NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

November 1, 2013

Leaving it all on the field

That's what Triton aims to do in its first playoff game tonight

For the first time in its history, the Triton football team is headed to the state tournament tonight. But to hear quarterback Brad Whitman tell it, it’s just another Friday.

“It’s good that we turned the program around,” said Whitman. “But I just want to make the most out of my senior year. I just want to leave it all out on the field.”

Leaving it all out on the field is something the 5-2 (3-2 in the CAL) Vikes have been doing ever since they torched Swampscott on the road 33-7 in Week 1. Triton will host its inaugural tournament appearance against Watertown tonight.

“It’s very exciting,” said fourth-year Vikings coach Pat Sheehan, who is marking his second playoff appearance after seeing tournament play as an assistant coach for Lynnfield in 2009. “Obviously we are beneficiaries of the new playoff season, but we earned it big-time, and we put an exclamation point on it with a big win against Masco last week. We’re all excited, and the girls soccer team is in the playoffs for the first time in their history, the boys soccer team is back in the playoffs, and the golf team finished seventh in the states. It’s a really cool time to be part of the community here.”

Starting 16 sophomores last season, the Vikes went 1-10. Now those sophomores are juniors and are joined with 10 seniors.

“This didn’t happen overnight,” said Sheehan. “(Whitman) was a very good quarterback last year on a team that was struggling and young and trying to find its way. But we knew last year that we had something special, and there isn’t a throw on the field that he can’t make. He can do things with his legs, and he is one of the toughest kids I have ever coached in my life. Starting as a freshman, he keeps getting up and he’s definitely a coach on the field. He knows the offense as well as anybody.”

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