PORTLAND — The Winslow High School football program has a winning tradition almost unmatched in Maine high school football. The Black Raiders Class of 2016 will go down as one of the best in program history, and that’s not hyperbole.

When Winslow beat Yarmouth 24-10 on Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium for the Class C state crown, it was the second straight state championship for the Black Raiders. It was also their 22nd straight win, capping a second straight undefeated season. It was Winslow’s fourth consecutive state championship game appearance.

“We played our hearts out, and when you play your hearts out you expect nothing less,” senior co-captain Alec Clark said, clutching the gold ball trophy as if he’d never let it go.

The seniors, the Class of 2016, had their mitts all over this one.

There’s quarterback/safety Jake Trask, who picked off a pair of Yarmouth passes in the fourth quarter to help preserve Winslow’s victory. Trask also ran for 94 yards, including 64 on the second play of the game that set up his own 3-yard touchdown run a play later.

“I’ve been playing with these guys since kindergarten. These guys had your back, all the way up,” Trask said. “It’s amazing to win a state championship in your last game together.”

There’s cornerback Trenton Bouchard, who returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Bouchard’s touchdown was the only score of the second half and it gave Winslow two-touchdown breathing room.

Like Trask, Bouchard deflected the credit for his big play to his teammates.

“I just kind of read (the pass). The linemen pressured the quarterback and they blocked downfield for me. Have to give credit to the teammates,” Bouchard said.

“That was a game-turner, right there,” Winslow head coach Mike Siviski said of Bouchard’s pick six. “Sometimes (a) game can spin and turn on one play, and I guess that was one.”

There’s defensive tackle Nat Beckwith, whose sack early in the fourth quarter helped stall a potential Yarmouth scoring drive. There’s Clark, who flew around on defense, and as a guard on Winslow’s offensive line he opened holes that helped the Black Raiders run for 297 yards against a very good Clippers defense, Clark also pulled off the rare feat of starting in four state championship games.

There’s a dozen members of Winslow’s Class of 2016, and let’s not forget Gage Naborowsky, who was injured making a tackle on special teams in the first quarter and was unable to return to the game.

In the Class of 2016’s four seasons, Winslow went 41-4 and brought home two Gold Balls.

The captains of the 2015 Winslow football team are quick to point out that they went undefeated in eighth grade, too, setting the stage for what was to come when they hit high school.

“Undefeated eighth grade year, undefeated last year, undefeated this year. It’s crazy,” Bouchard said.

The Class of 2016 had good role models who were happy to pass on the Winslow tradition, defensive end Luke Fredette said.

“It’s kind of what has been instilled in us. Guys like Brock Deschaine and Zach Guptil and Bobby Chenard, Dylan Hapworth, those guys really showed us what Raider football is, and how to play,” said Fredette, who recovered a fumble in the first quarter. “Our coaching staff graduated from Winslow. Coach (Ken) Nadeau, coach Siviski, coach (Wes) Littlefield, they bleed black and orange, and they put that through us.”

Winslow’s pre-game jitters were less nerves and more anticipation, Fredette said.

“Big game experience helped us a lot. Pre-game jitters were normal, probably kicked up because of the playoffs, but I feel like we know how to control that because of our experience,” Fredette said.

Siviski, who has now coached six state championship winning teams at Winslow, watched his team run off the field to celebrate with the fans.

“They’ve been around it a lot and I’m elated for them, that they could do this,” Siviski said.

Still clutching the Gold Ball, Clark thought about his place in Winslow football history.

“Forty-eight minutes to play,” Clark said. “A lifetime to remember.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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