Cheverus quarterback Cam Olsen.
By Tom Chard
HEBRON — Logan Gaddar leaped high and came down with a one-handed interception during the West team's practice Monday for the 23rd Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl on Saturday.
Playing for South Portland, Gaddar had 11 interceptions last fall to lead Western Class A.
Gaddar will be at safety when the East and West square off at 4 p.m. Saturday at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford.
The annual senior all-star game benefits Shriners' Hospitals. The players enjoy getting back into a sport they love while playing for a good cause.
The teams are practicing on separate fields at Hebron Academy. Every year, players who were rivals during the fall turn into teammates.
"We have really good kids and they're working hard," said West Coach Joel Stoneton of Winthrop.
"The camaraderie is starting to come. We're easing into what we're teaching on offense and defense."
Cam Olson of Cheverus, one of the quarterbacks for the West, like most of the players has had to learn a new offense in a few days.
He ran the wing-T playing for the Stags. Now he's adapting to the spread offense taught by Bonny Eagle Coach Kevin Cooper, the West's offensive coordinator.
"It's a little bit different," said Olson. "I can adapt. It's more fun for skill players to run. I like to get the ball outside."
As a defensive player, Gaddar said it's probably easier to get reacquainted with his side of the ball.
"As a safety, there's not a lot of difference from what I did at South Portland. It's just a lot of reteaching. I would imagine it's a little tougher for the offense," he said.
Both Gaddar and Olson said they feel honored to be playing in the game.
"To be a member of the West squad and play for the Shriners Hospital is an honor," said Gaddar.
"It meant a lot to be picked," added Olson. "It's your last hurrah before you go off to school. We're meeting new people. It should be fun."
Gaddar and Olson will play in other football games after the Lobster Bowl. Both are leaving in less than a month for college preseason football -- Gaddar to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and Olson to Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.
"We've talked about who's planning to play football in college and the majority aren't," said Gaddar.
So for them, the Lobster Bowl truly is their last hurrah in football.
It's the players' custom to decorate their high school helmet with the decals of the other schools.
In only the second day of practice, Olson had decorated his gold helmet with insignias from Falmouth, York, Gorham, Windham, Massabesic, Marshwood and Sanford.
"I like adding a little color," he said.
Gaddar hasn't had a chance to do that yet.
He was wearing a Bonny Eagle helmet Monday.
"Because of school construction, they haven't been able to get into the basement at South Portland and get my helmet. My coach is going to bring one up to me."
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Portland defensive back Logan Gaddar.