While the Campbell Conference Class D was forced to play a schedule with bye weeks when Sacopee Valley decided to play this season as a junior varsity program, the Little Ten Conference is dealing with byes because of league expansion.

Houlton joined the LTC this season, bringing the league’s Class D membership to 11 teams. With an odd number of teams, the LTC will play an eight-game schedule over a nine-week season.

Most LTC teams are filling the bye week with an exhibition game against Medomak Valley, which is expected to join the league next season as a full varsity member.

“As far as we’re concerned, they’re a part of the LTC,” Maine Central Institute head coach Tom Bertrand said of Medomak Valley. The Huskies play Medomak Valley in the final week of the regular season. “We don’t think of that as a cupcake exhibition game. They’ll be competitive.”

Mt. View has its bye this week. The Mustangs will open the season next week at Orono. With one of the youngest teams in the league, Mt. View head coach Haggie Pratt is OK with the week off at the start of the season.

“I didn’t like it at the start, but it turned out to be a blessing for us,” Pratt said. “We have to play a lot of young guys.”

• • •

Throughout the upcoming season, MCI will honor a teammate who never got to play a snap for the Huskies.

Incoming freshman Nolan Berthelette died in July from a brain aneurysm. He would have been a first-year player for the Huskies.

“He had never played football before, but he was excited to come and play,” Bertrand said.

The Huskies wear a sticker with Berthelette’s number 13 on the back of their helmets. Players and coaches wear T-shirts with the slogan “4U13” written on the back in orange, Berthelette’s favorite color.

“He’s on our minds and in our hearts,” Bertrand said.

• • •

Winthrop/Monmouth decided to place decals on their helmets to honor Kesley Stoneton. They will observe a moment of silence at the start of Friday’s football game. The daughter of former Ramblers head coach Joel Stoneton, Kelsey died unexpectedly last month.

“We wanted to have No. 8 and Kelsey’s initials on the back of our helmets for everyone to see,” senior captain Jeremy Mihilakis said.

“It’s going to be tough for us,” senior Zack Phinney, said. “Joel has been a second father to everyone on the team. Hoping that we can play for him, Kelsey and her family every game.”

• • •

Mt. Blue senior running back/linebacker JT Williams said he’s 100 percent healthy after tearing his hamstring in the track and field season last spring.

“I really worked on getting healed up,” Williams said. “I missed some football camps. It took seven or eight weeks.”

Williams was running a leg of the 4×100 relay at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship meet in Bath, when his shoe ripped apart as he ran, causing the injury.

“We were going for the school record,” Williams said.

• • •

Lawrence captain Cole Robinson suffered a sprained shoulder early in Friday’s exhibition game against Bangor. Head coach John Hersom said if and how much Robinson plays in the season opener Friday night at Gardiner will be decided on Wednesday. Robinson plays quarterback and linebacker for the Bulldogs.

“Cole is still a little sore,” Hersom said. “He has good range of motion, but it’s sore to throw.”

If Robinson plays this week, it could be just on defense and special teams, where he punts and holds for kicks.

“He’ll have another day off (Tuesday), that’s what the plan is,” Hersom said. “We’ll use Wednesday as the day to decide.”

Junior tight end/safety Seth Powers also left Friday’s game with an injury, but was back at practice on Monday and is good to go this week, Hersom said.

• • •

Around the state: First-year program Houlton better have a comfortable bus. The Shiretowners will log close to 1,000 miles in round-trip travel for four road games at Orono, Stearns, Mt. View and Ellsworth. Houlton is 69 miles from Millinocket, the home of Stearns, its closest rival in the LTC… Bonny Eagle is going for back-to-back championships for the third time in a decade. Coached by Lawrence graduate Kevin Cooper, the Scots won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005, and again in 2007 and 2008. Bonny Eagle defeated Cheverus for the Class A title last November.

Barbara Walsh contributed to this report.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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