2017 Coaches Announced
2017 VT Head Coach: Bob Lockerby
2017 NH Head Coach: Rob Cathcart
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Plans for the 64thAnnual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl are well underway and the Board of Governors is pleased to announce the 2017 head coaches. Rob Cathcart, head coach for Trinity High School Football Team, will serve as the New Hampshire Head Coach, while head coach Bob Lockerby of Bellows Falls Union High School will lead the Vermont Shrine team.
The summer classic brings together some of the finest high school football players from New Hampshire and Vermont where the real winners are the kids in the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The 2017 game will again be played at Castleton University in Castleton, VT. Game date is Saturday, August 5 with the pageantry of the parade starting at 3:30 pm and kickoff scheduled for 5:30 pm.
With the announcement of Head Coaches, General Chairman Kristi Morris said, "We welcome both Coaches to our Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl family for 2017. The Board of Governors appreciates their dedication to football and the selfless time and commitment that this position requires as they prepare their teams for next summer’s game."
Coach Cathcart works as an investment adviser at Infinex Investments in Manchester, NH. He is quite excited at the prospect of leading the New Hampshire team into the 64th annual contest against Vermont and is a longtime fan and admirer of the Shrine organization and its cause. He goes on to say, “nothing is more tragic than a child that is a victim of a horrible accident, and no accident is quite as horrific as being burned by fire. The work the Shriners have done to champion this cause is awe inspiring. To be able to contribute and support them in some small way is truly an honor.” He added, “On the football end, no High School All Star game has the history of the Shrine Game. There will be game attendees who are former players and participants, who stretch back generations. Further, representing your state in a game opposing another state is the ultimate honor that can be bestowed upon a football player or coach. I am humbled by the opportunity.”
Coach Cathcart is a graduate of Masconomet Regional High School in Boxford, MA. He attended Springfield College, where he played quarterback and wide-receiver before moving to the University of Massachusetts – Lowell, where he graduated in 1981. He has a long coaching history, with assistant positions at Fairport, NY and Alvirne before becoming the head coach at Goffstown from 2001-2010. Since then, he has been an assistant at Bishop Guertin in Nashua, and in 2015 was the head coach at Pembroke before assuming the same position at Trinity during the just completed 2016 season.
Upon his acceptance Coach Lockerby remembers having grown up with the Shrine game as one of the last signs of summer prior to beginning another high school football season. He goes on to say: “through the years I have had the opportunity to witness the excitement the game brings, but more importantly, the significance of the game. To be able to participate and bring joy to the lives of people in need of support is something everyone should be proud to have the opportunity to do so. It will be an honor for myself and fellow coaches to share the meaning of the game with our players and to stress what giving unselfishly to others can mean. We can all hope for a great crowd to honor the players and raise as much money as possible to continue the outstanding purpose of the Shrine. It is with much pride that I look forward to the Shrine Experience.”
Coach Lockerby is a graduate of Bellows Falls Union High School (1976) and a graduate of Elon College, North Carolina (1980). He has been teaching and coaching in the Bellows Falls School system for 35 years. He was an assistant to the legendary Coach Bis Bisbee from 1981-2005. He became head coach at Bellows Falls in 2006 and just completed his 11th season in 2016. He currently lives in Saxtons Rivers, VT with his wife Susan.
Approximately 200 players from Vermont and New Hampshire have been nominated by their respective head coaches. The screening committees, chaired by the two head coaches, will select the two
36-man teams in January.
With a little over eight months before game day, the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl continues to actively focus on fundraising for the world’s greatest philanthropy, that of supporting children in need at our Shrine hospitals. The game contributes to three hospitals in our area; Shriners orthopedic hospitals in Springfield, MA, Montreal Quebec in Canada and our world renowned Burns Hospital in Boston, MA.
The Shrine Game has raised thousands of dollars over the past 63-years for the support of Shrine Hospitals and is sponsored by the Cairo Shriner Center in Rutland, VT and the Mt. Sinai Shriner Center in Montpelier, VT. The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl Board of Governors is extremely pleased to have such talented, dedicated and self-motivated individuals as the two 2017 head coaches.
Kristi C. Morris