ARHS Football pride: Media coverage of the team’s turnaround season

by beth on December 16, 2014

Above: A look at Algonquin Football’s long awaited winning season. (Video produced by Northborough Access Media)

Last week, Northborough Access Media released “ARHS Football Journey” (above). It’s more than a highlight reel. With an inspirational score underlying pep talks, crowd enthusiasm and key moments, it’s a tribute to the team’s winning season.

They aren’t the only ones paying tribute to the team this fall.

ARHS Football didn’t win their division championship. But after a decade and a half of losing seasons, the team’s successes this year earned them widespread attention and respect.

According to Southborough Wicked Local, the team’s coach believes this season is a step in the journey of Algonquin’s football comeback.

In October, SWL reported that Coach Justin McKay saw the building blocks in their previous losing season:

“I saw that we were competing in games,” McKay said last week. “Last year teams had to play four quarters of games (against Algonquin). We were in eight of 11 games. The years before, it was over at halftime.

“Last year it was learning how to compete and this year it’s been about finishing games.” (read more)

Last week, SWL reported on the team’s winning season and future hope:

For more than a decade the Algonquin football team has carried the same goal: finish with a winning record.

Accomplishing that feat hasn’t been an easy task for the Tomahawks, though. It’s been so difficult in fact, the team entered the 2014 season searching for the program’s first winning season since 1997.

Finally, Algonquin accomplished its goal when it beat Westborough 17-14 in the 62nd installment of the two Midland B League teams’ annual Thanksgiving Day meeting to finish the season with a 6-5 record. . .

With the majority of its team returning next season, Algonquin will have the opportunity to build off of this year’s success. The team’s starting quarterback, Ryan Barry, who threw for 1,167 yards and eight touchdowns this season, will anchor the offense when he returns as a junior next year. (read more)

Other local media have also been tracking the team’s turnaround. Earlier this fall, Scholastic Sports Zone Central Mass. High School Sports Talk Radio recognized  Captains Trevor Fuce and Eric Sweeter as athletes of the week and McKay as Coach of the week. The Community Advocate covered that honor: 

“Trevor and Eric were selected for this honor because of their leadership and outstanding play this season,” McKay explained. “They have both been big parts of the team’s success. Trevor has been a staple to our success both in running the football and stopping teams. . .

“Eric is an inside linebacker who has been key to improving our defense this year”. . .

“Coach McKay earned Coach of the Week because of his dedication to our team and because he truly believes that we can beat each team on our schedule,” Sweeter said. “He has reestablished our program by making it into a family instead of just another high school sport, and he opened our eyes and told us that we have the skills and the passion to win football games. He is a coach who cares about every player in our program which is important because it shows us that he has faith in us even when we aren’t at our best.”

Fuce concurred: “Coach McKay is the coach of the week every week. He is a great leader and coach and really has taught us how to win. He gives everything for the team. He frequently stays at the school until all hours of the night going over film. Because of his hard work and dedication we practiced harder and fought harder and had a winning season.” (read more)

Click here to listen to the radio interview.

1 Mike Fuce December 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

So proud of these young men and what they accomplished this season. First playoff since 1987, first winning season since 1997, and first (co) championship in at least 20 years? Looking forward to watching them go even higher next year. Thank you also to the amazing football coaching staff at Algonquin Regional High School. Six months is a long season for all of you. You guys did a fantastic job of mentoring, encouraging and demonstrating success to the young men. Good luck to the graduating young men and the young men who will carry the ball in 2015. Play clean, live clean, and play with honor, respect and pride for the game of football, you all did a fantastic job. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.

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