High school football

Stewart, Furrow, DelFrate, Tran prepare for 28th annual Lobster Bowl

Mariner, Panther, Lion, Mustang standouts experience one more game
By Mark Haskell | Apr 07, 2017

Biddeford — The 28th annual Maine Shriners Lobster Bowl Classic, as it typically is, will be well-represented by Midcoast high school football players with four student-athletes from separate schools set to take part in the game.

Among the area gridiron standouts set to participate in the game are Oceanside’s Mitchell DelFrate, Mount View’s Colby Furrow, Medomak Valley’s Tyeler Stewart and Belfast’s Travis Tran.

The game is slated for Saturday, July 15 at Waterhouse Field and will feature the top high school senior football players from throughout the state.

The Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Game was created to raise money and help make the public aware of the orthopedic and burn care facilities available, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay, to children who need specialized care.

It also is a rite of passage for departing Maine high school seniors as the best of the best are selected to represent their schools.

The student-athletes, whom are nominated by their coaches and selected by a committee from the Maine Athletics Association, also commit to a week-long training camp prior to the game.

Each player is obligated to raise $500 for the Shriners to earn the opportunity to play in the Lobster Bowl.

Tran, who played defensive tackle, offensive tackle and offensive guard, had 22 solo tackles, 34 assisted tackles and four sacks for the Lions, which finished the regular season with a 3-5 record. Tran was a captain for Belfast and was a second-team defensive tackle and an all-academic selection in the Big 10. He also will play in college at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine.

Belfast coach Chris Bartlett said Tran was “one of the better defensive tackles in the league” and “has a motor that does not stop.”

“This will be a great opportunity for him to see that there are things much bigger out there and to give back to a great cause,” said Bartlett of Tran. “This will have a positive effect on his future and the way he sees things. This game changes everyone that participates in it.”

DelFrate, who played defensive tackle for Oceanside, amassed 72 tackles and eight quarterback sacks and was a semifinalist for the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards. He also was named first-team all-conference at defensive tackle and second-team at defensive tackle for the Big 10 Conference.

The Mariners went 5-3 in the regular season and advanced to the semifinals in the Class C North playoffs.

“Mitchell has been an amazing lineman since the day I met him when I was coaching eighth grade,” said Oceanside coach Wes Drinkwater. “Physically he has always been gifted, having both size and quickness for a big man. But I think it’s Mitchell’s unique mental ability to be able to turn on a vicious mean streak once he crosses that line and hits the field [that makes him special]. He is a born leader and was one of the our best recruiters.”

Furrow, who was a running back and defensive back, was named Mount View’s most valuable player and was second-team all-conference at running back in the Little Ten Conference. He rushed for 655 yards on 52 carries (13 yards per carry) with six touchdowns and two 2-point conversions and also hauled in 25 passes for the Mustangs, who finished with a 5-4 regular-season record.

Mount View coach Harold “Haggie” Pratt said Furrow is “one of the nicest young men I’ve ever coached and he worked very hard at being a good football player.”

"He never missed a practice the entire season,” said Pratt. “To me that says a lot about his character and the kind of teammate he is and his commitment to our program. Colby has the important combination that a good running back must have. He has great speed and the ability to break tackles. That means he gave our offense [the opportunity] to score at any moment.”

Stewart, who played defensive line and center for Medomak Valley (along with long snapper), averaged three tackles per game and had two sacks on the season. Stewart will continue his playing career at the collegiate level for Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. The Panthers finished 1-6 on the season.

“Tyeler has been instrumental, along with his classmates, in helping us attain status as a varsity sport,” said Medomak Valley coach Ryan Snell. “He has been a leader for us on the field and in the classroom all four years and will represent us well at the Lobster Bowl.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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