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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mike Devereaux leads Bishop Guertin contingent into CHaD football game

MANCHESTER – When he walked off the field at Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, Mike Devereaux had an empty feeling.

So did his Bishop Guertin High School football teammates,who had just won their regular season finale but also realized it was their season finale as well. Devereaux had played only sparingly in the game, limited by a bad ankle. Cards head coach Travis Cote wanted him to at least have a cameo so he could say good-bye on the field and not from the sidelines. ...

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MANCHESTER – When he walked off the field at Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, Mike Devereaux had an empty feeling.

So did his Bishop Guertin High School football teammates,who had just won their regular season finale but also realized it was their season finale as well. Devereaux had played only sparingly in the game, limited by a bad ankle. Cards head coach Travis Cote wanted him to at least have a cameo so he could say good-bye on the field and not from the sidelines.

“He was fortunate to get back at the end of the year,” Bishop Guertin head coach Travis Cote said.

But lo and behold, that night in Plaistow wasn’t Deveraux’s good-bye to football. This Saturday he’ll play in the third annual CHaD East-West All-Star High School Football Game at St. Anselm College, but he’ll also be moving on to play at Case Western Reserve University, a small Division III school in Cleveland, Ohio.

Devereaux will be joined by two other Guertin teammates, linebacker John Miller and fellow cornerback Stavros Anagnost. Anagnost is headed to Plymouth State, but Miller will go to St. Michael’s in Vermont to play lacrosse, so this will definitely be his final football game.

But for Devereaux, football lives on.

“It’s great, I’m really excited about it,” said Devereaux, a linebacker at BG but will be at cornerback in this game. “For a lot of kids at our school, lacrosse is the sport. For me, football is the sport. I’m just trying to take advantage of the moment you’re given, and when you’re really in the moment try to focus on how important that moment is going to be later. I try to take each play like it’s important as it is.

“This means a lot. First of all, I get to play with two of my buddies from the team, Stavy and John. It also means a lot because I get to play against some of the teams (or players from) that we had a shot against and missed. I’m really excited to be out here, and it’s nice too for the cause it is (Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth).”

“Michael’s a great kid on and off the field, very deserving to be playing in this game,” Guertin coach Travis Cote, an assistant on the West squad, said. “I know he’s having fun. Stavros and Johnny Miller, they’re all having fun. It’s good to get one more (game) in.”

Devereaux was a valuable running back for the Cards his senior season, but also played linebacker and some defensive back. He’ll be at corner exclusively in this game.

“He’s got a good demeanor about him as a defensive back,” West head coach Paul Lavigne said of Devereaux. “He knows how to read, and he likes to hit, too. … He’s definitely a secondary guy, no doubt about it. … You look at him, you can read his eyes, he wants to hit somebody.”

“This is a new spark, a new spark completely,” Devereaux said, citing the fact it may be his last time playing in front of his parents. “I realized how much I was going to miss it, when I came off the field at Timberlane.”

Devereaux went to a college recruiting camp at one of the local schools and Case Western had a booth, and he made contact.

He plans on doing a five year program in engineering and management, with a Masters Degree involved as well.

“I liked the school,” he said, he’ll likely be a defensive back. “I like going away, starting a new adventure, and I get to play.”

“I’m sure he’ll have a great career out there and do well, both athletically and academically,” Cote said.

Grand finale

Miller says he’s glad to get one game in a sport he enjoys, especially since Guertin’s season ended with no postseason.

“It’s another shot at it,” he said. “When I got called for this (around March), I was just so excited. We didn’t make the playoffs and that was a shot in the heart for me because you know every year we made playoffs. Every year I was on the varsity we made the playoffs. It was just different; I hated it when football ends a lot earlier than usual. But this is great, it’s just like old times.”

“He’s coming around,” Lavigne said. “The speed is kind of hurting him. He’s getting there. He’ll be a middle linebacker, as we have enough running backs.”

“I love it,” he said. “I’d rather play linebacker than fullback, because I’m not that fast. This is a great group of kids, a lot of skills. It’s a lot of reads, lot of reading plays.

“He’s a tough-nosed kid, a good football player,” Cote said.

“He’s got an eye and a nose for the ball, he’s always around the play. He’ll be doing the same thing he always does, plugging and filling and stopping the run.”

“Miller’s a tank,” Devereaux said with a grin.

On the mend

Anagnost missed some practice time recently with an illness, but he should be ready to go. Lavigne likens him to Devereaux.

“He’s the same kind of breed, but he’s a little more quiet,” Lavigne said. “But he does a very good job. He’s got unlimited talented, he really does. … I’d like to see him turn it up a notch all the time.”

“We’ll definitely use him as a utility guy,” Cote said of Anagnost. “Smart player, mostly played corner for us. He’ll do a good job in the game too, I’m sure.”

“I love playing with Stavy,” Devereaux said, “just talking to him on the field, it’s a lot of fun.”