WILLIAMSTOWN -- The streak might as well be ancient history for the Mount Greylock football team.
The Mounties had won 33 straight games -- including two Western Massachusetts Division III Super Bowls -- before Wahconah beat them 20-8 on Oct. 26. It was a score that sent shock waves through Berkshire County football. The streak had ended.
"At the time, I think there was some deflation because it felt like the team sunk because the streak was over," said Mounties coach Shawn Flaherty. "Immediately I said the streak was a special bonus but we're not here to have a streak. You don't get a trophy for a streak. You don't get a ring for a streak."
Greylock could secure both of those with a third straight Super Bowl victory on Saturday at Westfield State University against Belcher town. The Mounties (10-1), despite losing senior quarterback Hank Barrett in that lone loss, look better than ever.
Consider Greylock's last two games. The Mounties rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat Wahconah in the county championship game the night before Thanksgiving. Less than a week later, Greylock rolled past Greenfield in a 62-0 romp to reach Saturday's sectional final.
"We're just so prepared because of Coach Flaherty," said 1,000-yard rusher Ethan Ryan. "He tells you what's coming. Kids here just want to get the job done. That's the biggest thing."
Perhaps Flaherty's words after that October loss were the best prep he's given his team all season. Freshman Brodie Altiere, who has had to step in for Barrett under center, called the defeat "a little crushing." Flaherty told his team to take a look across the field that night in Williamstown. The Mounties would see the Warriors just a month later, this time for the county title. This time, Greylock would win.
Flaherty said that little speech was the best medicine he could give his team. The message sunk in for his players.
"I think that [loss] even helped us a little bit," Altiere said. "It took us down to earth. We don't have anything on our back. Going into that Berkshire County [championship] game, we had a lot more reason to win. We had more motivation to win that game."
Now, Greylock is riding high again. The winning streak isn't so grand, but that doesn't seem to bother this group. Ryan said his teammates are like businessmen: they want to quietly go about winning games without any loud proclamations.
The Mounties remember exactly how it felt to lose in October. As the calendar turns toward December, there's no bigger motivation. Well, except for the chance to take home a third trophy in three years.
"It showed me what type of kids we have," Flaherty said. "I think they learned something about us. They came back and to do what they've been doing so far is really impressive."
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