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27 Awards Presented at BHS Football Banquet Domercant Wins MVP, Offensive Player Honors

Quarterback Dasha Domercant and coach Dan Haddad are all smiles as they celebrate Domercant’s MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards at Bellingham High’s football banque

By KEN HAMWEY, Bulletin Sports Writer
Mental toughness, an unbreakable bond and accountability were the attributes that coach Dan Haddad emphasized at Bellingham High’s annual football banquet on February 5th at Savini-Pomodoro’s Restaurant in Blackstone.

Bellingham High’s football captains for the 2023 season are, from left, Connor Kelley, Donovan Turner, Mason Jacques, and Dasha Domercant.


His 2022 football team, which concluded its season with a 6-5 record, finished one game shy of the Tri Valley League’s Small Division championship but kept the Blackhawks’ tourney streak alive at four straight.
Twenty-seven awards were presented to players from middle school to the varsity level, and it was junior quarterback Dasha Domercant who walked away with two of the top trophies. He received the Offensive Player of the Year and the Most Valuable Player awards.
“I’m super honored to be chosen as the team’s MVP,’’ Domercant said. “I relied on hard work, determination and dedication. I just wanted our team to succeed. Winning the Offensive Player of the Year award was a blessing. I was truly surprised to win two awards.’’
The all-star QB called the 2022 campaign a roller-coaster season but “we stuck together and everyone was united.’’ As for the 2023 season, he said that he and his teammates will aim to be better and will focus on winning a Tri Valley League championship.  
Haddad lauded his squad for competing and playing through some difficult situations. 
The Blackhawks had only four returnees on offense and four on defense. He pointed to his forces losing a key game against Dover-Sherborn. They led by 12 points with six minutes left in the game but they lost. Nevertheless, the Blackhawks bounced back to win three straight games. They also lost two tourney contests, but showed lots of resilience to defeat Norton on Thanksgiving Day. 
Injuries are part of the game but to the Blackhawks’ credit, they battled through losing six starters who missed four to six weeks of action.
Hadded said, “The 2022 team was in rebuilding mode but they overcame their inexperience by relying on mental toughness, by developing an unbreakable bond, and by holding themselves responsible.’’
The veteran coach also said that his players learned that mental toughness matters. “They learned that without that quality, you don’t win a whole lot of games,’’ he noted. “On the injury front, losing key players made their replacements better and also accountable. And, our younger guys gained experience.’’
Haddad said the Dover-Sherborn setback would have left some teams reeling. BHS, however, didn’t crumble. “We bounced back and won three straight — against Dedham, Medway and Millis,’’ he said. “That set the tone for a winning season.’’
The 59-year-old Haddad, who’s been the Blackhawks coach for seven years, also stressed that the 2022 contingent developed a sense of ‘unbreakable brotherhood’ during the season and they were willing to accept responsibility.
“They cared for one another,’’ Haddad said, “and they held themselves accountable. They would tell me what they did wrong. I didn’t have to tell them. They took responsibility for any mistakes they made.’’
Next year’s captains were announced and they include Donovan Turner (center, defensive end), Dasha Domercant (quarterback), Connor Kelley (end, linebacker), and Mason Jacques (receiver, cornerback). “It’s a no-nonsense group that knows what needs to be done and they’ll get it done,’’ Haddad said.
The award winners:
• Lineman of the Year — Carlos Rivera.
• Defensive Player of the Year — William Lahousse.
• Offensive Player of the Year — Colin Piccirilli.
• Team MVP — Brock Barry.

• Lineman of the Year — Jacoby McCarthy.
• Defensive Player of the Year — Markus Whittaker-Sprah.
• Offensive Player of the Year — Camron MacGregor.
• Team MVP — Sam Sullivan.
• Lineman of the Year — Jack Davidson.
• Defensive Player of the Year — Michael Demers.
• Offensive Player of the Year — Zachary Berkeley.
• Team MVP — Gabriel Egan, Ryan Cochrane.
(Comments by Haddad)
• BHS Coaches Award — Senior Ethan Silva, two-way tackle; (unselfish, did everything we asked).
• Blackhawk Award — Sophomore Mason Jacques, receiver, cornerback; (hard-worker who’s exactly what a Blackhawk should be).
• Unsung Hero — Junior Sean Dutremble, guard, defensive tackle; (doesn’t look for praise, he just goes to work).
• Most Improved — Sophomore Max Gamble, receiver; (stepped up when starting receivers were injured).
• Rookie of the Year — Freshman Wyatt Callery, tight end, linebacker; (played both ways as a freshman, dependable, hard-working).
• Special Teams Player of the Year — Freshman Joshua Bouchard, running back, linebacker; (tough, dependable tackler, best special-teams player I’ve had, hard to block him.)
• Defensive Lineman of the Year — Senior Connor Lalonde, defensive tackle; led us in tackles, worked hard at his position).
• Defensive Linebacker/Back Player of the Year — Senior Gian Vaccarella, running back, linebacker; (versatile, athletic and strong).
• Defensive Player of the Year — Senior Brady Pelletier, tight end, linebacker; (solidified linebacker position when injuries occurred, dependable, hard-worker).
• Offensive Lineman of the Year — Junior Donovan Turner, center, defensive end;  (never made a bad snap, dependable, aggressive, reliable).
• Offensive Back/Receiver of the Year — Senior Michael Spera, back, receiver; (hard-working deep threat with great hands).
• Pancake Award — Junior Donovan Turner, center, defensive end; (finished every block, aggressive to the whistle sounded).
• Offensive Player of the Year — Junior Dasha Domercant, quarterback; (he grew in the QB role, became a weapon when his arms and legs worked in unison).
• Team MVP — Junior Dasha Domercant, quarterback; (as he goes, so goes the team, accountable and an incredible hard-worker).

The 2022 squad possessed some valuable assets. They had good football IQs; they also were athletic, disciplined and coachable. Their work ethic was solid and they had depth.
Haddad noted that this group left a legacy and built a foundation for the future.
“They asked to be challenged more,’’ he said, “And, they learned that to be successful key things needed to get done.’’
What resulted was a winning record and a fourth straight tournament appearance.