CAP ELIZABETH – Colin Campbell has a cast on his right hand to protect a broken thumb. And her right knee has a torn medial collateral ligament.
Still, he was there at football practice earlier this week, preparing with his teammates for Saturday, when Cape Elizabeth (9-1) takes on Winslow (7-2) for the State Class C football championship at 6 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. .
Campbell, a senior running back, defenseman and captain, wouldn’t miss this game. The Capers will be looking to win their first state football championship.
“It would really mean the world,” said Campbell, an accomplished lacrosse player who pledged to play the sport at Bowdoin College. “Not only to this current program, but to the decades of players who came before us. There are so many families that are 15 years old from having someone playing here and still dedicated to supporting us. It would mean the world for all of us to bring it home. “
Cape Elizabeth has played two state championship games, losing in 2009 to Leavitt, 35-21, in the class B final and in 2017 against the Maine Central Institute, 30-13, in class C.
Coach Sean Green, who took over the program in 2019 after Aaron Filieo traveled to South Portland, said winning a championship won’t be just for the football program.
“It’s an amazing community,” he said. “I witnessed it firsthand. The first time I came to Cape Elizabeth was when I interviewed here. And they welcomed me with open arms. It is a tight-knit community and we receive great support. It would mean everything for us to deliver this first golden ball to this community.
To achieve this, the Capers are going to have to defeat one of the state’s most legendary programs. Between Class B and Class C, Winslow won nine State Championships (the last of Class C in 2015) and appeared in 16 State Championship games.
“When you talk about courage and physique, these guys are the example,” Green said of Winslow.
And Campbell too. When in good health, Green has said he is one of the best full-backs in the state. “He’s elusive, powerful with tremendous vision,” Green said.
Campbell was injured in training in Week 4 of the season and missed the Capers’ last four regular season games. He returned for the playoffs, playing one half against Westbrook and then a little more against Fryeburg Academy before playing the entire game last week in Cape Town’s 25-23 win over previously undefeated Leavitt.
“I was injured the first time we played them,” Campbell said of Leavitt’s 39-27 win over the Capers on Oct. 28. to play. It took my heart for a little while. But after the game I went out on the pitch and kind of soaked up because I knew we would be back there in November, around playoff time.
Green isn’t surprised Campbell is back.
“He’s the ultimate competitor and a phenomenal human being,” said Green. “He’s a captain and a kid who does whatever you ask for. He’s great on the pitch, he’s great off the pitch. He’s a hell of a ball carrier, a hell of a lifeguard. I am honored to be his coach.
His teammates certainly appreciate his return.
“He brings energy,” said senior quarterback Caden McDuffie. “At all levels for everyone. “
The Capers have a nearly unstoppable offense, passing their opponents by more than 2 to 1 – 3,453 yards to 1,551. McDuffie had 1,174 yards and 21 touchdowns (with just three interceptions) and rushed for a top. from 909 yards and 17 touchdowns. Junior receiver Nick Laughlin caught 30 passes for 661 yards and 11 touchdowns, in addition to 517 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He also returned five kicks for touchdowns.
Campbell, in his limited time, gained 467 yards and scored six touchdowns. Senior receiver Jack Gorman made 13 catches for 223 yards and five touchdowns.
McDuffie said he expects the Capers to be quick and smart this year. But the offensive line of senior tackles Gabe Harrison and Colin Smith, guards Brendan Guthrie and Jake Leiss and center Mike Foley – the last three sophomores – added a layer of physical play that upped the offense.
“Besides having athletes all over the field, the offensive line is crazy,” he said. “There is always a hole and there are always bodies jostling each other. It’s easy to deal with it.
And now, Laughlin said, they have a chance to do something really special. Players from former Cape Elizabeth teams have been reaching out all week to let the team know they’re behind them.
“It means everything,” Laughlin said. “And winning a championship would mean anything.”
Football: preview of Saturday’s state championship games