HEBRON — It is good to be back.

That was the overwhelming feeling amongst players at a press conference held Tuesday morning at the Hebron Academy Athletic Center for Saturday’s 25th installment of the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic.

“It feels good to be out,” said East team quarterback Ben Lucas, a graduate of Cony High School. “Being in the weight room all offseason that gets tiring sometimes but getting out on the field with the good group of guys we have is an awesome feeling.”

“Amazing,” added Waterville’s Troy Gurski. “It’s the best thing in the world.”

Camp began Sunday morning at Hebron in preparation for the Lobster Bowl and, while it was certainly a good feeling to be back on the grid, for many it was an adjustment having not played an organized game in months.

“It was good learning the plays and stuff but it was completely different than what I was used to,” said Maranacook’s Adam Betts, who will be suiting up for the West squad. “They run a lot of zone offense and different names for different plays that are different for me.”

“It’s kind of like riding a bike,” Winslow’s Zach Guptill said. “The first day is a little iffy to get your technique back but you catch right a hold of it real quick.”

For players like Guptill — which happens to be the majority of those competing — Saturday’s game provides the rare opportunity to end their careers with a victory. It is something that only players from 2013 state champs Bonny Eagle, Cony, Leavitt and Oak Hill could boast until this point.

“I wasn’t planning on playing in college and that last game at home you kind of break down,” Winthrop’s Zach Glazier said. “You think that football is over. You come here, it feels weird, it’s summer time, you feel like you’re at spring training again. (Then) it all feels normal.

“Like coach said in the beginning, most of us lost our last game in the playoffs. It just feels good to come out here and be able to compete one more time.”

Glazier played almost exclusively at running back for the Ramblers last fall, but with so many talented players in camp, he will be seeing the field as an outside linebacker.

Learning different positions has been a challenge many players have had to face early on but, as Glazier notes, at the end of the day they are all football players.

“A lot of the guys here are getting moved around,” he said. “A lot of them played in the secondary and now they’re moving up to outside, or they played on offense only like me and now they’re playing (defense).

“We know how to play all the different positions. We all played four years of high school football so it’s fun.”

Some have had it easier than others so far though. It has been a refresher course for Isaac Gingras, Jonathan Saban, Nic Benner and Lucas, who all ran East head coach Robbie Vachon’s schemes in the fall.

“It’s exactly what we ran at Cony,” Saban said. “We’re having to help coach up a little bit but these guys are picking it up fast.

“They’re smart players, they’re good players and it’s fun to play with them.”

The Lobster Bowl will take place at 6 p.m., Saturday at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford, with 100 percent of the net proceeds benefiting Shrine Hospitals for Children.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: Evan_Crawley


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