It’s mid-August. A few days ago, the heat index reached 100 degrees in central Maine. Fall couldn’t have felt farther away.

But a few of the state’s college football teams are practicing. High school football teams take the field for their first workouts on Monday. The Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl was played almost a month ago. It’s never too early to talk football.

So let’s talk football.

• When Jack Cosgrove was named head football coach at the University of Maine in 1993, he was the team’s fourth head coach in six seasons. Cosgrove provided stability to the program, staying 23 years, and coaching the Black Bears to the FCS playoffs five times. Cosgrove stepped down following last season, and the Black Bears have a new head coach for the first time in more than two decades.

In new head coach Joe Harasymiak, 30, the University of Maine has the youngest head coach in Division I football. It’s not just Harasymiak, his top assistant coaches are young, too. None of the top three assistants, offensive coordinator Liam Coen, defensive coordinator Corey Hetherman, or special teams coordinator Nick Charlton, have been out of college more than 10 years.

So far, the players love the new staff. At Wednesday’s media day at Alfond Stadium, players raved about the energy the new coaches bring to practice each day. They’re buying what Harasymiak and his assistants are selling.

It remains to be seen if that enthusiasm will translate to wins. Maine opens the season with a very tough schedule. First, there’s a pair of road games at Football Bowl Subdivision Connecticut and Toledo. After a bye week, the Black Bears are home for James Madison, one of the preseason favorites in the Colonial Athletic Association.

• At the annual Football Foundation kickoff luncheon a couple weeks ago, Maine Maritime Academy coach Chris McKenney said a goal of the Mariners this season is to reclaim the title of top rushing team in Division III.

The Mariners were close last season, finishing fourth in the nation at 316 yards per game. Maine Maritime has a good shot to build on that this season. Fullback James Ferrar returns to the Mariners backfield after leading the team with 972 yards rushing last season, along with twin brothers Jake and Josh Doolan, who combined for 673 yards.

• Can Husson reach the postseason for third straight year? The Eagles won the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference in 2014, and only a late season loss to Norwich kept Husson from winning the league and earning a second straight trip to the NCAA Division III playoffs last year. Still, the Eagles played in an ECAC Bowl.

If you’re a fan of high school football in Maine, you should appreciate what Husson is doing. Last season, 64 of the 111 players on the Eagles roster were from Maine, and they’re winning. In the three seasons since head coach Gabby Price returned to the Husson sideline, the Eagles are 20-10.

• In high school, can anybody in the Big Ten Conference beat two-time defending Class C champion Winslow? The Black Raiders enter the season with a 22-game win streak. Can anybody in Class D keep Oak Hill from winning a fourth state title in a row? Will Maine Central Institute continue to dominate the Little Ten? Can Mount View build on last season’s seven wins?

Right now, we don’t know. The cool thing about the next three months is, we’re going to find out.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

<URL destination=””>[email protected]

</URL>Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.