Milton’s Chase Vaughan carries on his family football tradition
MILTON — Ever since his childhood days, Chase Vaughan has been following in his family’s footsteps. His father, Lindsey, went on to enjoy a stellar football career at Williams College. Meanwhile, his older brother Zach played the game around the corner at Milton Academy, before taking his talents to the ACC as an offensive lineman at Wake Forest.
Now, Chase is looking to establish his own legacy — by guiding Milton High School on one final playoff run before he exits stage left.
“He’s a dynamic, dual-threat player,” said Milton coach Steve Dembowski. “It’s hard to compare all of your children, for sure. He’s the only one who’s started three years for me, and this is year 22 of me exclusively running the spread. Obviously, our system has grown over the years from the beginning, but he’s as dynamic a playmaker as I’ve had.”
Milton fans knew almost instantly that they had a superstar in the making when Vaughan first took the field as a sophomore in 2019. During that season, he would guide the Wildcats to an appearance in the Div. 4 South title game (a 27-22 loss to Plymouth South).
Much has changed since that incredible season. Most notably, the pandemic struck. While the Wildcats took advantage of the shortened Fall II season by capturing a Bay State Herget title, the vibe without many fans in attendance was somewhat unfulfilling.
With fans returning to Brooks Field in full force this season, the Wildcats have been revitalized. Few have enjoyed the run Milton has put together more so than Vaughan has.
“I still remember my first game, how nervous I was,” Vaughan said. “We had a big student section right before COVID hit. I think after that first game, easing into things, being less nervous, it was a great feeling. I remember the playoffs, when we had fans sophomore year. That was really fun. I’m looking forward to Senior Night this season as well.”
Vaughan has only continued to take strides, improving each and every year. The senior is now on pace to shatter the Milton program record for career passing yards (4,241) once held by Luke McMenamin, already with 3,887
himself. He has also thrown for 38 touchdowns in his stint at the helm, 10 of which have come in six games this season. He’s even proven to be a contributor in the ground game, scampering for another 210 yards and a pair of scores during the course of this campaign.
Vaughan has already drawn plenty of interest from multiple NESCAC schools, but his ultimate goal is to earn a shot at the FBS level, just like his older brother did.
“I like winning,” Vaughan said. “Every year, there’s been something different on our team that really excels, (which helps) us win. As a sophomore, I could kind of rely on other guys on the team, but now as a senior,
I’m one of the players who really has to step it up. I just really enjoy winning, and I think my individual performance is an important aspect that leads to us winning each game.”
Milton (5-1) is set to face an out-of-conference opponent Friday night, as the Wildcats will make the haul up to Manning Field for a tilt with Lynn Classical. The two schools had an open date this week, and Dembowski decided to call a longtime friend in Brian Vaughan to set up the contest.
With Milton currently ranked No. 5 in the Div. 3 power rankings, Dembowski said he feels that the extra game could provide benefits for his team come the playoffs.
“We were looking to find a competitive team,” said Dembowski. “Also looking to take a road trip, where we’d have to deal with some traffic and an extended bus trip, which could help us in the tournament.” The Wildcats will then close the regular season Oct. 29 against archrival Natick. Then, the statewide tournament will commence. “I’m not quite familiar with the new (tournament) format too well,” Vaughan said. “But I’m not too focused on the change. Whoever comes in front of us on the other side of the ball, we’ll do our best to handle.”