The Springfield Cosmos football team came so close to back-to-back state championship titles. So close.
Despite a tough, 19-8 loss in the Division III title game, the Cosmos deserve a whole lot of credit for coming back from early season injuries and climbing all the way back to the championship game.
Trying to live up to an undefeated season and first state title in over 60 years last season, while also losing several key players to graduation including your star quarterback, a great running back and a dominant lineman, is certainly not an easy hill to climb.
Congratulations to coach Mike Hatt and his staff, as well as all the players who came so close to repeating as champions.
While we're speaking of local football, congrats must also go out to Bellows Falls Terrier head coach Bob Lockerby and his staff and players, for creating such a huge turn around with the tradition that is, "Terrier football."
After taking over for long-time coach "Bis" Bisbee, Lockerby had some awful big shoes to try and fill. It has taken a few years, but the traditional ole' Power-I running game and that "Purple Gang" defense appears to be back.
But as I am sure coach Lockeby will agree, one successful season does not constitute a return to form, therefore it will take another great season before you can truly say "they're back."
Over in Langdon, NH and after winning the school's first ever girls' soccer state championship last year, coach Bruce Ferland's Lady Wildcats recently made it back-to-back Class M titles.
After a semi-final, 2-1 win over Prospect Mountain, the Lady 'Cats took on Campbell in the championship game, with the lone goal of the match coming four minutes into the second overtime from FM senior Jordan Ferland, who just so happens to be the coach's daughter. The assist came from Morgan Greene.
Of course, Lady 'Cat senior keeper Christine Surber also played a huge role in the win, making several outstanding saves to preserve the shut out.
Over these last two championship seasons, the Lady Wildcats had an impressive, 33-4-2 record including a 17-2 mark this season.
After a dozen years of coaching FM boys' JV soccer (also including two seasons at Stevens), coach Ferland has simply done a remarkable job in helping to bring back-to-back titles to The Den.
Congratulations to coach Ferland, his staff and all the players. Go Wildcats!