STATEWIDE – The Maine Principals’ Association’s announcement over the upcoming high school fall sports season answered many of the questions that have been raised over the last few weeks.
With conversations about a potential 7 vs. 7 non-contact season still being discussed, the tackle season has been postponed until the spring of 2021. While details have yet to be fleshed out, some coaches have expressed their concern of a potential overlap with the existing spring sports.
“I have a lot of kids who play football and baseball so they now are going to be forced to have to make a decision which I don’t think is completely fair,” said Don Shields, baseball coach for Oceanside High School.
For Bangor football and baseball coach Dave Morris, he is hopeful that the MPA will make any dual schedules between his two teams this coming spring work, because like Shields, fairness to the athletes is key.
“I think the number one important thing here, especially in Maine, is that we don’t put kids in a position where they have to choose, and/or that they don’t lose out on anything…,” said Morris.
But even still, a potential spring football season, followed by another one in the fall, has Shields concerned about the well-being of the players.
“That’s a lot to put your body through and not really have significant recovery time from playing spring football to fall football if that does happen,” said Shields.
It’s a valid concern, but one that Morris thinks could have an up-side.
“You might have to play more kids. And that’s going to be a great opportunity for a lot of kids, no matter what grade they’re in,” said Morris.
As schools like Bangor take classes five days a week, Morris hopes that even without a standard football season, that classroom experience will be extended onto the playing field.
“Some kids, to be honest with you…their greatest classroom is on the field or on the court…So I just hope we open up that classroom on the field like we’ve opened up that classroom in the buildings,” said Morris.