2017-08-24 / News

Tigers to be back at Waterhouse for football season

By Grant McPherson
Staff Writer


Brian Curit begins his 35th year of coaching football at Biddeford High School. He said a scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 19 against Greely went well and he expects another competitive season. Curit is focused on Kennebunk again this year, the only team Biddeford lost to last season. (Grant McPherson photo) Brian Curit begins his 35th year of coaching football at Biddeford High School. He said a scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 19 against Greely went well and he expects another competitive season. Curit is focused on Kennebunk again this year, the only team Biddeford lost to last season. (Grant McPherson photo) BIDDEFORD – Football season has begun and Biddeford High School staff members are ready for a homecoming at Waterhouse Field. Head Football Coach Brian Curit started his 18th year last week as Biddeford’s head coach, and his 35th year coaching overall. The team is holding preseason at Brother Richard Hebert Field on Maplewood Avenue across from the high school.

The team practices twice a day Monday through Friday, in the morning and in the evening. Curit understands he is asking a lot of his players, many of whom are new to the sport this season. But Curit’s expectations for his players extend beyond simply making it to playoffs in November.


Biddeford High School Football has one of the largest numbers of freshman in recent years. Coach Keith Leblanc said freshmen benefited from a strong middle school program and are ready to work hard. From left back row, Dakota Senecal, Nathin Stowe-Davis, Nicholas Therrien, Zachary Lau, Brady Sectin, Joshua Dyer, Jack Smith, Alex McAlevey, Scott Jelly, Liam Donovan, Jayden Elliott, Aidan Donovan, Aushe Edmond and Trevor Dore. From left front row, Dominic Roberts, Joshua Paquet, Matthew LaFlamme, Josh Redmond, Jaiden Vallee, Pius Olango, Ashton Crowell, Cody Albert, Alec Beauliu and Isaac Vaillancourt. (Grant McPherson photo) Biddeford High School Football has one of the largest numbers of freshman in recent years. Coach Keith Leblanc said freshmen benefited from a strong middle school program and are ready to work hard. From left back row, Dakota Senecal, Nathin Stowe-Davis, Nicholas Therrien, Zachary Lau, Brady Sectin, Joshua Dyer, Jack Smith, Alex McAlevey, Scott Jelly, Liam Donovan, Jayden Elliott, Aidan Donovan, Aushe Edmond and Trevor Dore. From left front row, Dominic Roberts, Joshua Paquet, Matthew LaFlamme, Josh Redmond, Jaiden Vallee, Pius Olango, Ashton Crowell, Cody Albert, Alec Beauliu and Isaac Vaillancourt. (Grant McPherson photo) “I believe lessons learned on the gridiron resemble those encountered later in life,” Curit said.

The head coach expects his players to be courteous and on time for practice every day, just like they were going to work. Curit believes in establishing a work ethic early and knows the relationships players form now will benefit them later in life.

“Guys always come back and talk about what it meant to play here,” Curit said.

That’s part of the reason why Curit, class of 1982, came back to teach and coach after playing football for Biddeford High School. The team has been tweaking the same plays since the late-1970s, Curit said, adding that the biggest difference since he attended school is the student population, which was about 1,400 kids when he graduated and is now down to 800. What he said hasn’t changed is Biddeford students’ willingness to work hard.

“It means something to wear the helmet,” Curit said.

As renovations to Waterhouse Field near completion, Curit is thankful to return to his team’s home. He thanked Superintendent Jeremy Ray and Waterhouse Field Alumni Association President Jim Godbout for their work on the field. The new lights are in place and the scoreboard will be installed in September. Ray said the city council approved $840,000 from funds for the high school renovation for the work at Waterhouse Field at a meeting in June.

“I’m happy and humbled they moved this project forward and did it in a hurry,” Curit said.

Funds are being used to pay for the installation of the bleachers by EMD Products, the fence by Burns Constructions, the lights by Musco Sports Lighting, LLC and the scoreboard. Ray said Godbout has donated all of his time working on Waterhouse Field. Godbout has helped lay conduit pipe, measure and mark the field, dig ditches and refurbish the press box.

“You name it, he’s been there,” Ray said.

Curit feels fortunate to have great crowds at Waterhouse and said the fans’ passion is emblematic of the Biddeford community. After losing to Kennebunk in last year’s class B state semi-final match, Curit expects big things from his team this fall.

“If we continue to improve every day, we can play with anybody,” he said.

Athletic Director Dennis Walton, class of 1988, used to play and coach alongside Curit and has nothing but confidence in his ability to lead the team to victory. As a player, Walton said Curit was a huge influence on him and as athletic director, he said Curit is one of the easiest coaches to work with. Walton knows Curit’s first priority is in developing young men and making them into representatives of the community.

“I have nothing but positive things to say about Brian Curit,” Walton said.

Walton’s fondest memory of coaching came in 1994 when Biddeford won the state championship against Waterboro. Walton takes pride in his time as coach, but said at the end of the day it’s all about the players. Because of that, he is happy to see the work at Waterhouse Field coming to a close.

“It means a lot to so many different kids in this community,” he said.

For Walton, the greatest aspect of the field is the absence of a track, which allows fans close proximity to in-game action. The school is also one-third of the way toward its $900,000 goal for synthetic turf for Waterhouse, which will allow field hockey players to hold matches there.

“Our biggest motivator is making that stadium even more of a community facility,” he said.

The latest improvement to Waterhouse, a scoreboard with video display capabilities, almost didn’t happen. Ray initially said no to the detail, citing the school’s budget for the new board and sound system at $60,000. However, after Ray spoke to Godbout, an additional $28,000 was raised through private donations. Video production on the new scoreboard will be prepared and operated entirely by students taking classes who are interested in that field of work.

“That aspect really brought uniqueness to our curriculum,” Ray said. “We have an opportunity for kids to put school work into practice.”

Ray said he’s proud of the commitment volunteers have shown rebuilding the field. While the new bleachers likely won’t arrive until the end of the season, Ray is excited for community members to see the new fence, light poles and score board for the opening season. In the meantime, a set of temporary bleachers will be set up.

“I think they will be pleased to see it all come together,” he said.

Walton believes Waterhouse is an iconic field whose name carries with it recognition and admiration throughout the state. He said thousands of young men have left Biddeford with nothing but fond memories of the field.

“My goal as athletic director is to multiply those thousands by thousands more so other players can look back with similar cherished memories for decades,” Walton said.

Contact Staff Writer Grant McPherson at news@inthecourier.com.

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