TRURO – Don (Mence) MacDougall was never one who soaked up the spotlight.
So he would probably shy away from a special ceremony set to honour his memory today before the Cobequid Cougars (2-3) – who were led to their first two provincial high school football titles by MacDougall – meet the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames (4-1) at 2 p.m. at James Macpherson Stadium.
MacDougall died late last week after a battle with cancer. He was 54.
“Oh yeah, he’d probably say ‘What are you guys doing?’” Pete Fitzgerald, a friend of MacDougall’s from their days at St. Francis Xavier University who now coaches the Flames, said. “He was a quiet individual.”
MacDougall will be honoured before the kickoff with a ceremonial kickoff and several members of his family are expected to be on hand as the game will be dedicated to his memory.
The former quarterback was a key cog in the early years of Cougars football and helped lay the foundation for what has become the one of the most successful and storied programs in the province.
“To be able to quarterback a team to two provincial titles you have to not only be physically talented but you have to be a leader that guys would follow and he had that,” Fitzgerald said.
Those qualities were what drew Fitzgerald to MacDougall during their university years and their shared interests in sports, music, art and philosophy was the foundation of a strong friendship that lasted until his passing, even though they were a country apart.
“He was a very unique individual,” Fitzgerald said. “He was a very thoughtful guy. He was very quiet but when he said something, he knew what he was talking about. He was one of those guys everyone liked.”
It’s also what made hearing the news of his passing a hard pill to swallow.
“It brought back a lot of good memories,” Fitzgerald said. “But I was definitely saddened by it.”