In a time of cliché overkill, the phrase “do-or-die” is overused and often abused.
However, write about the 2008 season of the Georgetown boys’ soccer team and the phrase fits perfectly.
This team was a very unimpressive 3-7-4 after coming off 4-0 losses to both Masco and Wilmington. With few games left, the success of the season hung in the balance.
“We knew full well, that with four games left, we couldn’t lose or tie the rest of the way or we wouldn’t make the playoffs,” explained GHS coach Ron Comeau.
And sure enough in the very next game (at Rockport), the Royals were in a 0-0 tie in the last minute. “We had a 30 MPH wind to our backs and a direct kick from the sidelines,” recalled the Royals eight year coach. “We had everyone up in the box because we couldn’t afford a tie. Kyle McKay took the kick and laid it across everyone’s head and curled it into the corner for the game-winner.”
“From that point on we really believed that we could make the playoffs,” said Ron. “The kids’ confidence seemed to grow and we did qualify for the state’s.”
The GHS coach believes that playing in the strong Cape Ann League is a tremendous plus when it comes to the state tournament. “Even in losses to the CAL powerhouses like Masco the team gets better and later when you face teams your own size in the tournament you have some advantages.”
The Royals were seeded a distant 14th in the North Division 3 playoffs. With a 7-7-4 record, they were unlikely to scare too many teams outside of the Cape Ann League. But after three games in the tournament Georgetown was still standing. That got them to the North Finals where CAL opponent Hamilton-Wenham beat them 2-1 at windy Manning Field in Lynn on November 16th.
“We had a great run in the tournament,” said Ron. “Even the loss to Hamilton-Wenham could have gone our way. In the first half, we hit a crossbar and had another shot glance off the crossbar. Put us up 2-0 and things might have been different in the second half.”
Coach Comeau was quick to admit that this was the most successful of the eight seasons he’s had at Georgetown. The team had been in the playoffs before but had never gotten to the North Finals.
Coach Comeau’s personal soccer-playing past is an interesting one. “I never played soccer growing up. It was my kids that got me started. They played and I helped out on their teams. Then I was their coach and before long I was the Georgetown soccer commissioner. I took up playing soccer myself by joining an Over-30 league and it was there that I fell in love with the game. I played for the Georgetown team for eight seasons as a defensive player and a goalkeeper. Along the way I got state certified to coach at the high school level.”
“It was terrific the way the town supported us during the playoffs,” he added. “Georgetown is a very nice town to play sports in.”
( Submitted to The Town Common on December 5th )