ORONO – The University of Maine is hoping to soon welcome back its out of state athletes, with limited local student athletes already on campus. Like its other teams, the Black Bear football program has been trying to operate its summer schedule virtually.
Head coach Nick Charlton and his staff have attempted to keep a regular schedule of meetings for their players. This includes daily team meetings and position specific meeting; where coaches and position groups can watch film together and talk over the playbook for the coming year.
Virtual meetings also provide a unique opportunity for players to interact with the coaches and draw out potential plays and routes. “We wouldn’t be able to do that in person, because in person we’re just there, it’s just a classroom setting, but now we’re able to draw the routes, go more in depth with what’s going on,” said UMaine junior receiver Devin Young.
Preparing for a season with this level of uncertainty has proved difficult for Charlton and his staff, especially when combined with the current push of social justice efforts. Charlton said he has had open dialogue with his players about how he can best support them as many across the country call for racial equality and an end to police brutality.
One meeting a week Charlton opens the floor for his guys to talk about life outside of football, “we actually dedicate one meeting a week to talking about how its going, talking about life, big focus on mental health, just to see how everyone is doing, there’s a host of situations our guys are in across the country.”
UMaine is currently planning to bring its out-of-state student athletes in the coming weeks, barring approval of its “return to sports” proposal to the UMaine system.