Terrier running back Julian Christensen finds running room in the middle of traffic during the BF win over Mount Abraham. Photo by Doug MacPhee

Bellows Falls won kind of a ho-hum football game 54-0 last Saturday. The coach on the receiving end of the defeat was Mount Abraham coach Lee Hodsden.

You say the name sounds familiar? Certainly it should, to many of our readers. Lee was once a very good Bellows Falls Union High School running back. He was good enough to go on to a Division II college career at American International College. Few area players ever get the chance to compete at that level.

How down is he about the loss? Down to an extent like he is every week, when your team isn’t competitive, but Hodsden is a realist.

“I love seeing the Purple and White. The sight of those Purple helmets goes all the way back to when I was four or five and I use to live down on Westminster Street and I remember all those football players running by on their way to practice. I would always remember those Purple helmets,” the Mt. Abe head man said.

Lee Hodsden (on the left) is the Mount Abraham head football coach. Mt. Abe fell to the Terriers 54-0 last Saturday. Hodsden grew up playing football for the Terriers and vividly remembers being struck by the vision of seeing those purple football helmets as a young child. He is pictured here with fellow running back Tim Waryas. Hodsden enjoyed catching up with friends.Photo by Doug MacPhee

Flashing back to another day and age, Hodsden is referring to the days before the Union was added to the high school name. Bellows Falls High School was located on School Street. Hadley Field was born in 1961. For about ten years, the football team would dress in the locker room at the school and run up to the field in uniform. That served as Hodsden’s dream parade.

“Doug MacPhee, our top notch photographer, brought me a Pee Wee program,” Hodsden said of last Saturday, “that is one of the biggest differences between our program and Bellows Falls’. Most of our players are in the first or second years of wearing pads. They have had that program in Bellows Falls since 1968. I am trying to start that here and our numbers keep increasing, but right now at the high school level, we just can’t compete.”

Hodsden was what was called a gamer when he played. It appears he has been able to install that part of his make up in his charges because he told us, “I was pleased it was only 6-0 at the quarter and 20-0 at the half. We can stay with people for a while, but eventually our experience catches up with us. We have yet to play four quarters,” the former Purple helmet guy said. Lee’s competitiveness showed through in the next sentence. “You know if we can beat North Country, we could make the play-offs,” he both stated.

“I loved seeing Timmy Waryas and enjoyed having a conversation with him. I saw his father Fred and Freddie (Waryas), Kevin Vancor, Mike Randall, Shawn Burke, Mike Burke and Mary Jo Kiniry (Clark) and that was a lot of fun. I also had the chance to chat with Coach Lockerby and Ryan Stoodley and that is always fun.”

The Mt. Abe coach went on to say, “I have used what Coach Bisbee taught us about growing up and becoming a productive member of society with the team. I want our Eagle football players to meet the standards we have set here. Do the right thing, the right way, on time, all the time.”

Speaking of Coach Bisbee, Hodsden turns to his former coach in times of need. Lee mentioned, “I call Coach Bisbee when I need a motivational talk. He is still good at picking me up.”


Bellows Falls’ Noah Rawling was wide open early in the second half as the Terriers shut out Mount Abraham 54-0. The catch and run was part of a 38 yard scoring play on a pass from Logan Cota. Photo by Doug MacPhee

We spoke to BFUHS Principal Chris Hodsden, Lee’s brother and he spoke of their time together growing up. Chris said, “When you are referring to Lee keep in mind, there is a difference between competing and being competitive. We had a great sibling relationship, but there was not a thing that we played against each other, that we didn’t want to win at. He has always been very competitive.”

I know in Boston, that the Eagles and Terriers are two schools that really don’t like each other. Boston College and Boston University would never consider doing things the other team’s way, regardless of the sport. In the communities of the Green Mountain State, the Terrier Way is becoming the Eagle Way.

Looking at action on the football field last week, in the Terrier victory, Logan Cota threw for two touchdowns and ran for two scores. The passes were of 38 yards to Noah Rawling and 26 yards to Ryan Kelly, while the runs were from 23 and 21 yards away. Shane Clark, Julian Christensen, and Andrew Elliott added touchdown runs. Severt kicked six extra points.

Coach Lockerby said, “It was a good game for us. We gained more experience and nobody got hurt. The tough games start now. If we don’t play well, we lose.” The Terriers travel to Fair Haven Friday night and then will host Union 32 the following Friday night in the season finale.

Springfield proved to be a little more competitive in a 35-12 loss to third place Mill River, despite what the final score might look like. Matt LaChapelle, who has had a number of strong games in the running department for the Cosmos, rushed for over 100 yards and scored the first Springfield touchdown to bring the Cosmos within 22-6 in the first half. Donivan Sprano tallied the locals final points on an 11-yard scamper.

Coach Rich Saypack felt that “their passing game broke the game open with a few deep passes that receivers made great catches on. Offensively, it seemed like every positive play we had came back drive after drive.” Saypack was frustrated by the penalties referred to in the quote, making the offense sputter and a continuation of turnovers which have plagued his team all season.

Saypack’s 11 will be home for Senior Night Friday versus Missisquoi and the coach says, “Hopefully, a win is in store for our hard working seniors.”

Fall Mountain was idle last week and Orion Binney’s team is prepping for a home game Saturday night versus a Newfound team the Wildcats can likely be competitive against. “The week off has given us some time to get healthier. We have missed Aaron Blair and Reggie DeCamp and they both should play and be able to make us stronger. We had a good week of practice and are looking forward to this game,” Binney said.

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