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Wednesday, September 22, 2010
New England Roundup: Maine

By Gary Hawkins

Performances by a number of running backs highlighted Week 3 of the Maine high school football season.

MaineThe fledging co-operative program between Calais and Woodland high schools took its lumps last season in the Class C Little Ten Conference, but is off to a 3-0 start this season, thanks in large part to running back Spencer McCormick who rushed for 292 yards on 20 carries and scored five touchdowns in a 54-7 win against Orono.

Gardiner’s Alonzo Connor also turned in a five-touchdown performance as the Tigers downed Class B Pine Tree Conference rival Waterville 32-20. Connor, a junior, rushed for 172 yards on 26 carries.

Jack Powers of Camden Hills scored three touchdowns while rushing for 291 yards on 23 carries as the Windjammers nipped Morse 34-28 in a PTC Class B game. In another PTC Class B contest, Hampden Academy’s Nick Stevens rushed for 227 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Broncos to a 35-28 victory against Winslow.

Portland’s quarterback experiment with Imahdi Zagon is apparently over. Coach Mike Bailey put his talented running back in a number of different sets against Westbrook but not under center. Junior Matt McInnis is now the full-time quarterback with Zagon in the backfield. He responded by rushing for 258 yards on 37 carries to lead the Bulldogs to their first win of the season, a 27-15 over the Blue Blazes.

In other standout performances, Biddeford remained unbeaten in Class A Western Maine with a 47-21 win over Kennebunk behind Nick Gagne who rushed for four touchdowns and 145 yards.

Oak Hill’s Josh Allen put the Raiders in the win column against Jay by rushing for 227 yards and four scores. MILESTONES
Two football coaches and a field hockey coach reached victory plateaus over the past two weeks.

In football, Mt. Blue’s Gary Parlin and Bucksport’s Joel Sankey each recorded their 100th career win. In field hockey, Belfast’s Allen Holmes recently won his 400th game coaching the Lions.

Parlin has coached the football team, known for its wide-open offense, for the past 18 years. He recorded his 100th win with a 19-0 victory against Oxford Hills. He also accumulated 100 wins while he was the school’s baseball coach.

Sankey began coaching in 1994 and posted win No. 100 with a 13-12 decision over Foxcroft Academy last week.

Holmes went 0-8-1 in his first year as Belfast field hockey coach, but quickly turned the program around. The Lions have posted 37 consecutive winning seasons under Holmes and at one point four years ago enjoyed a 54-game win streak. Holmes reached his milestone last week with a 1-0 win against Hampden. During his tenure, the Lions have captured 10 Eastern Maine Class B championships and six state titles.

HARVEST TIME
At least a dozen schools in Aroostook County in Northern Maine are off for two or three weeks for the annual potato harvest. Years ago, nearly every boy or girl worked in the fields picking potatoes during this period. But mechanization and fewer potato farms have limited opportunities. And stricter enforcement of child labor laws has limited workers to age 16 and over.

There are no football teams in The County but there are plenty of soccer teams and many continue to practice and play during this time. Some play exclusively on weekends while one or two schools complete their schedules before the harvest. School resumes just after Columbus Day.

“It’s a tradition,” said Bob White, who is secretary/treasurer of the Northern Maine Soccer Officials Association.

Because of the harvest, the Maine Principals’ Association allows schools to begin practice in early August, two weeks before the rest of the schools around the state begin. Participating schools include Presque Isle, Caribou, Madawaska, Van Buren, Fort Kent, Wisdom, Washburn, Central Aroostook, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Houlton and Hodgdon.

Three Maine soccer teams — the Cape Elizabeth and Waynflete boys and the Orono girls — remain unscored upon. The Capers are 5-0 in Western Maine Class A, but face a big test Thursday against unbeaten Yarmouth.

Waterville senior striker Jordan Pellerin has eight regular season games and the playoffs to break the state schoolgirl scoring record. Pellerin, who has made a verbal commitment to play for the University of Maine next fall, entered the season with 132 career goals, 47 behind the record set by Lee Academy’s Shelby Pickering. Pellerin currently has 14 goals to trail Pickering by 33.

Last year, she scored 51 to lead the state. Pellerin scored 47 goals as a sophomore and 34 her freshman year.

TOP 10
The hierarchy among the state’s football teams is beginning to take shape. In Western Maine Class A, Bonny Eagle, Thornton Academy and Cheverus appear the class of the division while Bangor and Lawrence are the strongest teams in Eastern A.

A showdown looms in Class B where perennial powers Mountain Valley and Cape Elizabeth are dominating their opponents. The Capers have outscored opponents 80-0 while the Falcons of Mountain Valley have scored 114 points in three games and allowed only 12.

This week’s Top 10:

1. Bonny Eagle
2. Bangor
3. Cheverus
4. Thornton
5. Lawrence
6. Mtn. Valley
7. Lewiston
8. Cape Elizabeth
9. Leavitt
10. Biddeford