Wednesday, March 12, 2014
PORTLAND — Lisbon football coach Dick Mynahan and former longtime assistant John Murphy were on the Oak Hill sideline Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium not only to get a birds-eye view of the Class D state championship game, but also to watch one of their own at work.
CLASS D FOOTBALL: Oak Hill High School head football coach Stacen Doucette, celebrates with his team after defeating Bucksport High School 42-35 for the Class D championship at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland on Saturday.
Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans
Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette played quarterback for Mynahan and Murphy several years ago then became the team’s offensive coordinator for more than a decade. Two weeks ago, Doucette’s Raiders knocked Mynahan’s Greyhounds out of the playoffs but there was only admiration for their protege. In two years, Doucette has taken a team mired in mediocrity to the top of Class D as the Raiders won a thrilling 42-35 decision over previously unbeaten and favored Bucksport to claim their first Gold Ball in 31 years.
Each had an anecdote to tell. Mynahan recalled a playoff win against Kennebunk when his starting quarterback got hurt and Doucette, a sophomore backup, entered the game just before halftime and completed four of five passes to give the Greyhounds a score before the half en route to a win.
“He was the same kind of player as he is a coach,” Mynahan said. “Always willing to take a chance and always looking at his offense real seriously.”
A year earlier, Murphy was coaching the junior varsity team with the freshman Doucette at quarterback.
“We were playing Leavitt and we were losing 12-0 at halftime,” Murphy said. “I had been calling all the plays. The second half I let him call all the plays and we beat them 14-12.”
The lesson was not lost on Doucette who allowed his quarterback Parker Asselin to make perhaps the key call of the game Saturday — a seam pass to Alex Mace for a touchdown on fourth and 4 from the Bucksport 28-yard line.
Fiery and animated along the sideline throughout the game, Doucette let his guard down following the victory as the moment sunk in. He praised Oak Hill athletic director Jim Palmer for hiring him and threw some of it toward his former coaches.
“I couldn’t have done without Coach Mynahan and Coach Murphy,” he said.”They’re special people.”
Oak Hill has been a sound defensive team all season long, but this game was about offense. Conventional wisdom said the Golden Bucks had too many playmakers for the Raiders to stop, but Doucette had his team control the ball on the ground while mixing in an occasional pass. More importantly he turned his team into believers in themselves.
“The No. 1 thing he did was bringing us together as a family,” senior two-way lineman Luke Washburn said. “We say it before every game, we say it after every practice. That’s our motto.”
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Washburn is getting some Division I interest to play next year and credits a lot of his progress the past two season to Doucette.
“He’s like a father to me,” Washburn said. “He’s an incredible man to look up to. I come to practice early and we talk about life, anything. He wants me to have good grades in school. He makes sure that’s part of my life. He wants me to play at the next level. He wants me to succeed as a man not only a football player.”
Certainly some of the pieces were in place when Doucette took over two years ago, but it took a caring attitude and sharp offensive mind to bring them out.
“He changed the whole attitude of the program,” Palmer said. “He’s real positive and he gets the kids to make a commitment to the program during the season and during the offseason. Just getting guys to believe in what we’re doing.”Gary Hawkins — email@example.comTwitter: @GaryHawkinsKJ