The Maine Principals’ Association has postponed high school state championships scheduled for Friday and Saturday as law enforcement conducts a manhunt for the suspect in shootings that killed 18 people in Lewiston on Wednesday evening.

Championships in volleyball and cross country have been rescheduled to next week.

The status of playoff games in football, field hockey and soccer games this weekend is unclear, with dozens of school districts postponing classes on Thursday and possibly facing the same choice on Friday. Shelter-in-place orders have been issued for Lewiston and the rest of Androscoggin County, and were extended Thursday afternoon to include northern Sagadahoc County.

“Schools across the state are dealing with this. It’s truly impacted everyone,” said Mike Burnham, executive director of the MPA’s Interscholastic Division. “People understood this is a tragedy and everybody is working together.”

The Class A and B state championship volleyball games scheduled for Friday night have been moved to Tuesday. The Class A match between Gorham and Scarborough will be played at the University of Southern Maine at 6:30 p.m., and the Class B final between Yarmouth and Washington Academy will be played at Cony High in Augusta at 6 p.m. The Class C final between Calais and Narraguagus will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at Ellsworth High.

The state cross country championships scheduled for Saturday were pushed back a week until Nov. 4. They will still be held at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast.


The status for the majority of the soccer, field hockey and football playoff games scheduled for Friday and Saturday is up in the air. The MPA said in a news release Thursday that this weekend’s games “may be postponed and moved to early next week. A revised tournament schedule will be developed once we have a clearer picture of when schools may be able to play games.”

The impact of the Lewiston shootings has been felt across the state’s high school athletic community.

Yarmouth boys’ soccer coach Mike Hagerty said his team was practicing Wednesday night when injured players’ phones started “blowing up with alerts,” and way too many sirens could be heard headed north.

Many of Hagerty’s players have friends who play soccer for Lewiston High and Edward Little of Auburn, he said. Many Yarmouth residents work in health care, some in the Lewiston/Auburn area. Residents of Lewiston and nearby Lisbon work in the Yarmouth school district.

“Soccer and health care has tied Yarmouth to a lot of this,” Hagerty said. “The ripple effects have reached us. Reached all the way down to York, all the way to everywhere. It’s horribly sobering.”

Hagerty’s team is ranked No. 1 in Class B South and is scheduled to host No. 4 York at 6 p.m. Saturday in what was planned to be the third of three home regional semifinal playoff games. Yarmouth’s top-seeded field hockey team is scheduled to play No. 4 Freeport at 1 p.m., followed by the top-ranked girls’ soccer team facing No. 4 York at 3:30 p.m.


In addition, Yarmouth’s No. 1-ranked eight-man football team is scheduled to host a regional semifinal Friday, against Brunswick.

“Maybe the best case of action is to take a pause for a week and then resume playoffs,” Hagerty said. “We can extend things. If I could vote now, I’d say let’s wait a week, use that time to see how we can help victims and schools first, and then worry about sports.”

The only active teams not involved in postseason play this weekend are the 12 Class A football teams. Mark Soehren, coach of defending champion Oxford Hills, also wondered about the appropriateness of playing this weekend.

“I’m a football coach, so normally I would tell you, ‘We play. We practice.’ That’s my mentality,” Soehren said Thursday morning. “But even if the (shooter) gets apprehended in the next hour, do I want to go have practice? And play tomorrow? I don’t know. I’m perfectly fine with not playing.”

Soehren suggested Class A could just cancel all games this weekend and move on to its eight-team playoffs, scheduled to begin on Nov. 3.

When to resume practices and games needs to be a community decision, said Scarborough Athletic Director Mike LeGage. Scarborough was one of at least 50 schools that was closed Thursday. On Friday, Scarborough is scheduled to host a girls’ soccer playoff game and have its football team play at Thornton Academy. The football game was originally scheduled for Thursday before being pushed to Friday.


“If we don’t have school (Friday), I don’t know how we host something after school,” LeGage said. “If we do have school, then it would be a superintendent’s decision about whether we have events or not.”

LeGage said the primary factor to consider is event security. Would there be the normal amount of available police to work an event? Would you need more for people to feel safe?

There is also a mental health consideration, LeGage said. Is the community ready to gather in a public outdoor setting? Does returning to normal activities actually help after a tragedy?

“All those things have to be taken into consideration,” he said. “Those are all tough, legitimate parts of the decision-making, and that takes a group of people, not one person, to make that decision. It’s never one person.”

A Class D South football playoff game between Freeport and Poland was postponed from Friday evening until 6 p.m. Tuesday at Poland High. Poland Coach Gus LeBlanc said postponing the game was an easy decision, and his message to his players was, as excited as they are to host a playoff game for the first time, there are moments in life in which you have to take a step back.

“Given the horrific tragedy that’s occurred here, rescheduling a football game is a small thing,” LeBlanc said. “It clearly would not be appropriate to play that game (Friday). It makes perfect sense. It’s a lesson in perspective.”


Other postponed football playoff games include a Class B South game between Deering and Westbrook, moved from Friday night to Saturday at 7 p.m., and an eight-man Large School South game between Mt. Ararat and Greely that was scheduled for Friday night. A makeup date for that game has not been set.

The Mt. Ararat and Edward Little boys’ soccer teams had their Class A North quarterfinal suspended Wednesday night at the start of overtime in Topsham.

“Regulation ended and we went with our teams and started talking (about) overtime,” said Mt. Ararat Coach Jack Rioux, whose fourth-seeded Eagles were tied 2-2 with the fifth-seeded Red Eddies.

Rioux said he saw Mt. Ararat Principal Chris Hoffman and MSAD 75 interim superintendent Heidi O’Leary huddle with officials on the field.

“They then pulled all us coaches together and said the game was being suspended,” said Rioux, a physical education teacher at Mt. Ararat Middle School. “They were going to calmly make an announcement and calmly have people leave. It was very surreal. We were in the heat of competition, and then all of a sudden we had to switch gears. But this was the right thing to do.”

It is unclear when the game will be resumed.

Collegiate and professional games also have been affected. The University of Maine postponed Thursday night’s women’s soccer regular-season finale against New Hampshire, with no makeup date set. The Maine Mariners, the ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins, postponed Friday’s game at Cross Insurance Arena against the Adirondack Thunder, with no makeup date announced.

Central Maine Newspapers sports editor Bill Stewart contributed this report.

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