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By Curtis Field
On Dec. 1 the Granby football team took part in their first ever playoff game, playing host to four-time state championship winners Seymour. On a cold and wet night in the Den, the Bears fell 56-28 to the Wildcats. Seymour jumped on a few early mistakes by the Bears’ offense and they never looked back. Granby was down by a large margin at halftime but they never quit. Throughout the whole second half the Bears tried to claw and scratch their way back into the game, however, it just wasn’t in the cards that night for Granby.
There is no denying that the Bears wanted to achieve their final goal of the 2015 season and finish things off with a Class S state championship, but unfortunately that’s not the way it played out in the end for Granby. Regardless of their loss in the quarterfinals, this group of young men had the best season Granby football has ever seen. Even though the season is over for your hometown Bears, we shouldn’t get caught up in the playoff loss, we should remember all the fantastic memories they gave our town this season. An undefeated (10-0) regular season, a Pequot West Division Championship, Pequot Conference Champions, and a playoff appearance sounds pretty darn good to me. They truly put on a show every Friday night and gave our community something to believe in.
All season long, Granby was led by their dominant senior class. The Bears had fourteen seniors on the roster this season and a large part of that group had been playing football together since the 3rd grade. Their friendship, chemistry, and will to win were evident ever since they entered high school. This group was truly special. Heading into next season on offense, the Bears will have to replace their starting quarterback, running back, fullback, and wide receiver, along with four out of five linemen. Defensively, they will also need to fill eight out of the eleven starting positions. The class of 2016 is leaving a big hole behind, but Granby football will be just fine.
This season the Bears had multiple juniors, and lots of underclassmen who played crucial minutes for the Bears all year long. Leading the team next year will be juniors Gage Fiorentino, Jack Hauser, and Devin Santasiere, all of whom started for Granby the past couple seasons. It should also be noted that the JV football team had a final record of 4-2-1, with both losses coming in the final minutes of those games. There is no doubt that the Bears will have a different look on the field next season, but the future is still very bright for this program.
This year concluded Granby’s sixth ever varsity season and it was the end of head coach, Rich Gadoury’s, fourth year at the helm of the program. Coach Gadoury was a part of the coaching staff the first two seasons as the line coach in 2009 and defensive coordinator in 2010. When he took over as head coach, he inherited a team that went 2-18 in its first two seasons. In his four seasons Coach Gadoury has led the team to a combined record of 27-16, and is 17-5 in the past two seasons, which is truly remarkable.
In summary, this was not just another season for Granby football. This was something special, something that will go down in the history books forever. When this journey started on August 17th not many people gave the Bears a chance to live up to the hype surrounding them. However, just like they have been doing for six years, they proved everyone wrong. This football team bonded as a family since day one and every single person in that locker room bought into the “team first” mentality. All of Granby will miss not being able to watch the fantastic senior class suit up for the Bears again, but new stars will emerge and the Bears will be back in this position again.
FUN & REC