Much support on and off the gridiron

The Whaler’s running back star uses his recent tragedy as a little extra fuel on the field

A familiar sight this season as Coltin Laplante has found his way to the end zone 15 times

A familiar sight this season as Coltin Laplante has found his way to the end zone 15 times

Coltin Laplante has been unstoppable at times, running through — or over — would-be defenders on the football field.

But about a month ago Laplante was dealt a heavy blow off the field, as his older brother passed away after a bout with cancer.

Laplante looks like a well- oiled machine carrying the ball and doing whatever it takes to march up the field. He’s also been acting with poise and doing whatever it takes to keep moving forward off the field.

“It’s been tough on my family,” Laplante said. “It’s hard to see my mom, she’s been hit real hard by it. Everyone is having a hard time with it, it’s not something you can really prepare for.”

His numbers on the field have been impressive. More than 1,000 yards rushing, 15 touchdowns and still counting for the bruising running back. But it’s not without help from his teammates, Laplante is quick to point out, that he’s had the success he’s had on the field.

“Everyone on this team has been great, we’re making great strides as a team,” he said.

“The offensive line has really done great work all season and allowed me to run the ball the way I’ve been running it so far. It’s thanks to them that we’re able to run the ball as a team the way that we have.”

Statistics aside, Laplante has had support from the team both on and off the field, as he tries to find his way through a tough time. It’s all a learning process for Laplante, as he looks to balance school work, football and having his brother on his mind.

“They’ve been great, they’re all there if I need them,” he said of his teammates. “We’re a tight team and it really helps things both on and off the field.”

Since his brother’s passing, he has felt like he’s had something more to play for, which can be a scary thought for opposing teams as he’s been running roughshod over defenders that try to stand in his way.

“I feel there’s more purpose, more reason to keep going,” Laplante said. “It feels like it’s an extra gear, when things get tough and you don’t feel like you’ve got anything left. There’s an extra bit of push that comes from thinking about it all for me out there.”

Laplante looks to continue finding that extra gear this weekend (see page A42) as the Whalers host the Argyle Pipers in a battle of two first place teams looking to head in to the playoffs on a winning note.

“We want this one bad, real bad,” Laplante said. “It would be nice to get that win and finish the season winning our last five games. We’ve got the guys to do it and we know that we can win. It’s going to be a tough game and we’re hoping to have a lot of support out there.”

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