The undefeated, Division 3A Super Bowl champion Bourne High School football team enjoyed a dazzling parade through town on their triumphant return home Saturday afternoon.
The team’s bus, with all the cheering players on board, was escorted through town by Bourne firefighters and a dozen Bourne police cruisers. With lights flashing and sirens blaring around them, the team was led to the Bourne Veterans Memorial Community Center on Main Street, where a cheering crowd of more than 500 people greeted them.
“We were very happy to be a part of it,” Bourne Police Chief Dennis R. Woodside said of the department’s involvement in the event. Chief Woodside said the parade was organized by himself and Deputy Fire Chief Daniel L. Doucette during the latter stages of the Canalmen’s 16-14 victory over Hamilton-Wenham in Lynn.
“We kept the plans quiet, we didn’t want to jinx it,” Chief Woodside explained.
“We talked about it a few weeks ahead of time, but didn’t do anything about it until that afternoon,” Deputy Chief Doucette added.
Both Chief Woodside and Deputy Chief Doucette attended the game at Manning Field in Lynn, a game Chief Woodside called “a nail-biter.” Late in the second half, he said, both men started telling parents who were in the bleachers with them about their plan for a victory parade.
“The game was over around 2 to 2:30, and we started putting things in motion around 1:30,” Deputy Chief Doucette said.
He said once they started spreading the word in the stands, “social networking took over.” Parents called their children, and their children started texting their friends or went on their Facebook page and posted messages about the parade, and that brought out the crowd. Apparently, even town officials got into the act.
“Selectmen posted it on their Facebook accounts,” Deputy Chief Doucette said.
Tina Canterbury, Bourne High athletic department secretary, said she found out the day before the game of Chief Woodside and Deputy Chief Doucette’s potential plan and knew they wanted to keep it a surprise for the players. Ms. Canterbury said she was on the team bus as it made its way back home, constantly calling Chief Woodside, who had left the game right after it was over, to update him as to how close they were to Bourne.
Six buses in total went to the game, one for the players, one for the cheerleaders, one for the school band, one for the BHS hockey team, and two more for fans, both students and adults. Among the fans on one adult/student bus were two brothers, BHS graduates from the mid-1960s, who came up from Virginia to be part of the fun, Ms. Canterbury said.
Another of the adults on the bus was 66-year-old Glenn R. Galusha of Everett Road. Mr. Galusha praised the school for the excellent job it did in providing buses to people who wanted to attend the game. He said the only drawback was getting lost on the way up to the game.
“They gave us directions that took us through the Ted Williams Tunnel, but the tunnel is closed on weekends now,” he explained. His bus wound up headed west on the Massachusetts Turnpike before backtracking. He said they left Bourne at 9:45 AM and made it to Lynn by 11:45 AM, just in time for the noon kickoff.
Mr. Galusha tipped his hat to the Bourne football players. “They were well-disciplined and stayed focused throughout the game,” he said. “I have the utmost respect for their coach,” Mr. Galusha commented of John McIntyre, Bourne High head football coach.
Chief Woodside and Deputy Chief Doucette did a good job of keeping their fellow police and firefighters apprised of the game and of the team’s estimated time of arrival in town.
Bourne Fire Chief Martin Greene said the departments had just 40 minutes to get everything ready when they heard the team was on its way home. He relied heavily on Deputy Chief David M. Kingsbury and Lieutenant Penny M. Eldridge. Chief Greene said they had an engine truck and an ambulance as part of the escort, and the department’s tower truck was set up at the community building, with a giant American flag flying at the top.
“That flag is not easy to set up,” he said.
Fate was also on the fire department’s side.
“Fortunately, there were no calls at the time. If there had been a call, there wouldn’t have been any trucks at the station, so we were very lucky,” Deputy Chief Doucette explained.
Once the entourage arrived in Wareham, they were greeted by Chief Woodside who led them to Memorial Circle in Buzzards Bay. The five other buses, apart from the players’ bus, were sent ahead. The 12 police cruisers, one fire engine, and an ambulance then escorted the team bus along Main Street to the community building, where hundreds of cheering fans greeted the team.
It was the first Super Bowl title for Bourne High School to go along with the team’s first undefeated season. The championship now sits alongside the school’s 2004 state championship in hockey and 2000, 2002 and 2004 state titles in volleyball. Ms. Canterbury noted that not only is the championship a first for Bourne High football, it is the first time a team from the South Coast Conference has won a Super Bowl title.
“Awesome game...awesome season,” Bourne Pigskin Club President Daniel J. DiMonda added.
For Mr. DiMonda, the parade and how quickly it all came together was an expression of how the town rallied around the team. Mr. DiMonda noted that while Bourne fans had to travel a good two hours to attend the game, and Hamilton-Wenham fans only had to drive half an hour, Bourne fans outnumbered their opponent’s fans by double.
“It’s always nice when they bring home a state championship, because it is rare,” Deputy Chief Doucette said.