Old Colony Cougars nab fourth division championship

By Andrea Ray | May 11, 2017
Courtesy of: Old Colony Regional Vocational High School Members of the Old Colony Cougars and a very large belt - the prize they won for scooping their division championship.

Rochester — One Rochester baseball team has more than just its bases loaded; its trophy cabinet is getting crowded, too.

The cabinet might've been that way even before the Old Colony Cougars swept their fourth division championship. Now, though, Head Coach Craig Lincoln needs to find some more space for yet another trophy (and a trophy in the shape of a wrestling belt, to boot).

The Cougars play in the Mayflower Athletic Conference (MAC), a group of 16 vocational high schools. To reach the winner's podium in the "Small Vocational" division, they beat out Upper Cape Cod Regional Vocational Technical School, South Shore Vocational Technical High School, Norfolk County Agricultural and Bristol County Agricultural.

Lincoln is pleased with the Cougars. "They've been a great group," he said. "They showed some good hitting and pitching this year."

He made note of some of his best pitchers, seniors Mason Ashburn, Wyatt Major and Jared Gammell. "Everyone always works hard, they all pitch in, but those three have been incredibly consistent."

Lincoln knows that he'll have to do some switching up in the coming year, if he wants to win a fifth division title. "Some of the kids have been with me all four years," he noted.

Losing consistent players like Ashburn, Major and Gammell isn't easy, but Lincoln isn't worried. "We have a great group of younger guys," he explained. "They'll have to step it up a bit, but they'll be fine."

Right now, though, the current players don't have much of a chance to rest on their laurels. They might be four-time league champions in their small , but the entire Mayflower Athletic Conference regional championship is still up for grabs. In order to claim the regional prize, the team also needs to fend off competition from larger vocational schools like Blue Hills Regional Vocational High School.

The Cougars have managed scoop that prize in the past - last year in fact. Presumably they won another (hopefully not larger) wrestling belt along with the conference championship.

The regional win sent them to what, according to Lincoln, is the team's ultimate goal: the state championships.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) hosts the state championship, and Lincoln knows that the ante is upped dramatically once there. "We're not just playing against 16 vocational schools, we're playing against 375 schools from all over the state," he explained.

The team, who plays in MIAA's Division 4, was knocked out in the first round of the state championship last year by Archbishop Williams High School, out of Braintree. The final score was 5 - 3. "It was too bad for them," Lincoln said as he thought back on the game.

No matter what, though, he's proud of the Cougars. "They're a great group of kids," he explained. "I'm lucky to be their head coach. They try hard every day."

 

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