Every day is ‘fun’ and ‘hard work’ for Old Colony football

Sep 25, 2023

ROCHESTER — Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School’s varsity football game against Blue Hills Regional Technical High School on Friday, Sept. 22 wasn’t a win — but it taught the team an important lesson. 

“It’s supposed to hurt,” said varsity football coach Brandon Mendez to his team after a 24-20 loss. “Make sure when you show up on Monday, don’t ever let anyone hurt you like this again.”

This was the team’s first loss of the season. Already the team took wins against Bristol-Plymouth and Nashoba Valley Technical High Schools.

Mendez hopes the pain of loss will fuel the team to play harder and “make other teams feel that pain.”

“We went toe to toe in a heavyweight battle,” he said. “Sometimes you fall a little short. [But I’m] super proud of our team [and] the way we played.”

This year, the team is full of “great, hard-working, hard-nosed kids,” said Mendez, who “want to do well, and just want to win.”

Mendez pointed to “phenomenal athlete” Shawn Markham, “tough as they come” Max Finney, “tremendous” Stu Burnham, “phenomenal runner” Nathan Marden and “tough, tough kid” Colin Monahan as key players to watch this season.

“It's a great group to be around,” he said. “Every day is fun, every day is a lot of hard work but it's just a great group to be around.” 

But even with senior players who are “tremendous leaders” and with “strong, strong underclassmen,” the season could still be a challenge for Old Colony. 

“Our first goal every year is to win the Mayflower Conference,” he said. “But it’s going to be tough … there [are]  some good teams.”

On Friday, Sept. 29, Old Colony will face Wareham High School, who are new competitors in the Mayflower Athletic Conference.  Then on Friday, Oct. 6, Old Colony will face Holbrook Middle-High School.

But win or lose, the Old Colony Cougars are more than just football players, they’re role models, said Mendez. 

“We talk all the time about being well rounded,” he said. “It starts in the school building … They put on a jersey — they’re athletes at Old Colony, we take a lot of pride in them being role models not just for underclassmen but out in the community.”