Cam Bourget is one of the leaders on both sides of the ball at Lisbon High School. He helped the Greyhounds earn a first-round bye in the D South playoffs. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LISBON — Lisbon three-year starter Cam Bourget had mixed feelings about the Greyhounds earning the bye and spending last week week finding out who they would host at Thompson Field in Saturday’s Class D South semifinal (12:30 p.m. vs. Oak Hill).

“It’s definitely better for players that are hurt to heal up,” he said. “We have time to rest and time to scout more, watch more film and studying the opposing team and our team.”

“But, I mean, I personally would rather play more games,” said Bourget, who is currently weighing his college options with hopes of getting into medicine. “I only have so many left.”

A senior running back/linebacker, Bourget can’t help but lament that just when he feels like he’s figured things out on the field, he only has a maximum of three games remaining in his high school football career if the Greyhounds reach the state championship game for the first time since his freshman year.

“We have a couple of starters from last year that are seniors now, so we are more comfortable in our positions now and know our reads better,” he said. “Now that it’s my senior year, I’m picking up on all of these things that Coach (Chris Kates) has been telling me all season and all of my career, so now I’m actually putting that to good use. I wish that I had that experience sooner.”

Bourget has had the time to absorb plenty of experience as a three-year starter on defense. He played safety as a sophomore but shifted around all three levels of the defense before settling in at his current position, middle linebacker.

“This year, we’ve allowed him to settle in a little bit more, and he’s kind of embracing that leadership role that comes with playing linebacker,” Kates said.

“He’s still kind of the guy that helps get everybody lined up properly. Any time you play teams like Oak Hill and Winthrop, who throw a ton of formations at you, it’s important to have a guy who can be the voice on the field,” Kates said. “And we throw multiple defensive looks, too, so it’s nice to have a kid who can help out in that respect.”

Bourget himself needed a little guidance to become one of the Greyhounds’ leading ball-carriers down the stretch.

Lisbon’s Cam Bourget (33) and Nick Blair (25) scramble for the football after Madison’s Kaleb Nichols, left, fumbled during a game in September at Thompson Field in Lisbon. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

He had had some big games in spot duty at fullback over the past couple of years and figured to be a big factor in Lisbon’s ground game this season as a tailback. But coaches thought he was too preoccupied with being a finesse runner and breaking a big play rather than the straight-ahead, downhill runner they wanted him to still be despite the position switch.

In a Week 4 loss to Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, Bourget didn’t get a single carry and clearly heard the message his coach was trying to send.

“He started a little bit slower this year running the ball,” Kates said. “I think (the Winthrop game) was more of a wake-up call for him that he wasn’t running the ball how we had wanted. Rather than pout about it he handled it exactly the way you would want a kid to handle it and put his head down and probably had the best practice he ever had. Now we’re feeding him the ball because of the way he’s running.”

As he does at linebacker, Bourget helps set a physical tone at running back and helped the Greyhounds grind out vital chunks of yardage, particulcarly in the second half of Lisbon’s 16-13 win over Oak Hill in the regular-season finale.

“He put his head down and gained the tough yards,” Kates said. “He’s really doing everything we’ve asked him to since that Winthrop game.”

“He’s a real tough, physical kid for us,” Kates added. “He’s one of those kids that never misses a lift. I think in the past three years, he’s missed our morning lift maybe once or twice. He’s always there. He’s dependable and a great kid to have on the team.”

Cam Bourget, left, of Lisbon High School pulls down Ryan Baird of Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale during a September game in Lisbon. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

A standout wrestler, Bourget has been top four in his weight class at the Class B state meet each of the past two years, including as the 182-pound runner-up last year. He also qualified for the New England championships as a junior.

Bourget uses his mat mentality to help motivate him during football season.

“It’s more so on the mental side,” he said. “Wrestling is a mentally tough sport. We’re always conditioning. We’re always pushing ourselves. It teaches you not to give in, always keep going.”

Bourget hopes the Greyhounds keep going all the way to Fitzpatrick Stadium for the Class D state title.

To get there, they will have to get past their rivals from Oak Hill, which upset Lisbon at Thompson Field in last year’s muddy D South quarterfinal, 6-0. Bourget admitted that loss still stings more than a year later.

“It definitely does,” he said. “We actually watched the film over again because we’re kind of in the same spot we were last year — we beat them last season during the regular season and now we’re playing them again in the postseason. But there’s more motivation (from) watching that film and seeing that we were in it but …”


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