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Gridmen fought to the bitter end
RUMFORD -- There is always adjustments needed to be made and the Mountain Valley football team certainly found itself scrambling at times, howeer, it’s impossible to properly gauge the intestinal fortitude that exists among the players.
The 2011 edition held together and fought to the bitter end.
"I'm extremely pleased with how our kids performed this season,” said coach Jim Aylward, regarding the Falcons, who finished 9-2. “We had great senior class, and (Ryan) Glover and (Nate) Nicols were definitely two of the best linemen in the conference.”
The Falcons returned five starters, but there was several top other returnees who stepped up and contributed. Things started with seniors Izaak Mills, Glover, Taylor Carey and Nate Nichols.
There were 13 seniors, including Robert Worthley, Nate Woods and Brett Houghton.
Glover who had proven to be one of the hardest-hitting tacklers in the state, anchored the defense at middle linebacker. He had a team-leading 149 tackles. Mills, Nicols and junior Colin Merrill were solid LBs; ends Carey and Devon Hamel; senior tackles Santos Rodriguez and Justin "Bubby" White and secondary of Jake Theriault, Ryan Nicols and Isaac Roberts.
On offense, Carey, Theriault and Roberts each received touchdown passes from new quarterback Zach Radcliffe. The senior proved to be a dependable decision-maker under center. The backfield was a triple threat with Mills, Matt Hosie and Kyle Duguay. Duguay (15 TD) missed last year with a shoulder injury and Hosie (9 TD) missed time this fall, but they continued the Falcons' tradition of physical ball carriers.
“Duguay and Hosie are the first tandem of backs to ever go over 1,000 yards at our school in the same season,” said Aylward.
The offensive line opened numerous holes, led by Glover, Nicols, Hamel, Ryan Stickney and Scott Nicols.
Mills was the place kicker, while Hamel handled the punting. Junior Brooke Dolloff is the first-ever female player to earn a varsity letter.
It was a matter of putting the players in a position to be successful, but the team was plagued by injuries.
“Our lack of 'healthy depth' hurt us at the end of the season,” said Aylward. “We could have used a few more upperclassmen healthy bodies against Wells. If you lose two games, and both are to the state champions, you probably had a successful season.”