Indian back waited his turn
Trent Bourbeau doesn’t need many words to describe his first year as the No. 1 running back on the Turners Falls High School football team.
The 5-foot-7, 150-pound junior does most of his talking with his legs, and in that regard, he’s been quite talkative. Bourbeau is among the area rushing leaders this season, having gained 1,068 yards on 166 totes this season despite missing two-plus games due to an injury. He saved one of his best performances for Friday night’s WMass Division VI championship game, rushing 27 times for 190 yards as the Indians earned a 36-22 victory over Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Buckland. He looks to keep it going Saturday at 11 a.m. at Westfield State University, where the Indians will take on central Massachusetts Division VI champion Littleton High School (10-0) for the right to play in the Division VI state championship on Dec. 7 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
Bourbeau began playing football when he was young but wound up taking a break from the game before coming back to play his eighth-grade season at Turners Falls. He moved on to the junior varsity squad and was around last season when senior Ryan Wilder was putting up over 2,007 yards to become the area’s all-time, single-season rushing leader. With Wilder now playing at Westfield State, the door was left open for Bourbeau to step in this season. The massive shoes may have been too big for some, but not the soft-spoken running back.
“There was big shoes to fill but I just came into the season like it was any other,” Bourbeau said. “I had to step up and do my part.”
In Bourbeau’s first varsity game, he ripped off 159 yards on 21 carries in a 43-13 win over Belchertown High School.
“I had the normal butterflies but I wasn’t that nervous,” he recalled of that inaugural game. “We were pretty well-prepared. We had a good game plan. We knew what we needed to do.”
That was a preview of what was to come, as Bourbeau has gone on to rush for over 100 yards in six of the eight games he’s appeared in this fall. He has scored eight touchdowns and sits second on the team in scoring.
He is quick to deflect praise for his outstanding season, instead heaping it onto his offensive line, many of whom are as new to the team as he is. Tyler Charboneau is the only holdover from the offensive line from a season ago, the unit a makeshift crew of newcomers and former junior varsity players. Junior Dustin Underwood is brand new to the team this season, while senior Sam Danford, and sophomores Cullen Wozniak and Colby Dobias each came over from the junior varsity team along with Bourbeau.
“The line was pretty much all new, just like me,” Bourbeau said. “We all came together, learned what everyone did and how everyone played together. “
Now Bourbeau, the line and the rest of the team sit one game away from playing in the first state-championship game.
“We thought this was going to be like a normal season, a couple of wins, a couple of losses,” Bourbeau concluded. “We never thought we’d be here.”