Mount Greylock Football Honored for Sportsmanship
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One major act of sportsmanship got the Mount Greylock football team noticed.
But consistent sportsmanship throughout the season likely played a role in its recognition by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association on Saturday.
“I am very proud of the way the guys handled the season,” Mount Greylock coach Shawn Flaherty said. “It was a tough year. We suffered a lot of injuries.
“And we gave it our all every game. Yeah, there were signs of frustration, but I think for the most part they still played with class and still played with some dignity.”
Flaherty talked about his team on the field at Gillette Stadium while he watched the second half of the Division 1 Super Bowl. At half-time of the D4 game, Flaherty and nine of his players were at midfield to accept the MIAA Sportsmanship Award for the Western Section.
It was fitting that the Mounties’ path intersected once again with D4 finalist Wahconah. Back on Oct. 24, Wahconah capped a 34-0 win over the Mounties with a touchdown scored by Mitch Ellsworth, a special needs student and manager at Wahconah.
The score was made possible by the Mitchell’s teammates and friends and by the selflessness of the Mounties.
The gesture did not go unnoticed. But Flaherty said he did not know who pointed it out to the folks in Franklin, Mass., where the MIAA is headquartered.
“I do think it’s because of what our guys did and [captain] Pat [Storie], in our game at Wahconah,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t really know who brought it to the MIAA’s attention. But it’s a great honor.”
No doubt, the Mounties would have been in Foxborough for another reason on the first Saturday in December if they had their choice. But the fact remains that out of nearly 300 MIAA schools playing football this fall, just three -- Mount Greylock, Woburn and Framingham -- were honored for their sportsmanship.
“They realized what happened that night [in Dalton], and I think they’re proud of what they did,” Flaherty said. “I think over time, the award is going to be so much more important to them. When they come back and see the banner.”