“From a strictly hockey game standpoint, I’d take Gallo. I’d take Franklin. I’d take any other place.”
The bitterness, the hurting, and the unquenchable thirst — everything was palpable from the Franklin side.
But Spillane’s legacy should be more than that, regardless of how the Panthers handle their move to Division 1 next season.
Under Spillane, Franklin joined an elite club with eight other schools in Massachusetts that have made it to a state final three years in a row. Forget about outcome. The Panthers made it that far.
The only other schools to lose three in a row are Pittsfield, which couldn’t get it done in Division 2 from 1973-74 to 1975-76, and Boston College High, which lost three straight Super 8 finals to Catholic Memorial from 1998-2001, won it in 2001-2002, then lost the next two, again to CM. But then-Eagles coach Joe McCabe isn’t remembered for the losses.
He’s remembered for having a dynasty.
Spillane might get another chance, even if it does take time to adjust to the better competition. The pain evident on Sunday will drift away. And Franklin will again be synonymous with hard-working winners.
Pain won’t taint a legacy.
The spring sports season started Monday, Spillane said. “So our boys will be breaking out their lacrosse sticks and baseball gloves to play.
“They need to put their bags away. It’s a long season. They need to put them away.”
E-mail Jason Mastrodonato can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.