Valley Mustangs to make high-school football debut downstate Friday
MADAWASKA, Maine — The Valley Mustangs varsity football team will compete in its first official game as a Maine Principal Association-sanctioned team Friday against Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln.
School boards in Fort Kent, Frenchville and Madawaska approved the eight-player cooperative Valley Mustangs football program last year. The team includes players from all three high schools encompassing the Valley Unified school system.
The Mustangs home games will be rotated between Madawaska and Fort Kent, with practices held in the geographically intermediate town of Frenchville.
The Mustangs are young, with 16 varsity players led by two juniors with all the rest being freshmen and sophomores.
Despite coming together on the gridiron from three different high schools, head coach Ron Dalgo said there is no rivalry among the Valley Mustangs, and they consider each other teammates.
Teamwork is at the heart of football, according to Dalgo, and many important life lessons can be gained from participating in the sport.
“You’re not defined by one player, you have to play as a unit,” Dalgo said. “We’re teaching kids life skills. We’re teaching them to be responsible family members, coworkers and citizens. When you look up at the scoreboard and see that you’re losing, that teaches you something about life, about not quitting.”
Dalgo said the Mustangs will not achieve greatness by winning games, but by being good people.
“Greatness is not a year, it’s not a season, it’s a culture,” Dalgo said.
The Valley Mustangs varsity football team members are: Xander McBreairty, Dustin McBreairty, Alex Landry, Jiovanni Guillemette, Andy Townsend, Dawson Jean, Gibson Ouellette, Dillan Blair, Trai Parent, Austin Jean, Jovanie Garced, Brady Hodgkin, Gavin Severe, Liam Holabird, Ricky Huang and Caleb Hayes.
Team manager is Dalgo’s son, Keedan Dalgo, a Madawaska High School student.