Bacon Academy Homecoming Day beautiful, but bittersweet

By Merja H. Lehtinen - ReminderNews
Colchester - posted Mon., Oct. 14, 2013
BaconAcademy's girls' soccer team's Brianna Murray (left) and Heather Norris were at the homecoming game to support the football team and cheerleading squad. Photos by Merja H. Lehtinen.
BaconAcademy's girls' soccer team's Brianna Murray (left) and Heather Norris were at the homecoming game to support the football team and cheerleading squad. Photos by Merja H. Lehtinen.

It was an outstanding fall day for football on Saturday, Oct. 12, as Bacon Academy's Bobcats hosted their Homecoming game against the East Lyme Vikings.

Bacon quarterback Nate Kozlowski scored a running touchdown in the first half, which left the score 7-0 for the Bobcats through the third quarter. By the fourth quarter, it was 7-7, after a touchdown by East Lyme's Eric Stirtan. The Bobcats pushed back, but the Vikings' Tyler Hudson kicked his way to victory with only 45 seconds remaining, giving East Lyme the 10-7 win.

The day was picture-perfect, but for the loss for the home team on Homecoming Day to the visitors. Children and adults on and off the fields had fun on a beautiful day. Boosters grilled burgers, as fresh air and brilliant fall foliage served as a backdrop.

Parents, grandparents, family members and friends from Colchester and East Lyme came to watch from the stands as teens played their favorite sport or cheered on their classmates. It is traditional at Bacon Academy for all spectators to sit on the same side of the field.

There were smiles throughout the game, even after the exciting turn of the tide in the last minute when the visiting Vikings showed their might. All around, coaches and former players acknowledged it was a well-played game.

"The kids are battling hard out there," said John Quinones, a Bacon graduate, who coaches elsewhere.

Kelly and Paul Gagosz came to support their daughter Alexa, one of the students who serve as team managers. "A girl was on the football team a year ago," said Paul Gagosz. "Due to Title IX, girls can play on any team," he said.

Mark and Nancy Mcauliffe, with their dog Barney, were there to cheer on their daughter Kayla, a cheerleader, and her friends.

Matthew and his father Stan Harsimowitz, members of the Cougars, came because they love football. "It was my first home game, and I was impressed with how friendly and low key it was. [It was] a good game and fine setting for my son to experience," said Stan.

"We didn't lose, the game ended before we had a chance to win," is the optimistic outlook of the "Colchester Way," which many generations heard from Colchester's legendary coach Dave Shay long before Bacon even had football.

Shay, in the stands Saturday, guided baseball and basketball teams to more than 600 victories over the decades, and serves as the town's role model for good sportsmanship.


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