CONCORD, N.H. — Manny Latimore was the last Pinkerton player to leave the field following the New Hampshire state title game loss, taking a moment to gather his thoughts after his final high school football game, before walking across the field alone, in the shadow of a massive celebration, holding tight to the Division 1 state finalist trophy.
This wasn’t how the record-setting Latimore’s career was supposed to end. The trophy he would be holding when he took off his Pinkerton Astros jersey for the final time was supposed to be a state title winning plaque.
The man that broke the Pinkerton Academy career rushing record always dreamed of walking off into the sunset the same way he started his career as a freshman, by winning a state title.
“It’s pretty rough,” said Latimore after yesterday’s loss. “To go to the state title game each of the last three years and not win another title is very hard. It’s really emotional. It just stinks. But I know we played hard.”
Latimore grinded his way to 97 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries in his final game, seemingly lacking the top-level burst of speed that is his greatest weapon. He said he was healthy other than taking a hard hit early, but onlookers wondered if he had fully recovered from the leg injury suffered late in the regular season.
But while he could not bring home a title in final game, Latimore’s legacy is intact for those who watched him run over his four years as a varsity starter at Pinkerton.
“Manny had a great career,” said Astros coach Brian O’Reilly. “He is a great football player and a great kid. I will let the numbers speak for themselves.”
Latimore’s final career numbers are nothing short of tremendous.