The seaside town of Rockport, Maine, can be a chilly place to play high school football, but a recent decision to cancel the football season will send a shiver down the spine of football fans everywhere.
Camden Hills Regional (Rockport, Maine) made the tough decision to cancel its season after just three games due to low turnout and injuries. After 12 upperclassmen decided not to return to the team this fall, the Windjammers began the season with 21 players. After three games, just 11 healthy players turned out for practice.
Camden coach Thad Chilton was disappointed but understood the decision:
“The decision was regretful, but I probably would’ve came to the same conclusion. I didn’t want my next game canceled, for the same reason as the kids. We’re football players and we look forward to the next week.”
In an open letter to the community, superintendent Maria Libby discussed the decision:
“We did not feel it was safe to put a young team, compromised by injury, with relatively low numbers on the field knowing it was likely they’d be hurt, possibly seriously hurt. Our players sustained numerous injuries, two of which landed in the Emergency Room. Some of our players were afraid to go in, although that won’t be admitted publicly, and I understand why.”
Boston Globe writer Stan Grossfeld reported that most members of the community supported the decision. Players like co-captain Mason Mahonen, however, wanted to keep going:
“You shouldn’t take away something that someone has put so much work, effort, and heart into years of training. Even if we lose by 40 points and people are disappointed after the game. I ask them, ‘Did you have fun?’ They all say, ‘Yeah, I had fun.’ ”