Greg Morse is the old guard of the Southern Maine Raging Bulls. So old that he’s been moved to center on the semipro football team. So old that every morning when he puts weight on his left ankle, he gets a stinging reminder of what 25 years of pushing beefy linemen around can do to a body. So old that he’s making retirement plans.

“I started getting into drag racing a little bit. I’ve got a Mustang,” Morse, 37, said before the Raging Bulls’ weekly two-hour practice session Wednesday in the dome at the Portland Sports Complex. “I’m trying to ease into it because I don’t want to go full bore. I want to have my car something I can still drive on the street and not have it be loud or uncomfortable. If you want to go fast, it’s got to be loud and uncomfortable. That’s what I’m finding out.”

Morse, who helped South Portland High win a state championship in 1995, claims this will be his last year of organized football. But he’s said that before. He was ready to hang up the cleats last year, but when the Raging Bulls lost the New England Football League championship game in overtime against Connecticut, spoiling a perfect season, Morse reversed course.

And so here he is, huffing and puffing alongside the likes of 31-year-old Charles Warren Jr., a running back turned linebacker out of Brunswick who is in his 14th season with the Raging Bulls. Warren figures he’s got three or four years left before he’ll want to quit football to spend more time with his three children and ease the toll on his body.

His plans after football?

“I’m kind of interested in playing some soccer after I’m done with this. I have to stay active,” Warren said. “I’ve never played before, but I love it on video games. It seems really fun.”

This is the mindset of the 45 men who make up the Raging Bulls, none of whom get paid despite the semipro label. Morse and Warren could be called the old and the restless. Football is their current outlet, but it won’t be their last.

The Raging Bulls are 3-1 and tied for first place in their division after a 13-10 win Saturday against the Rhode Island War Dogs. Ron-E Bates has been there since the beginning in 1998, when the team competed in the Class A division of the NEFL and had such a small roster that many players, like Morse, never left the field. Bates, a Virginia native who excelled at baseball, was recruited off the diamond to try his hand on the gridiron. He stuck. At first, he was a wide receiver/cornerback. He later moved to safety, then linebacker, then defensive end, and now head coach.

“You get a little bigger, fatter, slower, you just keep moving toward the line,” he said of his football progression.

Along the way, the Raging Bulls started getting bigger and better, moving up the line until they were Maine’s lone Triple-A team. Bates secures the sponsorships that fund the $25,000 to $30,000 it takes to run the team each year. The players pay for their own uniforms, and the team takes care of the rest – paying the referees, renting the playing fields and practice facilities, etc. The Raging Bulls play their five home games at Deering High.

“It’s a workingman’s league,” Bates said.

It’s also a second chance for many.

Morse signed on after spending one year at Western New England College before poor grades caught up with him. He’s in his 18th season – his second at center – and has only missed three games in that time, when he felt something pop in his hip about five years back. His day job is as a sales executive at a credit card processing company in Portland.

Warren missed his senior season at Brunswick High because he was academically ineligible. The Raging Bulls were just what he needed to keep the competitive fire simmering. For years, he worked the seven months of practices and games around his schedule as a cook. But he recently graduated from HVAC school and plans to pursue that as a career while making time for football.

“You sacrifice your time and your money and your energy, it has to be something that you love,” Warren said. “Everyone knows that the man next to them loves it as much as they do and we’re all in this together. We’re a brotherhood.”

Literally, in Warren’s case. A few years after he joined the Raging Bulls, he coaxed younger brother Phil into suiting up.

Phil Warren played nine games at the University of Buffalo in 2005, gaining 239 yards and scoring two touchdowns as a freshman, and then decided to return home. He said he got a couple calls from the Minnesota Vikings, but any NFL interest in him waned after he was arrested for selling drugs.

He opened his own landscaping business in West Bath, is raising three children, and has been the workhorse tailback for the Raging Bulls for nine years. At 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, Warren estimated he can still run a 4.6 40.

“When I’m on the field, it’s my getaway night. I’ve got so many things to do during the week. I’ve got all these stresses. I’ve got work, I’ve got to take care of my kids, make sure everything’s scheduled. But once I step on the field, you’re in my world now,” said Warren, 28.

“None of us get a dime. Fun is the payment. And the friendships you make.”

Dillan Hayes of Waterboro was drawn to the Raging Bulls by that promise of camaraderie. Plus, the Maine Sabers team he was on two years ago folded.

Hayes, 21, is an undersized defensive end at 6-2, 210 pounds. But he uses his speed to disrupt opposing backfields, so much that he was named a league all-star a year ago.

If it wasn’t for the Raging Bulls, Hayes figures he would’ve had to give up football after graduating from Massabesic High. He works as a waiter at a restaurant in Biddeford.

“It brings back a lot of memories of being a kid, and it just makes you forget about everything else,” Hayes raved. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, what you’ve done in the past, what you do for work, if you even work, where you live, you come here and we’re all on the same level.” For now. Hayes has hopes of heading to Florida, where he has family, and trying out for an arena football team.

Morse tried that himself, back in 2001. But he didn’t make the cut on that arena team in Nebraska. So here he is, strapping on the helmet for one last go-around with the Raging Bulls, the lone holdover from that 1998 debut season.

“I’ve said it was my last year several times. But I really feel this is it,” Morse said. “It’s hard. I’ve got to find something to keep my busy. I’m going to have to find some other hobby. There’s no way I’m going to be able to just sit and watch the games.”

If you see a large man in a souped-up Mustang on the interstate next year, you’ll know he kept his word.