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AYER — Last fall the Ayer-Shirley Cougars football team dominated the regular season, and were one score away from the regional finals.

On Tuesday, that run was recognized by the selectmen with an invitation to Town Hall and certificates of recognition.

Standing in the lobby of Town Hall after his players were congratulated, Coach Mike Taylor said the experience was unique among the memories of his nine years with the program.

”It’s been an honor and a pleasure to coach such a great group of kids,” he said. “I’m thrilled we had an undefeated year, but I’m most proud of how their GPAs increase each year during the football season.”

The Cougars were 9-0 in the regular season giving up only 31 points over that span.

Their season ended in November with a 12-10 loss to Hartford in the New England regional semi-finals.

In addition to the on-field success, Taylor said parents consistently tell him his players are more interested and active in school during the season, which he said is a positive influence.

He described the recognition from the selectmen in similar terms.

”I think it was great for the kids,” he said. “I think this goes back to the old school of how you raise kids, and how it takes a whole village … There’s a lot to be said for that.”

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