BANGOR – Trevor Bates suited up for the West in the 2011 Lobster Bowl, selected as one of the best senior football players in the state. To this day, he credits that as one of his driving forces in turning his game up to the next level.
“It was great,” Bates said of his experience. “Especially being from a team that didn’t always win in Westbrook. I was playing with players who were on winning teams, with state championships. So for me, it was really showing that I could play with the best, and that I could compete with the best, and that I could beat the best, and that was kind of my mindset going into this. And that’s really what kind of drove me, still drives me to this day.”
These days, the former UMaine defensive lineman is playing linebacker in the NFL. A member of the New England Patriots practice squad, Bates earned a ring when the Pats knocked off the Falcons in this year’s Super Bowl. But Friday, he took a moment to speak at the 2017 Lobster Bowl banquet, with players and families from both regions present. Bates was presented with a West jersey, an openly rooted for a West victory this weekend. But he still offered up advice and shared some of his favorite takeaways from his Lobster Bowl experience.
“Understanding the cause behind it and knowing how many children are helped out, that’s obviously something we didn’t really know about previously and we learned about,” he said, recalling what he learned that week. “So that was definitely great to be part of that. And just playing that final football game in front of the state of Maine, in front of your family, your friends, trying to put on a great show.”
This year’s game will be held Saturday in Saco.