HEBRON — While shutting out rival Kents Hill is always a welcome way to end a football season at Hebron Academy, the Lumberjacks probably wouldn’t have objected to their Evergreen Conference season lasting a little longer last year.
Hebron won three of its last four games to finish 2017 with an identical record to the year before, 3-5. Head coach Tom Radulski returns for his second season almost having to start from scratch again, though.
Part of that is the inherent nature of private prep school athletics. Part of it is because the Lumberjacks graduated a number of key players on both sides of the ball. Radulski, though, is excited about those he has returning as well as a number of postgraduate additions.
The key to any season at Hebron is getting all of the parts to fit together as quickly as possible.
“Our preseason goal will be mesh our new players with our returners and develop an identity on both sides of the football,” said Radulski, whose team opens the season Sep. 22 at home against Dexter School of Brookline, Massachusetts. “We have the potential to be a good team. Building depth and staying away from injuries will be key.”
A veteran of more than three decades in the college coaching ranks, Radulski isn’t adverse to getting back to basics. He stresses fundamentals and being solid in all three facets of the game — offense, defense and special teams.
The Lumberjacks host rival Kents Hill of Readfield in their season finale on Nov. 10. The rivalry dates back to the 1800s and annually rewards the victor with the Headmaster’s Chair. Hebron retained it for the fifth year in a row last year with an 8-0 win.
Other home games on the schedule include Kingswood Oxford School on Oct. 6 and Hyde School of Bath on Oct. 27.