Wakefield, MA-Through the years, Wakefield High School has had its fair share of talent at the quarterback position. This year is no different with Senior Jamie Bourque. Bourque surpassed Kevin Lucey’s (Class of 1986) single season passing record of 1,393 yards this past Friday Night. The signal caller had 111 yards to set the new mark of 1,481 yards.
Although Bourque might be too young to remember, Wakefield High School has had a long line of star athletes to play the quarterback position. With his performance against Watertown, Bourque has entered the discussions of “who’s the best QB to ever play at WHS?”
The 1960’s saw the likes of Dick DeFeo-‘61 (Sporting News All-American) & John Shevlin-‘63 (All-Scholastic). Shevlin set the tone for WHS quarterbacks with his 12 touchdown pass performance in the fall of 1962. A few years later in 1965, Shevlin’s younger brother Bill Shevlin-’66 had his own stellar season with 10 touchdown passes. The very next season, Tom Holmes-’67 had his own 10 touchdown pass season in 1966. The 1969 season saw Jack Roberto-‘70 (All-Scholastic) break Shevlin’s touchdown pass mark with his record setting performance of 13. Roberto’s record would stand for 36 years.
The 1970’s started off a little slow, but Charles Harrow-’74 and Len Vining-’75 had superb seasons in 1973 and 1974 respectively. Harrow had 12 touchdown passes in 1973 and the following year Vining had 10.
The 1980’s were a tough time for Wakefield Football. Coach Bob Connor’s took over the program in 1984 and tutored Kevin Lucey to his 1,393 yard and 11 touchdown pass performance. Lucey followed up with another 11 touchdown pass performance in 1985 and passed for 1,015 yards. This made Lucey the career touchdown passes leader with 22 and career yards leader with 2,408 yards. The decade closed out with Dave Harrington-’90 leading the Warriors in 1988 and 1989. Harrington has what is believed to be the most yards passing in a single game, 299 in 1988. Unfortunately most of the record book was lost in the fires that ravaged the town of Wakefield in the 1970’s, so a lot of the records go off of old Wakefield Daily Item reports on micro-film. This 299 yard mark can’t be confirmed.
The 1990’s saw Wakefield quarterbacks take their play to the next level. Mike Murphy-’95 and Dana D’Agostino-’96 started the trend. In 1996, Kevin Walsh-’97 had one of the best seasons since Lucey with an 891 yards and 10 touchdown passes. The very next season, John Roberto-’98 (All-Scholastic) had 1,344 yards passing and 12 touchdowns. Kirk Irons-’01 finished the decade strong in 1999 with 875 yards and 8 touchdowns as a junior.
The 2000’s saw Irons continue his superb play into the 2000 season where he finished 1,085 yards passing and 11 touchdowns. He finished his career with 2,026 yards passing and 20 career touchdown passes. Tom McManama-’06 broke the single season touchdown pass record in 2005. Jack Roberto held the record for 36 years until McManama tossed 14 touchdown passes, which is the current record.
Now we get to Bourque. He currently has 1,481 yards passing this season with 13 touchdown passes for the season. He has 1,737 career passing yards and 15 touchdown passes. Already holding the single season passing record, Bourque has a shot at the single season touchdown passes record with two games remaining-Thanksgiving and the playoff matchup. The numbers speak for themselves, but what sets him apart is his character.
“Jamie Bourque is a fine young man,” said Coach Mike Boyages. “He didn’t take over the starting position until the 5th game last year and since then he really hasn’t looked back.” Boyages continued, “I have been in the Wakefield system for close to 30 years. I have had the privilege to coach and be around the likes of Dave Harrington, Kevin Walsh, John Roberto, Scott Treacy, Kirk Irons and Tom McManama. I also had the chance to see guys like John and Bill Shelvin, Jack Roberto and Tom Holmes when I was a young kid attending the games on Saturday. I had the chance to play with guys like Charles Harrow and Len Vining. There is no doubt in my mind that Jamie Bourque deserves being mentioned in this great group of Wakefield High School quarterbacks.”
Boyages closed by saying, “I think all the records are great for Jamie and for the program. However, I think if you asked him, he would undoubtedly say he has his eyes on the bigger prize and that’s a Superbowl title.”
Wakefield currently sits atop the Middlesex League Small standings and with their victory on Friday night against Watertown, clinched a playoff berth for the first time in 10 seasons. Wakefield can clinch the championship outright with a win on Thanksgiving. Wakefield will then play on Tuesday, November 29th against the winner of Marblehead and Swampscott.