TURNER — Every high school football team’s final loss of a season gets used as bulletin board and weight room wall motivational material.

Leavitt seniors Matt Powell and Levi Morin took the stigma of a playoff disaster on their home field against Belfast to an even higher level.

Sometimes Morin, a center and linebacker, would feel the vibration as he set his phone on the nightstand. It was a text from Leavitt assistant coach Chris Gray, same day and time as a week earlier, and the same attached photo: A panoramic shot of Belfast crossing the plane of the goal line on the final play of the game.

“It was like, ‘sweet dreams,’ right before I went to sleep,” Morin said. “That definitely fueled us.”

And why not? Squint hard if you’re opening that infamous GIF, and you won’t see either the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Morin or the 6-8, 260 Powell anywhere on the field.

“Levi broke his ribs in that game and Matt had a concussion in that game. Both of them were out at the end watching that, which I think for them makes it a little extra bitter,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “That’s been a good motivational tool that I don’t have to mention much that those guys take care of.”


Subtract that unspeakable night from the mix, though, and Powell and Morin have been mainstays along the line of scrimmage for Leavitt since their sophomore season.

Powell, a two-way tackle, was an offensive starter opening night of that campaign. Morin moved in at linebacker when the starter suffered a season-ending knee injury on the opening kickoff in Week 6 and hasn’t budged since. He’s now the center, also.

As linemen, they’re the latest installment in an amazing run over the past decade. No fewer than four Leavitt blockers — Ryane Staples, Jonathan Pirruccello, Doug Nash and Matt Pellerin — have played Division I in the Football Championship Subdivision.

That doesn’t even include the likes of Max Cloutier, Mat Porter, Luke Wiley and Mitch Cobb, all of whom started with Pellerin on the 2009 Class B state championship team.

“There’s a lot to live up to,” Powell said. “Not so much try to make your own name for yourself, but there was a lot of talent to fill in.”

“Especially looking at that ’09 team, that whole front five was great to watch,” Morin said. “I was in eighth grade. I looked up to them.”


Powell probably could overpower most Class B foes with sheer size and strength, but he has taken advantage of every avenue for improving his technique.

He was one of two Maine players — Cony quarterback Ben Lucas was the other — invited to a one-day showcase at Holy Cross this past summer. Powell also attended camps at Boston College and the University of Maine.

“As much as you show your skills there, I learned quite a bit, too. I feel like after going to Holy Cross I improved my pass blocking a lot,” Powell said. “There’s a lot bigger talent out of Maine. There’s kids my size finally. Coming from Maine there’s kids that are tough, but I’m a big kid, and there are kids my size there. It was kind of nice to see what I could do against them.”

Hathaway has seen the benefits on film.

“He’s improved his feet a ton just since last fall,” said the coach. “We’ve had a pretty good run on those guys. Some of them have gone on and played at the next level, and I think those guys have similar aspirations there. We just try to keep reloading it.”

Morin is in the middle of everything that happens for Leavitt, literally.


At center, he is responsible for line calls, knowing what scheme needs to be in place before snapping the ball to quarterback Tyler Chicoine.

And all the tackles seem to funnel his way at linebacker, where he also made a game-clinching interception one week ago against Yarmouth.

“I think linebacker’s the most fun position on the field,” Morin said.

Although offense is the bread-and-butter that ultimately may earn him a scholarship somewhere, Powell shares that passion.

“I feel that I’m better on offense, but who doesn’t like tackling people?” he asked.

Nothing seems to rattle the seniors. That was a quality on full display at Yarmouth, where the Clippers charged to a surprising 7-6 lead in the driving rain.


Leavitt had some difficulty adapting to Yarmouth’s speed and amoeba-like defensive looks on the artificial turf. Led by their veterans, though, the Hornets dominated the second half.

“It’s nice having a couple guys who have been around and know how to get it done,” Hathaway said. “Different looks and whatnot, they’ve seen it before. They can come back and give us feedback and we can get it done on the fly.”

Powell’s current college choices are Holy Cross, Maine and New Hampshire. Morin, who missed the summer camps due to an Achilles injury, may be a late bloomer in the recruiting race. He is leaning toward Division III, specifically Bates and Norwich.

But first things first.

“You could tell the team was dedicated when the weight room would only be open two days a week (during summer) and we would carpool down to the ‘Y’ to go lift,” Powell said.

Sounds like a simple game of follow-the-leaders. No text message prompting necessary.

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