SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

December 1, 2012

Unbeaten champions never let go of the rope all season

FOXBOROUGH —

Mike Dooling reached into the waistband of his white Beverly football pants and fished out a piece of history.

It was a small piece of white knotted rope, probably three or four inches long and beginning to fray from wear and tear. Dooling's was similar to the one that each of his teammates had been given by assistant coach Ben Goodhue some three-and-a-half months ago. 

"That rope is our season in a nutshell," said fellow senior lineman Brian 'Mustachio' Perry. "Ripped apart and tattered, but it never broke."

Neither did Beverly's will to win. 

The Panthers completed their season-long mission by becoming the first BHS team to finish 13-0 by winning their second Super Bowl in three seasons, defeating Natick, 28-21 Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. Star players, role players, special teams performers -- they all had a hand in finishing the journey.

"We never let go of the rope," said Dooling, the right tackle/defensive end who gutted out the final three games of his senior season by playing on a badly injured ankle. "One guy falls down, everyone else picks him up. That's what the rope is all about."

"We must have said 'Hold the rope! Hold the rope!' about 90 times during the game," admitted Perry.

Virtually every team in every sport, from high school on up, looks for something to symbolize what they hope will be a championship campaign. A catchy slogan, a simple gesture, a trinket that holds special meaning ... they've all been used to inspire teams to glory.

The Panthers came up with their own bit of verbal encourgement -- 'finish the journey,' which was originally picked up by the coaches during a leadership training seminar last spring. It was later shortened to simply 'finish,' which the players had plastered across the back of their team T-shirts.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins
Comments Tracker