The Green Wave washed up to Nantucket and took the win back to Abington and advanced to the state tournament. After a determined and hard fought battle, the Whalers pulled up short in a 28-13 loss. Senior Alex Small opened the scoring early in the first six minutes with a speedy run that surpassed Arlington’s defense. The game was equalized after a diving touchdown run from the Arlington running-back in the second quarter.
“I just felt like both team were good teams but obviously Abington was the better team,” commented Small on friday nights game.
Both teams had possession of the ball and forced turnover—including a pair of interceptions; one by Senior Kalik Liburd and the other caught by the Green Wave.
The Whalers had not expected to be able to blow out, as they generally do against teams in their league, considering that the Green Wave is a much larger and stronger opponent. Head Coach Brian Ryder praised his team saying, “I’m really proud of our kids. They never quit and they fought hard, they played hard and they really gave those guys a game. A pleasure to see that,” He continued, adding, “A much bigger program than what we have here with amount of player and their coach has been there for forty years.” A difference in size of two teams seems to be a leading factor, as the Whalers dominated Holbrook who had limited supply of payers off the bench.
Ryder’s attitude embodied a strong determination and drive that was reflected in senior Maxx Cunningham when he claimed, “This team never quits, never quits.”
“My team was really prepared but you know, there were times where we had our downs, and we tried to get back up but they were just the better team today,” explained Small.
After realizing the strength of the Abington team, Cunningham said, “We came out really confident, but we’re also not playing anyone in the Mayflower [League] anymore.”
Following their defeat, there was also news that the annual Island Cup Game will be on hold for a year. Ryder touched base on this stating, “I’m sorry for the seniors since that the vineyard game won’t happen in a couple weeks. This is their last home game and I feel really bad about that. Other than that I am really proud of the way they played today.”
Despite it being their last home game, the Whalers will travel to a consolation match. They await the results to see who they will be playing this coming weekend. The future isn’t dark for the team as they have strong players including; sophomores Tyrone Burton and Devonte Usher who have proven their strength on the team that will be able to guide them to the light of victory.
“The team coming up next season, you know just do your best. Losing 15 seniors doesn’t matter. It’s just how you play. Just keep on learning, building, have a great season.” Small encouraged.
Cunningham expressed his feelings and said, “I love everyone on this team and we came together as like a band of brothers.”
Ryder put in his input for the class of seniors, “It’s been a pleasure coaching this group seniors, many of them worked hard all year, and in the offseason, and the weight room to get to this point. It’s going to be sad to see them go, but we’re going to enjoy one more week of coaching them.”