The football field at Brunswick High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick High football team returned to the practice field Tuesday amid investigations by the school department and local police into allegations of hazing, bullying and harassment among players.

It marked the first time the team has practiced since Superintendent Phil Potenziano announced Friday the cancellation of the homecoming game that night against Lawrence High of Fairfield.

Potenziano, in a letter to parents, staff and students on Tuesday, said it was “in the best interest of our students” to resume practices.

“I take all allegations of bullying, harassment, and hazing seriously,” he wrote. “I also take the well-being of our students seriously, and thus, after consulting with BHS Administration and the investigator, we determined it was in the best interest of our students to reconvene football practice today, Tuesday, September 28, 2021.

“The investigation is wrapping up, and although many have reached out to me asking for information, we are not in a position to comment until the investigation is completed, which should be by the end of the week.”

Scott Stewart, Brunswick’s police chief, said Tuesday afternoon the Brunswick School Department has supplied police with materials in response to a subpoena for information about the alleged hazing incident. The subpoena was suggested by the school department’s legal counsel, he said.


Stewart confirmed that information included video of the alleged hazing incident.

“Several videos apparently,” said Stewart, adding that he had not viewed them or other material. A detective was assigned to the investigation last week.

“We are at the preliminary stage,” he said. “We just got the materials today and will begin to interview witnesses tomorrow.”

Brunswick High Athletic Director Aaron Watson said Tuesday that the football team plans to play at Skowhegan High on Friday.

“We’ve been in contact with Skowhegan and told them that our plan right now is to play,” said Watson. “We’re going to do what we can to get the team ready to play in the time they have.”

Brunswick football head coach Dan Cooper, who is in his 17th season, and assistant coach Greg Nadeau have been placed on administrative leave, Potenziano said over the weekend. Neither was present at Tuesday’s practice.

Assistant coaches Nate Brunette and Cam Bishop directed the team during practice Tuesday. The team worked on its offense, as well as blocking drills.

Although details about the hazing allegations remain unclear, Potenziano previously stated the school district’s investigation is focused on an alleged incident that took place during a team retreat in August at Thomas Point Beach — a music venue and campground in Brunswick.

Potenziano told The Times Record last week that he launched an investigation after he was first informed of the allegations around Sept. 8.

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