Bates in Brief Sports: Football’s winning season, cross-country heads to NCAAs
Five Great Moments
The Winning Season
Sept. 22: Trinity 37, Bates 16
bold = home team
From last fall’s memorable football campaign — a 5–3 record (best since 1981), an outright CBB title, NESCAC co-coach of the year honors for Mark Harriman — here are five great ones.
ONE: ‘Everyone Touches’
Oct. 6, Week 3 vs. Williams, pre-game
As Bates marches onto Garcelon Field, each player and coach touches the jersey of Troy Pappas ’16, a teammate who had died the day before, six days after falling down a Parker Hall stairwell.
The No. 8 jersey is held high by team captain Patrick George ’13 of Gloucester, Mass., who says over and over, “Everyone touches.”
A few days earlier, with the team grieving their gravely ill teammate, Harriman had gathered his players off campus for a special dinner at Gipper’s Sports Grill. There, he told the team that the Williams game would be played. “That was my message: We’ve signed on to do this, now it’s time to go back to work,” he says.
As for the Bobcats’ mindset vs. Williams, a 33–6 victory one day after Pappas’ death, Harriman says, “I don’t know if a team will ever get that high again.”
TWO: ‘We’re Good’
Oct. 6, Week 3 vs. Williams, first quarter, first and 10 at the Bates 18
Williams drives smartly into Bobcat territory and it all feels familiar, but not in a good way. Sure enough, Eph quarterback Adam Marske lobs a high pass into the end zone to 6-foot-3 Darren Hartwell, a three-time All-NESCAC receiver — but 5-foot-9 cornerback Michael Lee ’16 of Bealeton, Va., outfights Hartwell for an interception. Hartwell is held to one catch for 4 yards.
“That play crystallized where our talent level was,” Harriman says. “It wasn’t just about playing tough. It was about being physically pretty close to where we need to be against teams like that.”
THREE: Triple Play
Oct. 27, Week 6 vs. Colby, third quarter, first and 10 at the Bates 3
A 52-yard Colby punt pins Bates at its own 3. On first down, quarterback Trevor Smith ’13 of Malvern, Pa., keeps the ball for 8 yards, the first of nine consecutive rushes by Smith and three different Bates backs, to whom Smith deftly pitches or hands off. At midfield, Smith passes to Shawn Doherty ’14 of Mansfield, Mass. — “the fastest player we’ve ever had,” says Harriman — on a perfectly run hitch in the left flat, and Doherty gallops for the score.
The triple-option offense requires precision rather than brute strength. It’s Fred Astaire, not Gene Kelly, and in 2012 Smith made the Bates offense boogie.
FOUR: Take a Seat
Nov. 3, Week 7 vs. Bowdoin, fourth quarter, fourth and 1 at the Bates 34
On fourth and 1, Bowdoin goes for it and loses a yard, stuffed by Matt Gaither ’13 of Winchester, Mass. On its next possession, Bowdoin tries again on fourth and 1 at the Bobcat 14. This time John Durkin ’15 of Rye Beach, N.H., and Josh Chronopoulos ’13 of Tyngsboro, Mass., drop Bowdoin for a loss. A good defense gets offenses off the field in key situations, and Bates came up big in 2012.
FIVE: Pick 18
Nov. 10, Week 8 vs. Hamilton, fourth quarter, third and goal from the Bates 1
In a shootout that will end with a 47–33 Bates win, linebacker Gilbert Brown ’15 of Gloucester, Mass., seals the victory by intercepting a pass in the end zone and returning it 101 yards for a touchdown. It’s one of a record three pick sixes in 2012, a year that saw the Bobcats lead the nation in average turnover margin (+2.25 per game).
Brown’s return is 1 yard shy of the 102-yard return by Barney Marcus ’37 vs. Maine in 1936.
Bobcat athletics livestream is at bates.edu/athletics/live.
Men’s hoops coach Jon Furbush ’05’s brother Charlie pitches for the Mariners.
Lyric from the Bates fight song: “Today the garnet Bobcat conquers again.”
700 campus people signed the athletics Ally Pledge supporting LGBT persons.
John Murphy ’13 competed in front of 20 scouts at a pro soccer combine in January.
First for Everything
While it’s common for individuals in sports like track or cross-country to earn a spot in a national meet, it’s harder to earn a team bid.
But in 2012, both the Bates men’s and women’s teams earned bids in the NCAA Division III Cross-Country Championships, held in Terre Haute, Ind. Never before had both Bates teams earned spots the same year.
Here, the women bring it in before their race on Nov. 17.
The men finished sixth in the nation, up from seventh in 2011. The women, in their first NCAA team appearance since 1997, placed 19th.