RUMFORD — Perhaps it isn’t the fever pitch that surrounded the program for almost a quarter-century, but one look around the Mountain Valley football huddle reveals why the expectations are bigger than they’ve been for a while.

Bigger, as in the 6-foot-3, 300-pound frame of four-year starting two-way tackle Alan Carrier. Or the dueling shadows of 230-pound sophomores Curtis Gauvin and Ian Brennick, who will fuel the Falcons’ running game as a fullback and guard and anchor the defense as middle linebackers.

And large like the potential of junior tailback Kyle Farrar, who added 15 pounds of muscle and won a track and field state championship in the long jump after the premature end to his sophomore football season.

“It’s not like it used to be, but hopefully this year is the turning point,” Carrier said. “The team believes it. The coaches believe it.”

Mountain Valley won its fourth Class B state championship in seven seasons in 2010. They reached the next regional final — their 17th in 23 years as a program — before losing to Wells.

There hasn’t been a winning season since, which means this year’s seniors must win at least four to avoid becoming the first four-year class to earn that dubious distinction.


Armed with perhaps the best back in the league and an army of huge blockers, the Falcons have a golden opportunity to soar once again, now as members of Class C South.

“Nobody’s screwing off,” Farrar said flatly. “Nobody’s really slacking. Everybody’s giving it their all this year.”

Farrar seeks redemption after he was dismissed from the team his sophomore year for his involvement in a fight during school hours.

“It taught me a lesson not to be stupid,” he said.

He missed the Falcons’ final three games — an overtime loss at Freeport and shutouts against Cape Elizabeth and Spruce Mountain, the latter in the playoffs.

Prior to that, Farrar amassed just under 700 yards rushing. He emerged as a receiving and special teams threat, as well.


“His last game last year, against Leavitt, I don’t know if people realize it, but he had 200 total yards in the game,” Mountain Valley coach Steve LaPointe said. “He had a great game that day. He told one of the coaches after the game, ‘I can’t juke these guys. They’re too good.’ He put his shoulder down.”

Farrar bulked up with a combination of track and field workouts and traditional weight lifting. His bench press is up to 220 pounds, roughly 70 above his body weight.

The ability to run through and drag would-be tacklers that Leavitt first witnessed in Farrar should be apparent to all Mountain Valley opponents this season.

“I definitely want to bring the contact more,” Farrar said. “I’m still going to have the quickness and the cutbacks, but I’ll definitely be able to take a hit this year, and give a hit.”

Carrier didn’t like the sound of that.

“Hopefully he doesn’t get hit too much,” the lineman said.


He quickly resolved to be part of the solution.

“He’s quick. Just as long as I do my job, you can tell him see you later,” Carrier said. “We’ve got quite a few (four) starters back on the line. I’ve been doing it four years. I think we’re going to be good in the line and in the backfield too.”

Peter Cogley and Zach Duguay join Carrier and Brennick as veterans on the offensive line.

Gauvin was injured on the first carry of his freshman year, while Brennick went down for the season in Week 3.

Including those two at full strength, the Falcons return eight defensive starters.

Farrar is quick to share the credit, as well, adding that Gauvin, Mike Provencher and Troy Cochran give Mountain Valley the makings of a loaded backfield.

If all the large components stay healthy and keep Farrar on his feet, Mountain Valley fans, coaches and players may enjoy the once-customary atmosphere of November football.

“He’s fast. He makes you miss,” LaPointe said of Farrar. “He’s really serious this year. He’s put the time in. We’re going to try as many ways as we can to get him the football.”

Comments are no longer available on this story