Winslow native John McCabe, a redshirt freshman linebacker at the University of Maine, had surgery to repair a torn meniscus on Wednesday.

McCabe said he’ll probably be out four to six weeks, although in some cases players have come back from this type of injury sooner. McCabe suffered the injury in practice a week and a half ago.

“We were doing a tackling drill, and I just fell wrong,” McCabe said.

Before the injury, McCabe was enjoying a solid preseason camp, his second with the Black Bears.

“Camp was a lot better. I was adjusting a lot in my second year,” McCabe said. “At linebacker, there’s a tough bunch of great players, but I thought I had a chance to play some special teams. Everybody was battling for a spot.”

McCabe said he’s thankful the injury wasn’t worse, and expects to be back for the second half of the season. Maine opens the season on Sept. 8 at Boston College.

“It’s rough, but I’m glad to get (surgery) done and get back soon,” McCabe said.

* * *

Husson University opens the season at home on Saturday against Hartwick, and head coach Shawn Murphy enters the 2012 season with one of the youngest teams in the country.

Of the 86 players on Husson’s roster, 70 are either freshmen or sophomores. The Eagles have just five seniors and 11 juniors.

Husson struggled last season, going 0-10, and the Eagles enter this season with a 14-game losing streak.

This is the first meeting between Hartwick and Husson since 2007, won by Hartwick, 35-27. The Hawks are also coming off a tough season, going 2-8 in 2011.

Kents Hill grad Ryan Dorso, a Farmingdale native, is Husson’s top returning rusher after gaining 247 yards last season. Quarterback Kash Keezer threw for 1,367 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011. Defensively, the Eagles are led by sophomore linebacker Stephan Dance, who led all of Division III in solo tackles last season, with 85.

In the preseason poll conducted by Eastern Collegiate Football Conference coaches, Husson was picked to finish eighth. Defending league champion Norwich received six first place votes, with SUNY Maritime earning two first place votes.

* * *

The University of Maine got some good news earlier this week, when Rhode Island announced it would stay in the Colonial Athletic Association.

In 2010, Rhode Island announced it would leave the CAA and join the Northeast Conference, beginning with the 2013 season. That move would cut down on the football team’s travel. When the CAA announced recently that Albany and Stony Brook will join the league next season, URI officials reconsidered their decision.

With URI staying put, Maine maintains a rivalry that goes back decades. Maine, New Hampshire, URI, Albany and Stony Brook form a solid northeastern contingent of the CAA. Since Connecticut and Massachusetts jumped to the Football Bowl Subdivision, and Hofstra and Northeastern dropped football, the CAA became dominated by teams in the Mid-Atlantic, making conference travel for Maine and New Hampshire expensive.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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