Old Rochester fields ‘young’ but ‘talented’ varsity football team

Sep 12, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — Old Rochester Regional High School Head Varsity Football Coach Bryce Guilbeault knows that he may never coach a future NFL player, but he does know that everyone he coaches “someday is going to be a husband or a father or an employee.”

“A lot of football translates into life,” he said. “Whether it's work ethic and teamwork [or] accountability.”

With his current roster of varsity football players, Guilbeault hopes to instill those values while still hammering home the skills and strategies needed to win on the field.

For this year’s season, the Bulldogs’ “identity is still forming,” said Guilbeault. With the loss of 18 seniors, Guilbeault is coaching a young but “really talented” team.

“Although we had some talented [underclassmen], they were kind of stuck behind a big senior group,” he said, adding that junior Gavin Martin, senior captain Mateo Pina, senior captain Hunter Bishop and junior Devin St. Germaine are upperclassmen to watch this season.

On Friday, Sept. 8, the Bulldogs faced off against Attleboro in a non-league game and lost 13-20.

“Experience is everything,” said Guilbeault. “For so many guys, that was their first varsity start … We were proud of them [and] proud of the way they played … but we also don't celebrate moral victories. There's a lot to clean up and we're looking forward to getting the opportunity this week against [Bishop Stang High School].”

The Bulldogs will face Bishop Stang in an away game on Friday, Sept. 15.

“We're young so I think we're going to play a lot of close football games all year round,” he said, noting that his team will face particularly tough competitors this season. “We have to play really good football to have any success. [We’ll just] take it week to week hoping that everybody gets up to speed quickly and just go from there.”

So far, said Guilbeault, the team has had a good attitude and work ethic and has been able to take constructive criticism given out by the coaches.

“There have been a lot of great coaches who've been here and a lot of great players. So there's a high standard here … we all want to win,” he said. “I’m just really proud of this group so far — how they’ve responded to any adversity we’ve faced — they take it head on instead of looking around for someone else to pick up the slack and that's important.”