Friday, March 7, 2014
With sub-varsity football programs being cut around the state, younger players are seeing playing time in varsity games. This past week, a number of central Maine football teams saw solid play from their novice athletes.
Messalonskee freshman Corey McKenzie had an interception that set up a scoring drive in the Eagles’ 42-21 win over Cony. McKenzie also had eight carries for 35 yards. Messalonskee sophomore Jake Stinson had a big tackle for a loss of Cony quarterback Luke Duncklee in the fourth quarter.
Freshman Evan Greatorex had seven carries for 44 yards in the first half of Waterville’s 31-24 win at Nokomis. With injuries to upperclassmen skill players, the Purple Panthers also relied on freshman Aden Fitzgerald to play defense and return kicks. Sophomore Tom Turmelle also returned kicks for Waterville.
It has to be tough for coaches to throw younger players into a varsity game. On one hand, they need experience, which they can’t get if there’s fewer subvarsity games. On the other hand, that lack of experience can hurt going up against bigger, veteran players in a varsity game.
Travis Lazarczyk has worked at the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal since 2000. He covers football, basketball and baseball. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/tlazarmaine