Kennebunk senior Jake Littlefield is looking to lead the Rams back to the state title game this season. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Kennebunk senior Jake Littlefield is looking to lead the Rams back to the state title game this season. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY


Sports Editor

Most high school football players have been playing the game since they were in elementary school — not Kennebunk senior Jake Littlefield.

Littlefield first put on a helmet and pads when he entered Kennebunk High School and it didn’t take long for him to become a standout for the Rams.

Last season, Littlefield broke onto the Maine varsity football scene with 1,200 rushing yards as he helped the Rams make it all the way to the Class B state championship game.

“It was my third year playing football, so it was definitely huge for me personally just to see how much I have improved from freshman year up until then. It was a lot of fun,” Littlefield said of his junior campaign.

Littlefield was playing running back last season alongside standout fullback Pat Saunders. With Saunders now playing linebacker at the University of New England, it’s Littlefield’s turn to play fullback in the Kennebunk offense.

“I was actually talking to him the other day and I was saying until you are put in his position, because I was primarily tailback last year, but fullback is a whole other game,” said Littlefield. “It’s so much more physical. There’s a lot more ground-and-pound that you’re doing and I told him that I just respect him 10 times more now that I’ve been in that position.”

While on-field accomplishments are important to Littlefield, the biggest thing he has taken away from the game are the relationships.

“I’ve learned the most about sportsmanship, brotherhood (and) family from the game of football, more than any other sport that I’ve played. I’ve played soccer, I’ve wrestled, I’ve played baseball and I’ve never really felt as strongly about a sport like I do for football,” Littlefield said.

Littlefield has been forming a bond with junior quarterback Tripp Bush, who stepped into the starting role early last season.

“We have a pretty good relationship. Since we are a year apart I hadn’t talked to him much through middle school and high school, but once we both started playing together I feel like our relationship has definitely grown,” said Littlefield. “He’s an outstanding player. I mean having led our team to the state championship game as a sophomore, that’s something to be proud of.”

With Littlefield’s power and speed — and Bush’s ability to beat teams with his arm and legs — opposing coaches will certainly be trying to figure out a way to stop this dangerous duo.

“I mean the fact that he’s able to scramble in the pocket and get out and do his thing like he does, I think that benefits our team immensely,” said Littlefield of Bush. “There are some teams that have a quarterback that can only pass or run, but he has both.”

When it comes to individual goals, Littlefield is looking to match — or surpass — his 1,200-yard season from a year ago.

“Personally, I think I’ll shoot for 1,200 again, I’ll shoot for 1,300. I think that would be a good goal for me, especially because I’ll be getting more carries at fullback,” said Littlefield.

But the major goal for Littlefield is giving the Rams another shot at the Gold Ball.

“As a team, the number one goal — and it always has been — is making it back to the state championship and finishing it this time,” said Littlefield.

— Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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