Winslow running back Jack Dorval (41) eyes the ball to his hands on the lateral from quarterback Jared Newgard (12) as Wells defensive tackle Isaiah Martinez (57) breaks through Winslow’s offensive line during an Oct. 2 game in Winslow. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — Throughout this season, the Winslow football team has tried to keep a narrow focus. Win this game, move on to the next one. Take care of this week, and then worry about the next.

That hasn’t changed in the playoffs. And now it’s the final weekend of the season, and the Black Raiders are still going.

Winslow will go for its first state championship since 2015 when it takes on Cape Elizabeth in the Class C final at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“It’s another chance to play football,” Winslow co-coach Pete Bolduc said. “They lost it last year. All we keep saying, since playoffs started, is we want one more game. They’ve made it to the spot, but to them it’s one more game.”

The championship berth comes in Bolduc and co-coach Wes Littlefield’s first season running the team after taking over for Mike Siviski, who won seven state and 11 regional championships. When they took over, neither Bolduc nor Littlefield thought ahead to taking the program back to such lofty heights.

“We didn’t think that far ahead,” Littlefield said. “I think our approach to this whole thing, being co-head coaches and these kids missing a year and coming back, is just ‘Let’s take one week at a time and try to get better every week.'”


Winslow running back Matt Quirion, left, tries to get away from MCI defensive back Caleb Kennedy during a football game Sept. 18 at Gerry Poulin Memorial Field in Winslow. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

They have. Since falling to Wells on Oct. 2, the Black Raiders are 5-0 and averaging 44.6 points per game.

“The kids have bought in,” Littlefield said.

This week, though, brings by far the biggest test of the season. Fresh off toppling No. 1 Leavitt in the South final, Cape Elizabeth has outscored opponents 473-103, and boasts an offense loaded with playmakers and a defense that is just as formidable.

“We’ll face probably one of the fastest teams we’ve seen all year,” Littlefield said. “They like to ground it out, and they can go to the air. I think they proved that last week against Leavitt. It’s going to be a very tough challenge, but I think our kids are prepared for it.”

Bolduc said discipline will be critical when it it comes to handling the Capers’ plethora of skill players.

“Know your role,” Bolduc said. “(It comes down to) everybody doing their responsibility, and not one person trying to be a hero.”


The Winslow football team flocks to its fans after it won the Class C North championship with a 38-30 victory over Hermon on Nov. 13 at Hampden Academy. Dave Dyer/Kennebec Journal

The North region in Class C was considerably lighter than the South this season, and as the winners of that region, the Black Raiders are the underdog. And they know it.

“I definitely think that’s going to be our role,” Littlefield said. “But I think our kids are ready for that challenge. They’re in the state game, hey, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Cape Elizabeth coach Sean Green, however, said his team is not paying attention to those storylines.

“I don’t think any coach likes being a favorite or an underdog or any of that stuff,” he said. “You just have to buy into whatever the game plan is and get ready for the opponent, and Winslow’s a great football team. If we don’t come out here and do our jobs, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble.”

Green said he’s impressed by what he’s seen from the Black Raiders coming into this game.

Winslow’s Gavin Chambers (5) evades Wells’ Brody Maxon (27) as Griffin Brickett (1) looks to make the tackle on a kick return during an Oct. 2 game in Winslow. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“Winslow’s a very, very well-coached team,” he said. “They’re tough, they’re physical, and they believe.”


Green touted his own team’s physicality, however, and said that the Capers’ reputation as a high-scoring offensive team belies their toughness up front.

“Everybody likes to talk about our offense, but we really pride ourselves on defense and physicality and special teams,” he said. “We certainly do have speed and we certainly are athletic, but we’re also a very, very physical team.”

Green pointed to the C South final as an example, when the Capers went on an 18-play, 10-minute drive for the winning points against the Hornets. Cape Elizabeth threw only three times, and did most of the work on the ground.

Green said the key Saturday will be to be able to do that again.

“The biggest thing in this game is establishing physicality, and stopping their run game,” he said. “That’s a big piece of it. And establishing our run. It’s playoff football, it’s about running the football, it’s about defense.”

Winslow’s coaches didn’t disagree.

“Whoever owns the line of scrimmage is going to win this game, period,” Littlefield said. “Offensively and defensively. If we can do that, we’ll win. If they can do that, they’re going to win. It’s going to be that simple.”

Win or lose, the new coaches have added another memorable season to Winslow’s rich history.

“It’s everything. It really is,” said Littlefield, referencing past Winslow coaches Siviski, Harold Violette and Wally LaFountain. “You’re talking over two decades of football, and we’re just happy to be in (this) position.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.