For the first time in more than 60 years, St. Dominic Academy will have students playing interscholastic football this fall.

The private school in Auburn has entered into a cooperative agreement with Class D power Lisbon High – the first step toward St. Dominic reviving a football program of its own. The school has not had a football team since 1956.

Two or three St. Dom’s students are expected to join the Lisbon program this season.

“We expect the number to increase significantly in the future, not only from our current students, but we have heard often that there are kids out there who want to come to St. Dominic for the academic rigor, or because of our hockey program, but they didn’t want to give up high school football,” said St. Dom’s Athletic Director J.P. Yorkey.”

Yorkey said the school is hopeful of forming its own football program “within a few years.”

Being part of a strong Lisbon program will help build the foundation for football at St. Dom’s, Yorkey said.

“The team will still be referred to as Lisbon in common reference,” Yorkey said. “We made it really clear from the beginning we’re not looking to upset anybody’s tradition. We’re just looking for an opportunity to have some kids from St. Dom’s play football.”

The cooperative agreement was more attractive for both schools after the Maine Principals’ Association changed its method of determining enrollment for co-op teams. Previously, the total enrollment of each school in a co-op program was added together for classification purposes. Starting this school year, only a percentage of a secondary school’s enrollment equal to the percentage of players it contributes to the varsity roster is added to the host school’s enrollment.

Lisbon’s enrollment is approximately 335, and St. Dom’s has about 180 students. Class D’s maximum enrollment is 470.

“The new system allows us to stay in Class D,” said Lisbon Athletic Director Eric Hall.

“Lisbon is a really good match. Their enrollment is low enough in the classification that they could take on quite a few players,” Yorkey said.

Hall said Yorkey approached him last June about the possibility of a football partnership.

“Our new coach, Chris Kates was all for it,” Hall said. “Basically, the reason is to allow more kids to play football.

“This wasn’t a numbers thing for our school. Our numbers will always stay pretty steady around 35 to 38 players,” Hall added.

Kates is replacing Dick Mynahan as Lisbon’s coach. Mynahan compiled a 209-85 record in 30 seasons. The Greyhounds were 8-2 in 2016 and won the Class D South title. Kates, a former Lisbon quarterback and 2005 graduate, was Mynahan’s offensive coordinator.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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