Football Merger Brings Mixed Emotions, Adjustments to Greylock

After experiencing a low projected turnout this past spring for the fall season, the Mount Greylock football team merged with former opponent, Drury High School. 

The Mount Greylock administration decided that although there were not enough students to make a full team, the students should still get an opportunity to play football. Drury also had lower numbers than in previous years, so it was decided that it would be best for both teams to merge into one. 

Led by Drury’s head coach Alan Marceau, John Moore, and Mount Greylock’s coach Jutris, along with a variety of volunteers, the program has successfully merged, although not without its difficulties.

“I thought it was very bad at first because we have been trained into thinking that they are our enemy. We didn’t know them, so it was difficult at the start,” said Mount Greylock sophomore Ryan Goss. 

Players also mentioned that they were not adequately informed on behalf of the merger. The idea of co-oping the team with Drury’s came as somewhat of a shock to Mount Greylock players. Also, in years past, football has been perhaps the most well-attended fall sport, so the merger has been an adjustment for the student body as a whole. 

“It’s a big letdown that the games aren’t going to happen as often, and it’s weird seeing kids walk down the hallway in Drury football jerseys instead of Greylock jerseys,” said Goss. 

Jutris was more optimistic: “Students are disappointed that games aren’t here anymore and that they don’t have a  football team to call their own. But everyone is ultimately optimistic because the kids get to play somewhere and that’s what matters.” 

Now, as the football season progresses, having a combined team might be beneficial for both schools in the sense that the one team has a combination of talent from both Mount Greylock and Drury. “The Drury guys on the team are excited to have us and they’ve been pretty great and accepting,” said Mount Greylock junior Will McDonough.  

“They are very good to us, abnormally good to us. They know that if we leave they leave, They go back to being the ‘lovable losers.’ They need us to change not only the mentality of their team but also to bring some of our physical skills to the table and make this year better,” agreed Goss. 

Although it was difficult at first to co-op because the players did not know each other and there was the big question of playing time, the teams have found a way to work well with each other. According to coaches, it is a good experience socially for the schools to unite under a common goal. “It’s an awesome experience, especially for students who love football and want to play football to get out of their comfort zone by getting to a new school and meeting a new group. In the end, the co-op helps to form new bonds. It’s been good all around,” said Jutris. 

“We’re trying to make it work, and [Drury] understands that it sucks not having a program. So everyone’s making the best of it,” said Goss. McDonough agreed, saying, “Greylock guys are getting the same amount of respect. Three Greylock players are on the starting lineup. There’s mutual respect and Drury guys aren’t being favored’” 

To make the situation better for the Mount Greylock players and student body, the coaches have decided to hold a game in mid-October at Greylock. The players have found a way to work well together and look forward to combining new talent and personalities to have a successful season.