Tough season for Huskies
After putting together a dream season in 2013, the Aroostook Junior Huskies have found the sledding much more difficult this fall.
The football team made up mostly of middle school-age boys is now winless in its first five games following Saturday’s 34-30 home loss to Millinocket.
Scoring approximately 70 points per game last year while giving up an average of 30 while compiling a perfect 6-0 record last year, those numbers have practically flip-flopped as the roster has undergone major changes after having to replace 15 eighth-graders.
The team struggled to get enough players to begin the season, starting out with only eight. Recruiting efforts paid off as the roster eventually grew to 19, but over the past few weeks, injuries and “quits” have it back down to 11.
Jon Frederick is back for his second season as the head coach and is once again assisted by Nathan DeFelice.
Players hail from four communities — Caribou, Presque Isle, Mapleton and Castle Hill.
One of the only veterans back from last year’s team is eighth-grader Justin Edwards-Robidou of Presque Isle, who plays quarterback and is “the toughest player on the team,” according to Frederick. His younger brother, Jarnell, is a seventh-grader and first-year player who plays end and on special teams.
Sixth-grader Kaden DeMerchant and eighth-grader Dominic St. Peter, both of Caribou, and seventh-grader Eric Argraves of Castle Hill are the team’s interior linemen along with sixth-grader Jonah Thayer, also of Caribou. “All are first-year players who are doing a fantastic job,” Frederick said.
Tyler Seaman is a sixth-grader, also from Caribou, who also plays hockey and is another tough player who plays both on the offensive and defensive lines.
Sixth-grader Mason Langille of Mapleton has an older brother who plays on the high school team. Fredericks said Langille, a linebacker, is the best fundamental tackler on the team.
Freshman Caleb Libby of Caribou is a back and linebacker who also plays on special teams and does all the kicks. He has “lots of drive,” according to Frederick and is a great runner and tackler. Classmate Eric Easler from Mapleton is another team member.
Logan Berry of Presque Isle is a first-year player as a sophomore and plays quarterback and back.
The team practices at Sincock Field in Caribou twice a week and games are played Saturdays, with the final one set for this weekend at home against Houlton.
This past Saturday, the Huskies came the closest to picking up a victory this season. Leading by four with 15 seconds to play, Millinocket scored a touchdown on a fourth down and goal from the 10-yard line. Libby came from the opposite side of the field to make a tackle, but it was half a yard too late.
Berry, who came back from a third-quarter injury, sparked the Huskies’ offense along with Libby.