Injured seniors Connor Turcotte and Ethayn Roberts didn’t know when or if they would recuperate in time to play another varsity football game for Lisbon.

The two veterans were set to fulfill their key, supporting roles for the Greyhounds, but injuries sidelined both of them to begin the season. Their uncertainty disappeared after their recovery, allowing them to reappear in the fourth game of the regular season, against Foxcroft Academy. 

Both are grateful for the opportunity take the field with their teammates for Saturday’s Class D State championship game — a rematch against Foxcroft.

Ethayn Roberts and Connor Turcotte stand in the Lisbon High School gym Wednesday, where the football team was practicing ahead of Saturday’s Class D state final. The two seniors were injured at the beginning of the season but have been back playing strong since Game 4. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The two teams know each other all too well. The Greyhounds handed the Ponies their first and only loss with a narrow, 14-13 win in September.

Roberts, who plays a variety of positions, including tight end, wide receiver, cornerback and safety, spoke about his serious right-shoulder injury, 

“Back on Mother’s Day this year, I ended up tearing my labrum working out,” Roberts explained. “I got surgery to repair it and it’s working good now.


“It wasn’t a spot I wanted to be in, for sure. I was hoping I could have a full senior season, but initially none of the surgeons (and) the people at my therapy place told me I wasn’t going to play at all. As of right now, I am pretty grateful that I got a chance to play this season.”

According to, “The shoulder labrum is a thick piece of tissue attached to the rim of the shoulder socket that helps keep the ball of the joint in place.”

Roberts said his return in Game 4 was exhilarating, but he added, “The job is not done, yet. There is no point feeling amazing, yet.”

Poland’s Brady Martin gets taken down by Lisbon’s Ethayn Roberts during an Oct. 21 game in Lisbon. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

In his return, Roberts has helped keep the Greyhounds in big games.

He intercepted a fourth-down pass to put a stop to Freeport’s last-ditch effort to score from inside the 10-yard line with 18 seconds left in last Friday’s Class D semifinal, allowing the Greyhounds to escape with a 28-21 win.

Lisbon’s Ethayn Roberts intercepts a Freeport pass in the end zone, which sealed the Greyhounds’ 28-21 victory in the Class D semifinal game played in Freeport on Nov. 11. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

There is streak of humility that runs through the entire team and it explains why Roberts evades speaking about himself.


“There is no superstars. There’s just … do your job,” he said. 

Roberts made it look like a cinch after he got back in the groove with the Greyhounds for the remainder of the season.

“I was there for all the practices and everything, so I had a pretty good grasp,” he said. “We’ve been running roughly the same thing since my freshman year, so it wasn’t too hard to get back in the groove.”

Turcotte, a middle linebacker and a fullback, suffered a severe ankle sprain in practice the day before Lisbon’s first game of the season against Freeport.

Like Roberts, Turcotte used his time wisely and attended the team’s practices despite being sidelined.

“At first, I didn’t know what it was, so I was just concerned whether I was going to be able to come back or not,” he said. “But then I focused on recovering. We recovered faster than we hoped, so I was happy with that.”


He said the Greyhounds got their “wheels rolling” after an 0-2 start to come this far.

“Like Ethayn said, ‘The end of the season is more important than the beginning,’” Turcotte said.


Lisbon coach Chris Kates said the Greyhounds began the season with five athletes out with injuries.

“They were all contributors throughout the course of the season,” he said. “I think the biggest piece is there were some kids that we developed through getting additional varsity time that is actually helping us as the season goes on.”

Still, the return of Roberts and Turcotte was a welcomed sight for Kates and the Greyhounds.


“They’ve certainly helped us since they’ve been back and healthy,” Kates said. “They have done a lot of good things for us. The reality is both those kids are seniors. They are leaders for us, so just getting their presence on the field is a big plus.”

Kates said Roberts is a big, athletic player whose versatility and flexibility at multiple positions are major assets for the Greyhounds. 

“Anything you need him to do, he is willing to put the team first,” Kates said. “He really helps the team out in that respect.”

Kates described Turcotte as a quiet leader who does his job without fanfare.

“He plays middle linebacker for us. He’s the one calling our defense,” Kates said. “He is a hard worker and another team player. So his leadership style is a little bit more quieter than Ethayn’s is, but he still has a good presence on the field.”

Kates echoed the same remarks from his two players when it comes to that 0-2 start.

“The great thing about how they do playoffs now is everybody gets in, for the most part … so it is not the end of the world if you so start slow. So I think our kids were trying to see the bigger picture and piece together a couple of wins and gain more confidence,” Kates said. “This is a resilient group and they have been part of winning teams before, so it was easier to keep them focused on the bigger picture.”

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