colony powered towards the victory on the backs of Trevor Gagne and Brad Plissey, who ran for 115 and 111 yards, respectively. Plissey also found the end zone twice and Gagne scored once, too.
Normally, one dominated more than the other in a given week, but anything can happen on Thanksgiving. Throughout the year, there was never a doubt Plissey or Gagne could be relied on since both were horses on a Cougar offense that relied immensely on the running game. And even though they weren’t able to manifest their strong play into a deep postseason run, going down with the best record in school history is an adequate replacement.
“It would’ve been nice to finish in a Vocational Bowl or something a little bit further, but those guys are real proud with their accomplishments,” Old Colony head coach Brandon Mendez said. “To be considered as one of the best teams in the school’s history is something they’re very proud of and they feel that they worked hard to get to. And they earned it. It may have not been a state championship, but it certainly was a big accomplishment.”
But now, the Cougars have a new challenge ahead of them next year: replacing both.
While Matt Bumpus has shown some promise at quarterback, throwing a touchdown pass to Kyle Sylvia in his 5-7 86-passing-yard performance, the Cougars are losing the two players who were involved in the majority of the offensive plays all season.
“I don’t know if you can really replace guys like that,” Mendez said. “It’s more about finding new roles and new ways to come up with offense going through some of the younger guys.”
Bumpus and Phil Proctor will be factors for OC next year.
“And finding offense in some other spots. There’s a bunch of young guys that are ready to roll,” Mendez continued.
With some of the pivotal personnel moving on, not only is “who will fill in” a major question, but also “what will it look like.” However, Mendez doesn’t expect Old Colony’s attack to be much different than it was in 2017.
“There’s a good chance that we’ll stay close to home in terms of what we do,” Mendez said. “But every year’s different. You kind of adapt to your kids and what you see across from you. We have another quarterback, Kyle Scholz, who probably will be taking a good amount of snaps next year, which will allow us to move around Bumpus in the backfield a little bit more.”
Old Rochester Regional
On Thanksgiving Day, Old Rochester had its own monumental day, bowling over Apponequet 43-14.
Harry Smith continued his dominance on the football field, scoring four times in the game to bring his season total to 27 touchdowns on the ground, 28 total. Will Garcia scored twice, bringing his season total to 21 touchdowns.
Smith also finished with 234 rushing yards, his longest run being an 83-yard score in the second quarter, while Garcia accrued 152.
Smith is one of 12 Bulldogs graduating from the football team, finishing his career with an emphatic performance. He leaves things in the hands of Garcia, who, if Thanksgiving’s performance is any indication, seems more than capable of picking up where Smith left off.
Tabor’s winter sports start this week with boys’ ice hockey winning its first game in the St. Paul’s School Jamboree, cruising past the host school 8-3 on Sunday. The Seawolves were back at it again on Monday against Taft. They’ll welcome Phillips Andover Academy to the Travis Roy Rink on Sunday at 2:30 pm.
Boys’ basketball hits the road to start the season, taking a quick trip to Middletown, Rhode Island for a 3:15 pm start on Saturday. Then they’re right back to work on Sunday, taking on St. Andrews on the road.
Wrestling will host St. Paul’s School, St. Sebastian’s School and Buckingham Brown & Nichols School on Saturday at 3:00 pm.
High School Sports Update
By Nick Friar