AUGUSTA — There won’t be major changes to the Maine high school football landscape next fall, as was the case the last time the Maine Principals’ Association reclassified the sport and reintroduced a fourth class. Still, a few teams will play in new leagues because of rising or declining enrollment.

Class C runner-up Leavitt is among the schools moving. Leavitt’s enrollment of 613 put it just above the new Class B cutoff of 586, meaning the Hornets are slated to join Western B under this proposal. Nokomis, which played down in Class C the last two years, will move to Eastern Class B.

Oceanside drops to Class C from B due to lower enrollment. It will move to the East from Western B. Fryeburg Academy is moving from Western B to Western C. John Bapst of Bangor moves up to Eastern C.

The proposal now goes to the MPA’s classification committee, where it could be changed before the proposal heads to the full membership for a spring vote.

Class A is unchanged. Medomak Valley, which will compete as a first time varsity program next fall, will play in Eastern D. Sacopee Valley, which suspended its program shortly before the 2014 season, will not field a varsity football team in 2015.

Enrollment for each class was tweaked a little. Class A will now feature schools with 840 or more students. Class B enrollment is 586-839 students. Class C is 460-585, while Class D is 459 and lower.

A big thing to come out of the football committee meeting Monday was the decision to allow two teams — Camden Hills and the combined Ellsworth-Sumner team — to play down two levels in Class D. In the past, the football committee has allowed schools to petition down one level. Although the petitioning school is ineligible for the playoffs, playing down a level is designed to help football programs. If this proposal passes, Camden Hills will join Western D, while Ellsworth-Sumner will remain in Eastern D.

According to their enrollments, Camden Hills and Ellsworth-Sumner would be in Class B. However, Ellsworth-Sumner was allowed to play in Class D the last two seasons because it was a new program. Ellsworth has yet to win a varsity game.

Playing down a level in Eastern C the last two seasons, Camden Hills went 1-15. The Windjammers finished winless last season. Camden Hills is just 2-30 during the last two seasons. Steve Alex, Camden Hills’ athletic director, told the committee the coaches resigned immediately following the season, and he’s just trying to keep the struggling program going.

“It’s not about wins and losses,” Alex said. “For us, it’s the number of kids we can shake out for football. We’re really out of our league in Class C East.”

While the committee ultimately granted Camden Hills’ request, it wasn’t without debate. John Bapst head coach Dan O’Connell, the coaches liaison to the committee, said that while the Eastern Class D Little Ten Conference wants to help struggling programs, adding another larger school to the league may not be the best solution.

“The league feels it’s becoming a dumping ground,” O’Connell said.

Jack Trull, the athletic director at Old Orchard Beach High School, voiced similar sentiments, saying his school struggles to keep a field hockey team.

“We don’t have a place to go when we’re struggling. We drop (football),” Trull said. “We make hard choices. It’s hard to sympathize with a big school.”

Madison-Carrabec’s request to play in Western Class D, where the cooperative team would be ineligible for the playoffs, was denied. The Bulldogs, who this season made the playoffs for the first time since 1996, were again placed in Eastern Class C. In an email to MPA director Mike Burnham, Madison athletic director Chris LeBlanc said the school board will meet Dec. 15 to discuss the future of Madison football and its cooperative agreement with Carrabec. The Bulldogs had just three Carrabec players on the roster this season.

Craig Sickels, athletic director at Freeport High School, told the committee that the Campbell Conference, which includes Western B, C and D, is looking at ways to help struggling teams through scheduling via a tiered system, in which the traditionally stronger programs will play more games against each other, while the newer or weaker programs would do the same. Some members of the Campbell Conference discussed forming their own league outside the MPA, but that is off the table, Sickels said. Four factors will go into building the league’s schedule, Sickels said: Safety, competitiveness, sustaining programs, and growth.

“We’re going to schedule based on strength,” Sickels said.

No matter how the final classification shakes out, with an odd number of teams there will likely have to be crossover games, and possibly interclass games, in order to build the schedule.

Also Monday, the committee heard from Dr. Bill Heinz. A member of the National Federation of State High School Associations Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, Heinz reported on the group’s concussion task force recommendations.

The football committee voted to recommend Maine high school football teams limit full contact during in-season practices to three days each week, for 30 minutes each practice. A recommendation to limit the number of quarters a player can play in a game each week would be tougher to manage, Burnham said, because of the high number of high school teams in Maine with small rosters. At many schools, players see time in varsity and junior varsity games each week.

“If nothing else, it sends a message to the parents that something’s being done,” Heinz said.

Also, Mike Haley of the coaches association announced that Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl training camp will be held at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcrodt next July. Camp had been at Hebron Academy the last several years.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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