Did you travel to a high school football game this weekend? If you did, you were probably a parent of a player, or just a true Mainer.
Friday and Saturday were regional final days for football. The two best teams in their respective conferences played for the right to head to either Orono or Portland next week for the state games. All I can say is “bravo” to all the players, coaches, officials, and fans. Congrats if your team won, but a bigger congrats for braving the elements Mother Nature threw at us.
I was at the Northern Maine Class D Final at Foxcroft Academy. I have seen my fair share of games there over the years, and I can honestly say, that might have been the coldest I have been involved in, thanks to the wind.
Now before you go all, “I remember back when went to school, I had to walk through four feet of snow, uphill both ways”, I’m only talking about the coldest I remember. I imagine back in the 60’s and 70’s, it was just as bad, but then, you just played. You didn’t cancel or postpone at the drop of a snowflake.
I was one of the lucky ones, because I was in a press booth, somewhat sheltered from the wind. Not so much for the players, coaches, referees, and fans. At the half, I have never seen a mass exodus heading to the parking lot like what I saw. I went into my office to warm up for ten minutes, while many headed to their cars to do the same, and when I came out, the stands on both sides were still empty.
Eventually, some hearty folks came back, but I did see a few tail lights hitting Route 15, and you know what, I don’t blame you. Foxcroft eventually won and will play in Portland on Saturday. Good news for all who went to games, whether your team won or lost? You will have a story to tell over the coming years of how you braved the elements and cheered your team on in the finals.
Speaking of victories, congrats to all regional final winners. The state games will be interesting. All of the South squads (still hard not to say “West”) are going to be tough to beat, and the North will have their hands full.
Couple notes. In the north, two one seeds (Skowhegan and Foxcroft), a four (Windham), and a six (MCI), will play in state games.
MCI is the lowest ever seed to make it to a football finals, and the Class D final, Wells vs. FA, sees two teams that were in Class C last year.
Here’s a really cool stat: There are two defending champs that are still playing, but neither can win the title they won last year. Confused? MCI won Class D and Wells won Class C last year, and both are in title games in different classes this year. Kind of cool, huh?
Good luck to all teams in the finals, and have you looked at the forecast for Friday and Saturday?
Ugh. Bundle up.