Weathering the Early-Season Fall Storm

It’s an inevitable part of any sports undertaking – rescheduling due to weather.

Tropical Storm Jose started hitting the area on Tuesday, and Maria was a few days behind in the Atlantic Ocean.

For high school athletic offices, it is what it is.

“It’s going to be a crazy week this week,” Old Rochester Regional Athletic Director Bill Tilden said. “If you get six inches of rain in two days, that’s going to have an effect for awhile.”

“Honestly, it’s tough for us,” Old Colony AD Matt Trahan said. “Especially here at Old Colony, where there’s a ton of oversized trees and whatnot, so we’ll be watching it.”

When in doubt, a postponement is usually the way to go in Trahan’s book. “Dealing with kids, I just think you’re better off erring on the side of caution. There’s always another day to play.”

Here’s a look at what’s happening this week at ORR, Old Colony, and Tabor:


When Harry Smith became what’s believed to be the school’s first 300-yard rusher in Week 1 of the season vs. Wareham, it seemed like a once-in-a-generation type of performance.

Then Will Garcia did it again, breaking off several long runs to go over 300 yards in a 30-0 blanking of Apponequet.

“For Harry to do it one week, and then Will the next, it’s unbelievable,” said Tilden. “They did a great job game-planning for Harry, but it just left the outside open for Will.”

Smith added 100+ yards on his own, but it was Garcia’s night.

“He’s a happy kid and a very good student. I don’t think he likes being in the spotlight, he loves playing football,” Tilden said. “He’s a flyer – he’s a track kid, but he’s definitely doing it with speed because he’s only about one hundred fifty-five pounds.”

ORR (2-0) hosts Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech Friday night in what may shape up to be a lopsided affair.

The football win over Apponequet was one in a series of matches with the rival Lakers; the girls’ soccer team won 4-2, volleyball won 3-1, and the boys’ soccer team drew 2-2.

The girls’ soccer team is off to a hot start, as is sophomore Meg Hughes who had five goals in a win over GNB Voc-Tech. Hughes, the area’s best young runner, is hitting her stride on the soccer field.

“Soccer is her first love,” Tilden said. “As good as she is at running, she’ll tell you all day long that she loves soccer. Last year, she was still trying to figure out her role and still scored quite a few goals, but I think she’s much more comfortable this year.”

On Saturday, members of ORR’s cross country team went to UMass Dartmouth to watch some of their former teammates now competing at the collegiate level. Former Bulldogs Riley Shaughnessy, Avery Nugent, Rachel Scheub and Nina Bourgeois were all either competing or attending the invitational. Bourgeois led the former ORR runners, finishing 49th for Trinity College.

Grant Reuter, one of last year’s football stars, had his first catch as a tight end at Dean Junior College.

Old Colony

Old Colony’s girls’ soccer team figured to measure success with moral victories more than on-field ones this year, but they got a great win last week with a 2-0 defeat of Avon.

It was a pretty magical outing for the Cougars, who were outshot 15-2 … but saw both of their shots find the net while none of the 15 got past goalie Te’Lyn Layton. Haylie Fernandes and Kaitlyn Pimental scored the goals.

“They were psyched,” Trahan said. “A win like that can go a long way.”

The volleyball team is off to a 2-1 start under coach Heather Darcy and has a good early test Thursday against perennially good Bristol Aggie.

It was a happy Saturday for the football team, which bounced back – in a big way – from their opening 20-0 loss. The Cougars got a big game from Brad Plissey in a 34-16 win over Holbrook.

“I know our coaches were pleased with that result,” Trahan said. “The opener wasn’t indicative of the team we are.”

The Cougars (1-1) have a tough test at home Saturday (1:00 pm) vs. Blue Hills, who Trahan says is always a good opponent.

Former Cougar boys’ soccer standout Paul Soucy is already making a difference as a freshman at Westfield State; he’s played in all six games thus far, averaging almost 30 minutes a game.

Tabor Academy

Action is just getting under way by the sea in Marion, with a full slate this week weather permitting.

The boys’ cross country team, led by Aly Hussein, took wins vs. all three opponents in a quad meet; field hockey and girls’ soccer also had decisive wins over Portsmouth Abbey.

The football team had scrimmages last week and opens at St. Mark’s on Saturday (1:00 pm). It marks the first game as a member of the Independent Schools League; Tabor is ranked 36th by Max Preps among state private schools while St. Mark’s comes in at 62.

Tabor alums are making plenty of noise at the collegiate level. Former women’s hockey star Sammy Davis has been named an assistant captain at Boston University, while kicker Grant DeWald had a 38-yard field goal for Bates College.

By Jonathan Comey


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