Win Over Everett Puts Red Raiders Football Atop Division 1 Ranking
By: Tom Moran Jr.
For the first time since 1999, the Barnstable High School football team is the top-ranked Division 1 team in Massachusetts after the Red Raiders upended two-time Division 1 Super Bowl champion Everett, 13-7, in double overtime.
After one-sided wins over Durfee, Dennis-Yarmouth and Sandwich had propelled the Red Raiders to the number-two position behind the Crimson Tide, last Friday’s thrilling victory made them the new number one in the D1 rankings.
And while it’s great to be king, being the king isn’t always that great.
Red Raider head coach Chris Whidden wasted no time impressing that point on his charges, giving them maybe five minutes to savor their victory over Everett before making sure they knew full well about the other side of being number one.
With the Everett football team still making its way off the turf field at Everett Memorial Stadium, Coach Whidden, encircled by his Red Raiders, went from congratulating the team for its outstanding effort to informing them that they were now the team that everyone else wanted to beat.
“Being the number-one team is great but what you all have to realize is that now you are the team that every other Division 1 team wants to beat,” he said.
“We went from being one of those teams trying to get to the top to a team that has a bull’s eye on its back. Now all those other teams are out to beat us and so it’s up to us to continue to do the things that got us to where we are tonight. Spend the rest of the night enjoying this moment because moments like these don’t come often, but tomorrow morning we go back to work because when you look at the big picture, as great as this win was, in reality it’s just another nonleague win. We still have lots of work to do if we want to attain the goals we have set for ourselves.”
Six days later, Coach Whidden was reiterating those same thoughts.“Our goal was not to go 4-0,” he said. “We still have two big league games and we still have some very tough teams on our schedule. The only thing that changed is that we are now the team to beat. This is a great group of kids and they know that what we accomplished last week is already history.”
The Red Raiders shouldn’t have a problem remembering that they are now number one on everyone else’s hit list since every team member now owns a red T-shirt that says Barnstable Football on the front and has a great big bull’s eye on the back.
To quote wrestling superstar Ric Flair just one more time, “To be the man, you have to beat the man.”
The Red Raiders beat the man and now they are the man.
Coach of the Week
The week following the big win over Everett got even better for the Barnstable High football program when Coach Whidden was selected to be the “New England Patriots Coach of the Week.”
This season marks the 17th year in which the Patriots have joined the National Football League in conducting the High School Coach of the Week program.
This program recognizes outstanding high school coaches and promotes youth and high school football throughout New England.
In addition to a Tuesday visit by Patriot great Andre Tippett, the award comes with a $1,000 donation to the BHS football program.
“It’s great for the program to get this kind of recognition,” said Coach Whidden. “The win over Everett was a great accomplishment for this team and to have that feat recognized by the Patriots is an honor for the coaching staff, the kids and the entire Barnstable football program.”
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