ORRINGTON – Not much was expected of the 1965 Maine football team.
It’s fitting that they would open the season with a win over the 1964 Tangerine Bowl winner UMass, the first team from the defunct Yankee Conference to win the bowl game. They would end their season as the Lambert Cup champions, the best team of the east coast, earning their first bowl bid, and playing in the Tangerine Bowl.
“Even all these years later people say ‘oh you played on that ’65 team? I remember that team’ and people still remember that team, which is a tribute to the coaches and getting us all together,” said starting tackle, and Brewer alum, Jerry Perkins.
They’re reuniting this weekend to be enshrined in the UMaine Athletics Hall of Fame, sharing stories and recalling their days on the field.
Once they made to Orlando for the Tangerine Bowl, mired by heat and early injuries, the team was outmatched the East Carolina Pirates, but the memories of the game go beyond the score.
“Every one of us did not want to let down our teammates and our coaches, it wasn’t about me, look at this right here, it was about team and we all worked together as a team and that was the difference in that season,” said Perkins.
After last season’s Maine team went to the FCS semifinals, they’ve been mentioned in the same breath as the ’65 squad, it’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges, but Perkins thinks they’re great, “now they’re in to the modern times, and this team right here is amazing in their talent.”
The surviving members of the team have gathered for the ceremony, and Perkins thinks this could be one of the final times they’re all together, “this is going to be a grand finale and we’re excited to have a plaque on the wall in the university Memorial Gym that’s going to have a picture of that team in the Hall of Fame.”