Ben Lucas, the state’s top high school senior football player last fall, will have shoulder surgery and will not join the University of Maine football team.

The university announced the news Tuesday with a statement from Coach Jack Cosgrove:

“We are disappointed that Ben will not be joining us at this time. He has cited personal reasons which we do not feel are ours to discuss or share. We do recognize and respect the decision, which we are sure was extremely difficult.”

Lucas’ coach at Cony High School, Robby Vachon, said the quarterback will have surgery on his right shoulder soon.

“We’re not sure if it’s a labrum, I just know that it’s an issue,” said Vachon, who also coached Lucas in the July 19 Lobster Bowl all-star game. “He just turned 18 and so now was the time to get it done.”

Lucas did not respond to a request for comment.

Vachon said the 6-foot-4 quarterback noticed something wrong with his shoulder while preparing to play first base for the Cony baseball team. He skipped that season instead.

When it came time for this summer’s Lobster Bowl practices, Lucas still felt discomfort but opted to play for the victorious East squad. He split time with Matthew Martin and threw a scoring pass.

Vachon said Lucas was surprised to get the diagnosis.

“I think this kind of took him for a loop,” Vachon said.”

Lucas led Cony to a Class B state football championship last November, the school’s first title in that sport since 1932. He ended up the most prolific passer in state high school history, completing 521 of 900 passes for 7,700 yards, with 89 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.

Lucas won the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy given to Maine’s top senior high school football player, and was named the Maine Sunday Telegram’s male athlete of the year.

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