Colby linebacker Mike Hyatt’s football career is over. The sophomore suffered his fourth concussion two weeks ago at Middlebury.

“Mike suffered his fourth concussion, his second one at Colby. I’m not saying another concussion was imminent; I don’t think it was. We’ve done nothing but put him in the finest equipment and take precautions with respect to special teams, try to keep him off the high collision sorts of things,” Colby coach Ed Mesteiri said. “But the nature of the game is such that you’re not going to avoid it over a period of time.”

At the time of his injury, Hyatt led the Mules in tackles, and he had 18 stops in his final game. Hyatt is the third Colby football player since last season to have his career cut short by multiple concussions, joining senior linebacker Tom Duffy and junior defensive lineman Kurt Cawley.

“(Hyatt) had to step away from the game. It’s sad, because he’s a wonderful kid who really loves the game. Even as a sophomore, he’s emerged as a leader, someone all the players, regardless of their class, look to,” Mestieri said.

Colby’s linebacking corps is young, and freshmen Henry Nelson, Mark Vargas and Anthony Atkinson will see more playing time on Saturday against Amherst.

“We’re young to begin with, and we got a lot younger. There was a point last week, on (Wesleyan’s) last drive, that we had five freshmen out on the field at the same time, and I can’t recall that ever happening,” Mestieri said. “You play with who you’ve got, and expectations don’t change, even if the experience level does change.”

The Mules do get junior linebacker Patrick Harper back this week. Harper missed last week’s 28-21 loss at Wesleyan with a concussion suffered at Middlebury.

“We’ve had a little more time to settle in and practice with those kids, so I’m sure we’re going to see some improvement,” Mestieri said.

• • •

College football in Maine found itself in the national spotlight a bit this week, thanks to the University of Maine and Bowdoin each making the Top 10 Plays of the Day segment on ESPN’s SportsCenter last Sunday.

Chris Treister’s diving, spinning 2-point conversion, which gave Maine a 25-24 win at James Madison, was the No. 2 play in ESPN’s countdown.

Bowdoin had plays three and four. Play four was Joey Cleary’s 99-yard interception return in the first quarter of Bowdoin’s 27-6 win at Tufts. At the time, it was the longest play in the history of Bowdoin football.

In the fourth quarter, the Polar Bears pulled off SportsCenter’s top play No. 3. Griffin Cardew returned a pick 100 yards for the Polar Bears, breaking the mark set by Cleary.

According to Bowdoin College sports information, it’s believed to be the first time in Division III history that a team returned two interceptions of at least 99 yards for a touchdown during the same game.

• • •

Bates picked up a big win over perennial New England Small College Athletic Conference contender Williams last week, 35-26. It was just the second-ever win for Bates (2-1) over Williams and the Bobcats’ first over the Ephs since 2003.

The win gave Bates back-to-back wins for the first time since 2002, and the 2-1 start is the best for the Bobcats since 1982.

With the win, Bates cracked the New England Division III Football Poll, coming in at No. 9.

The Bobcats play on Saturday at Wesleyan.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242
[email protected]

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