This won’t be a 25th anniversary season to remember for Mountain Valley football.

The Falcons — whose predecessors celebrated four Class B championships in a seven-year span starting in 2004 — have been on the receiving end of some dubious firsts. In back-to-back weeks, Mountain Valley absorbed its first-ever losses to Lake Region and Spruce Mountain. Barring a shocking turnaround, there will be back-to-back losing seasons for the first time in the history of the program.

As the only coach Mountain Valley has ever known, Jim Aylward has earned the right to supervise this rarest of rebuilding projects. He’s exercising patience and urging the good folks of Rumford and Mexico to do the same.

Forty Falcons — roughly three-fourths of the team’s roster — are freshmen or sophomores.

“I’m going to keep my eye on the big picture. I love these kids,” Aylward said. “They’re here at practice every day. We’re probably the only program in the state that hasn’t a lost a single kid. Everybody’s doing everything we ask.”

Quarterback Ian Austin and fullback Tom Thibeau are seniors. Not including that pair, the carries in a 45-8 loss to Spruce Mountain went to freshmen Kyle Farrar (17 for 56 yards) and Raeshawn Harris, sophomores Logan Wilhoite, Troy Cochran, Ryley Flynn and Dylan Gaudet and junior Josh Mason.

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The starting offensive line is comprised of one senior, two juniors and two sophomores. Tight end Caleb Gauvin also is a junior.

“Anybody who watches us knows a couple of things. One, we’re incredibly young, and the kids who aren’t young have never played varsity football,” Aylward said. “I have no problems with anything I’m seeing from our team. We’re making progress, believe it or not. It’s hard for the naked eye to see. I see it as a coach.”

Facts and figures

• Three weeks into the season, 14 of the state’s 76 programs remain undefeated. Leavitt (C West), Bonny Eagle (A West) and Brunswick (B East) are the only team enjoying that status in their respective divisions. Eighteen teams still seek their first win.

• Leavitt boasts the top scoring defense in the state, having allowed only 14 points to date. Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth each scored a single touchdown, and the losses to the Hornets are their only defeats to date.

• Three teams — Cheverus, Kennebunk and Waterville — are averaging more than 50 points per game. The Purple Panthers have rolled up a total of 170 against their early C East competition.


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