Whenever Hyde alum athletes get together, there are the inevitable debates over who was the best player or the best team. In fact, even I have been known to mix it up in these verbal battles from time to time.
When it comes to Hyde’s best ever football team, a few teams in particular are always deservedly in the mix. From way, way “back in the day,” there’s:
– The 1970 Maine prep championship team;
– The 1975 team, Hyde’s only undefeated team;
– The 1980 team that won Hyde’s only Maine State Principal’s Association Championship on the last play of the season against Maranacook HS.
In more modern times, the 2007 Bath team revved up Phoenix Phootball, producing some solid college players. The 2012 Woodstock team was Hyde’s first to play in a NEPSAC post-season bowl game, coming a few inches short on a game-deciding 2-point conversion against St. Luke’s.
And then there’s the 2014 Wolfpack team from Woodstock. Taking a 7-1 record (The only loss was a heart-breaking 5-point loss to Evergreen champ New Hampton.) into the school’s second-ever post-season bowl game, it was clear that the boys were psyched. So was opponent, and host, Kingswood-Oxford.
With no disrespect toward any of the aforementioned teams and players, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Hyde football team put it all together the way the Wolfpack did a couple of weeks ago on that sunny, cold, and crisp fall day. While the final score — 61-46 — was decisive, the contest was very close for three quarters. Perhaps the key factor was the eye-popping individual heroics of Jimmy Murphy ’15 from neighboring Avon, CT. (That’s him in the above photo at 3 o’clock with Coach Sean Saucier and also running the ball just below that.) All he did was rush for 340 yards, score 6 touchdowns, and kick a bunch of extra points. However, as great as Jimmy was, we got big plays from a whole host of guys. It’s also fair to assume that the coaches — Messrs. Saucier, Sheehan, Gregory & Co. — might have had a little something to do with it all.
It was both a pleasure and a thrill to watch. So, all alums need to be put on notice: In your future bull sessions, be sure to save a place at the table for the 2014 Wolfpack!
Onward, Malcolm Gauld