Viking blood runs deep: Alum returns to chart new course as head football coach

Feb 26, 2024

Cy Bariteau has always loved football — as far back as he can remember. 

He still recalls all the Patriots games he watched with family and the excitement of Super Bowl wins. 

As a kid, he played for the Wareham Tigers Athletic Association as well as for the school. 

Now, Bariteau is back on the field, but in a new way as he will be serving as the new head coach for the Wareham High School football team.

“Football has always been something that I love,” he said, “but actually wanting to coach wasn't really something that I thought of until I was in college.”

He declined the chance to play football in college out of fear of the associated health risks, but he would come to regret that decision when he realized just how much he missed playing. 

That’s when he started getting involved in various programs: “I started working with the kids and I realized I like teaching,” he said.

“It’s a blessing,” he said of coaching the Wareham team. “I believe we can win.”

Wareham’s football team has struggled over the last few years with declining participation numbers and frequent changes in coaching. 

Brandon Perry, who joined as coach in 2023, resigned toward the end of last season. He cited off-the-field difficulties as the reason, including complaints from parents about how much play time their children were getting. 

Following Perry’s resignation, Chris Gardner, who coaches track and field as well as field hockey, helped the team finish out the season with an overall record of 7-4. It was the first time in two years the Vikings came out with a positive net record. 

Now, Bariteau, who served previously as an assistant coach, is taking the reins.

“I think we have the talent here,” he said. The program lost some key seniors at the end of the season, but a lot of “young talent” still remains.

Bariteau said his goal is to revive either the freshmen or the junior varsity team at the school; neither of which have existed in over five years. 

“I feel like the program needs a team lower than the varsity level because the biggest issue is I think kids are not wanting to come out because maybe they think they're too small — they're too young — to get any type of playing time,” he said.

Bariteau added establishing this team will be key to “sustaining our success from now and for the future.”

When it comes to coaching, Bariteau says he’s a “player’s coach,” but also a “coach’s coach” in the sense that he practices active listening with his fellow coaches and players and uses that insight to their advantage. 

In addition, Bariteau said he’s interested in seeking out other opportunities such as attending clinics and college practices in order to learn more and gain new ideas. 

This spring, he and some members of the team will be assisting the Wareham Tigers with its flag football program. 

Bariteau said he looks forward to getting his team engaged in practice and learning.

“There's going to be some things that maybe I haven't seen, or just bumps I'm going to face along the way — that's really expected though,” he said. 

He acknowledges it's only his first year as head coach — and every coaching experience comes with hardships — but he isn’t going to let that “deter” or “discourage” him from his work, he added.