Monday, April 21, 2014
A few news and notes from the three Central Maine teams that will be playing for gold balls Saturday — Lawrence (Class A), Mt. Blue (B) and Winslow (C).
• In a classy gesture this week, Lawrence athletic director Bill MacManus offered Winslow the use of Keyes Field under the lights to practice. Winslow, which doesn’t have lights, has been practicing right after school until it gets dark.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, have practiced a few nights on the turf field at Colby’s Alfond Stadium.
“We told them that if they wanted to come over and use it that we didn’t have any problem with it,” MacManus said. “We told them we’d turn the lights on for them, too. They knew if they needed it, it was there.”
The Raiders practiced Tuesday and Wednesday at Poulin Field.
However, Winslow coach Mike Siviski said they appreciated the gesture.
• MacManus said the school received 1,000 tickets for the games Saturday, including 500 for adults and 500 for students.
As of Wednesday night, the school still had some tickets left, but MacManus said it was possible they would sell out of their allotment by Friday.
“We’ve had a good pre-sale,” he said.
• Winslow senior running back Joe Hopkins said at practice Wednesday that the Raiders are focused on “getting the job done.”
He acknowledged a palpable buzz is gripping the community, but that the Raiders are trying not to get swept up in the euphoria.
“We don’t have an overall huge excitement,” he said. “It’s more along the lines of everybody knows what’s in front of us. We’re not jumping around like crazy.”
• It didn’t take long for Marshwood first-year coach Alex Rotsko to make an immediate impact.
It also shouldn’t come as a surprise he turned a team that went 2-6 last year into a state title contender.
Rotsko, whose Hawks will play Mt. Blue for the Class B state title at 6 p.m. Saturday, enjoyed a storied career as a high school and collegiate coach in Massachusetts.
Rotsko and his wife, Eleanor, have a summer residence in York Beach and decided they wanted to live in Maine year-round.
Rotsko led the Longmeadow High Lancers to 15 consecutive Super Bowl appearances and a 47-game winning streak. He won 10 straight league championships and went 184-39 in his tenure at Longmeadow. Rotsko later went on to coach American International College in Springfield, Mass.
He used the Wing-T offense in Massachusetts, and he brought it with him to Maine.
When asked if he’s always used that offense, Rotsko said, “There was one year I didn’t. It was my third year there at Longmeadow, in 1996 or 1997. We went 3-7 and that was the end of that. It was a short-lived experiment and I’ve used the Wing-T ever since.”