The Portland High boys’ lacrosse team will play on today in honor of Garrett Cormier.

Cormier, a former member of the team, died in a car accident Thursday night. His family has requested the Bulldogs move forward with today’s Class A state championship game against Scarborough at 5:30 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Both teams will wear legbands with Cormier’s initials, and a moment of silence will be held before the opening draw.

Cormier’s brother, Patrick, a junior midfielder for Portland, will be an honorary captain for the game.

“He told us it’s something he wants to do,” said Portland Coach Eric Begonia, a longtime family friend of the Cormiers. “This is certainly a difficult time. The guys will be playing with heavy hearts. But I think it will be really good for him to surround himself with all of his friends.”

The team gathered for an 8 a.m. practice Friday and learned of the tragedy.

Cormier was heading home from his girlfriend’s house in Windham after 11 p.m. Thursday when he lost control of the sport utility vehicle he was driving on Blackstrap Road in Falmouth, according to police.

He had spent the earlier part of the evening with the Bulldogs at their annual lacrosse banquet.

Cormier played football last fall but underwent shoulder surgery that kept him from playing lacrosse this spring.

He would have been present today, said Begonia, as one of the team’s biggest supporters.

“(His parents) were abundantly clear that the game must go on,” said Begonia. “They said it would be what he wanted. That it is what Patrick wants.”

Red Storm Coach Joe Hezlep contacted Begonia on Friday to offer support and ask if his players could wear legbands as well.

“I thought that was a pretty class act,” said Begonia.

The family also plans to make up T-shirts with Cormier’s old No. 16 to wear in the stands.

“They want to pay tribute as a family,” said Portland Athletic Director Rich Drummond. “He wasn’t on the roster this year but was still a very valuable member of the program.”

 

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

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