The defense likely will be the best part of Thompson’s Cougars team this year as it plays in a stout Class B North.

“I think defense is easier to learn, No. 1. No 2, we’re going to try to be real aggressive,” Mt. Blue coach Jim Aylward said. “The most experience I think we have is on the defensive side of the ball. I’m comfortable with our secondary. I’m comfortable with some of the kids we have. And I think athletically we’re better suited right now on the defensive side of the ball.”

The Cougars have been known in past years as a team with high-scoring offenses, and even Aylward’s state championship teams at Mountain Valley could put points up on the scoreboard.

That’s not to say that Mt. Blue will struggle on offense, but with an inexperienced offensive line the Cougars will need their defense to step up early in the season.

That shouldn’t be hard to do.

“As long as we can start with a strong defense, offense will come,” said Thompson, who plays cornerback on defense.


His senior classmate, Miles Pelletier, is right in the middle of the Cougars defense, as an inside linebacker. Pelletier is the play-caller and he finishes calling out the play in the defensive huddle he yells out “seek!” The rest of the unit responds back with “destroy!”

“We try to get everyone pumped up,” Pelletier said of the rallying cry. “Defense is supposed to be fun. You want to play like wild dogs. You pump everybody up, everybody flies in and does their job.”

“Coach (Craig) Collins, he retired this year, he’s the one that came up with that and he just loved defense,” Thompson added. “It’s for the love of the game, for the love of defense. Can’t go wrong with defense.”

Joining Thompson and Pelletier as veterans on the defense are senior tackle Brandon Durrell and senior end Caleb Hall. The defense has size, speed, and most importantly, tenacity.

“(Coach Aylward) always emphasizes that you got to win the hitting game to win the game,” Thompson said. “You got to make the most contact in order to win the game. As long as we win the hitting game, defense wins games.”

Pelletier said “persistence and not backing down” are the key on defense, and echoed Thompson in emphasizing “the hitting game.”


The Cougars also plan on being physical on offense. Thompson, a solidly built fullback who also flashes speed and agility, called the offense “ground and pound.” Joining him in the backfield are fellow seniors Noah Carleton and Nate Everett as wing backs and Cole Dormand at quarterback. Despite being seniors, however, the backfield is relatively young in terms of varsity experience.

The same can be said for the offensive line, which Aylward said needs to get its assignments down and play with confidence.

Thankfully for the Cougars, they play the two prohibitive favorites in Class B North — Brunswick and Skowhegan — in the last two weeks of the season.

“I want to compete,” Aylward said of those last two games. “I want those to be games that you want to write about and you want to see.”

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