The Sidwell Bowl pits father vs. sons in Hockomock League showdown


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FHS Football’s Cole Sidwell (left, #20) and Luke Sidwell (right, #2). The brothers will be facing off against their dad, Taunton HC Brad Sidwell, this Friday night. (via FHS Smug mug)

Ryan Martin, Editor

The following article is adopted from New England Football Journal 

FRANKLIN –  “We know a lot of the guys from Taunton by talking over social media,” Franklin football’s Luke Sidwell said in a preview of Friday’s Hockomock league matchup against Taunton.

“They’re coming off a great game against KP, and we’re coming off a good win against North Attleboro.” Sidwell, the oldest of three, has become a staple in the Panthers’ secondary. This year, the senior is joined defensively by his younger brother, Cole. The two defensive backs have helped Franklin lock down some of the best receivers in the state to the tune of a 3-1 record.

The road for Franklin doesn’t get much easier tomorrow night as they find themselves in the aforementioned Top 10 matchup on the road against the Tigers. For the Sidwell brothers, they’ll be looking to slow down one of the league’s top scoring offenses… while one of their biggest supporters wears a headset on the opposite sideline.

Taunton head coach Brad Sidwell, or “Dad” to Luke and Cole, is in his seventh season coaching the Tigers. Prior to taking over, Sidwell served as Franklin’s longtime head coach, finishing with a 122-110-3 record from 1995-2015; Sidwell was also the school’s athletic director for the final 15 years of his tenure.

For the eldest Sidwell, this moment to coach against his two oldest is a treat he wasn’t expecting. That being said, the leader of the 3-1 Tigers won’t be game planning specially to avoid his sons.

“When I left to go to Taunton, neither of the boys had even played pop warner football, so that never factored into anything. But certainly we’ll go to who our best options are, and if that [ means throwing Luke or Cole’s way] to be the case, then so be it.”

As for the two brothers, both seemed excited to be in tandem squaring off against Dad in a game with major implications for league standings.

“My dad’s been my coach in almost everything throughout the years.” said Cole Sidwell, only a sophomore starting at Safety. “I finally have the opportunity to go up against him; it’s exciting to say the least.”

“I think it’s going to be cool again to just see him on the other sideline during the game and shake his hand after.” said Luke Sidwell, who’s redzone forced fumble proved big last week against North Attleboro. “This will be a battle as we’re still trying to fight our way through the Hockomock league standings. I just want a good Franklin win and a competitive game for Taunton.”

Luke and Cole are coached by Franklin’s Eain Bain, Brad Sidwell’s successor at Franklin whom Sidwell hired as AD. Although he’s all business this week, Bain appreciates everything Sidwell has done for him and looks forward to a hard fought game from Taunton high.

“First, I will always be very grateful to Coach Sidwell for giving me my first opportunity to be a head coach… As far as Taunton, I think most of the coaches in our league respect each other very much,” said Bain. “We know there aren’t easy weeks, and every team is going to be very prepared and competitive. We also know we are going to compete like hell for 4 quarters, but shake hands after.  This week, we don’t exchange many texts or phone calls, but regardless of the outcome, we will probably pick up on that weekly correspondence after.”

Bain looks to move to 7-0 against Taunton and Sidwell with a win this Friday.

Until gametime, things are still staying light in the Sidwell household.

“There’s been a little joke going, how it’s usually us vs. us, but this week it’s us vs. Dad.” Taunton’s Sidwell explained. “Hopefully, like Luke said, it’s a close, competitive game.”