SKOWHEGAN — On Saturday, Skowhegan Area High School junior Garrett McSweeney almost joined one of the most exclusive clubs in Maine high school football. During the Indians win at Nokomis, McSweeney attempted two drop kicks. The first sailed wide of the goalposts. The second was blocked.

“I told Coach (Matt Friedman) I’ll be kind of legendary if I’m able to get one through the uprights in a game. I’ll probably be one of the only kids to have done it. But unfortunately one didn’t go through,” McSweeney, who also is Skowhegan’s starting quarterback, said before Monday’s practice.

The dropkick is old school football, and is rarely even tried anymore. The name describes the play exactly. The kicker drops the football, and kicks is as soon as it hits the ground. McSweeney said when he dropkicks, he starts by holding the ball as if he’s getting ready to punt.

“As soon as it hits the ground, I’ll kick it right off the ground. It bounces a little bit,” McSweeney said.

“He works on it all the time and he’s pretty good at it,” Friedman said of McSweeney’s dropkicking. “He asked if he could try it and we gave him two shots.”

McSweeney started dropkicking when he was messing around with friends. When he saw that he could do it, McSweeney began working at it.


“I was decent at it, so I took it seriously, and I’ve just been practicing,” McSweeney said. “I let Coach (Friedman) know about it, and I kicked a couple in front of him and I made them. He said we’ll give it a try for the next game.”

With the two misses on Saturday, however, it might be a while before McSweeney gets another chance to dropkick in a game.

“I don’t know if you’ll see it again,” Friedman said.

Skowhegan is one of three teams still undefeated in the Pine Tree Conference Class B division. The Indians will host one of the other unbeatens, Brewer, on Friday.

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Skowhegan will induct four into its Football Hall of Fame at halftime of Friday night’s homecoming game against Brewer, including a father-son combination.


Mike Walker was an assistant football coach at Skowhegan with the 1977 and 1978 state championship teams. He has served as the voice of Skowhegan as the football public address announcer for the last 29 years.

Mike’s son, Jared Walker, graduated in 2004. As a running back, he was a semifinalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy in 2003.

The other Hall of Fame inductees are Brandon Hamilton and Brandon Kraft. Hamilton graduated in 2003. As a senior quarterback/defensive back, Hamilton threw for 900 yards and made 64 tackles. A 2000 graduate, Kraft played running back and linebacker for the Indians. He recorded a team-high 103 tackles as a senior.

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Maine Central Institue’s 54-18 win over Mount View on Saturday wasn’t just a strong win over good team. It was a testament to the Huskies’ depth. MCI played without two starters, center Mike Westgate and running back Willie Moss. Still, the Huskies offense didn’t miss a beat, putting up 529 yards of offense in the win.

With Westgate out, senior Elijah Harvey moved from guard to center, and freshman Seth Bussell filled in at guard. The line did its job, paving the way for the Huskies to run for 340 yards and average 7.5 yards per carry.


“Our line made sure the guys running behind it had the holes,” coach Tom Bertrand said.

One of those runners was sophomore Adam Bertrand, who had 11 carries for 76 yards and three touchdowns filling in for Moss. Depth was also a strength last season for MCI. When starters Jonathan Santigao and Eric Hathaway went down with injuries, it was Eli Bussell (13 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns against Mount View) and Moss who gained varsity experience in the backfield.

Coach Bertrand said neither Westgate nor Moss has a serious injury, and sitting out Saturday’s game was precautionary.

“They both could’ve played,” Bertrand said. “We expect both will play next week against Mattanawcook.”

The Huskies host Mattanawcook on Friday in a battle between two of the Little Ten Conference’s remaining three unbeaten teams. Medomak Valley is the league’s third undefeated team.

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Lawrence fell to 0-3 with a loss to Mt. Blue on Friday. For the Bulldogs to win some games and get back in the hunt for a PTC B playoff spot, a young offensive line must continue to improve.

“We’ve got a young line that’s trying to develop. We’re trying to get those skill things sorted out,” coach John Hersom said.

Lawrence ran for just 25 yards against Mt. Blue, averaging less than one yard per carry. The young line did show some improvement as the game went on, particularly in pass protection. Sophomore quarterback Braden Ballard missed on his first four passes, but finished the game 8 for 14 for 112 yards, and a 27-yard touchdown pass to Seth Powers late in the second quarter.

“(Ballard) didn’t seem to have as much time, starting out in the first part of the game,” Hersom said. “As the game went on, we were able to give him a little bit more protection.”

The Bulldogs play at Cony on Friday.

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Around the state: Among the state’s remaining undefeated teams are Gray-New Gloucester, which went winless in each of the last two seasons, and Medomak Valley, which is playing in its first varsity season… Marshwood’s 14-game win streak was snapped with a loss to Westbrook on Friday night. The longest active win streak in Maine now belongs to Winslow, which won its 14th straight game with a 35-20 win at Mt. Desert Island on Friday. Things don’t get easier for Marshwood this week. The Hawks (2-1) travel to Turner to take on Leavitt (3-0)… Through three weeks, last season’s eight state championship game participants are a combined 22-2.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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