September 1, 2013

High school football now has four classes, more balance

The new alignment is expected to create more even competition.

By Tom Chard
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

"We're excited about the move," said Windham Coach Matt Perkins. "It will be a good experience for us."

Perkins said it's important to preserve high school programs and not have them fold, which was looking what might happen because of lopsided games and small squads.

"We have to protect the game in the state," he said. "It's about a smaller school playing a school they don't have a chance against."

Eastern Maine schools Brunswick, Skowhegan, Messalonskee, Cony and Lawrence, all moved down to Class B.

"The four divisions really needed to be done," said Brunswick Coach Dan Cooper. "In the end, it will make for more competitive games."

Cooper likes the fact his Dragons will be playing several former Pine Tree Conference opponents, renewing rivalries with Gardiner, Mt. Blue and Brewer.

"Most of the teams from Class A East dropped down," said Cooper. "Class B East is going to be a great league. We're getting back some old rivals."

Gray-New Gloucester Coach Jim Hersom said the four classes will hopefully cut down on the number of lopsided games.

"Football is totally different than other sports," he said. "If you get beat by 15 in basketball, it doesn't hurt as much physically as getting beat by 30 in football."

Gray-New Gloucester, a fledging program, struggled in Class B, but the Patriots are now in Class C.

Like Gorham, Kennebunk moved from Western Class A to Class B. The Rams did their best to hold their own in Class A, making the playoffs three times in 10 years, but it was always an uphill struggle as they were going against larger schools.

"We like the move back to Class B," said longtime coach Joe Rafferty. "In terms of competition, we're in the right class. We get back our rivalry with York. We played Marshwood forever. Fryeburg Academy is an old rival, and Westbrook has the potential to be a very good rival.

"I think the four classes is better for football."

It will all start to play out Friday night.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

Twitter: TomChardPPH


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