RICHMOND — The week was already three days old, and still most of Richmond was without electricity, one of the high school’s two soccer fields remained unplayable and the Bobcat boys didn’t even have an opponent for their Class D South regional championship game.

That game, originally scheduled for Wednesday, has already been moved to Thursday in Bath. It’s just one example of all the shuffling that has been going on for coaches and athletic directors in what was supposed to be a memorable week for high school soccer players on the cusp of regional and state championships.

“We’re worried about more of the stuff that the players don’t even know about or think about,” Winslow boys soccer coach Aaron Wolfe said. “They just want to know ‘When are we going to play?'”

In the wake of Monday’s vicious wind and rain storm, that question isn’t answered easily in most cases. Heavy rains last week left field conditions questionable in their best-case scenarios, and the latest round of precipitation only made matters worse. Athletic directors have been juggling logistical nightmares, the likes of which include scheduling, field conditions and field availabilities.

The Richmond girls will play Greenville at home at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and the Maranacook boys will host Traip — as scheduled — in the Class C South final at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The heavily-anticipated Monmouth-Madison girls Class C South title tilt will also be played Wednesday afternoon, despite the fact that Monmouth Academy hasn’t had school yet this week in the wake of Monday’s storm.

In Richmond, like in many other communities, school has been canceled all week and there was no practice on Monday. Bobcat senior Zach Small said it reminds him of 2014.


“We went through some of this during our freshman year,” Small said. “It was the same time of year, we got some rain, we couldn’t practice on our field, and we had a couple of days off from school. It’s kind of like repeating the same thing from three years ago. It’s the same idea.”

That season ended well enough for the Bobcats, with Small the goalkeeper for a team that won the Class D state title. This year’s Richmond boys played their regional semifinal at McMann Field in Bath last weekend, and they’ll play Thursday’s regional final against Buckfield there, too.

“We’re not playing at home and we’re going to other fields,” Small said. “We can’t really practice on our field. It’s a lot of different things going on.”

Like the Richmond boys, the Winslow boys were their awaiting their opponent in a regional final. Unlike the Bobcats, the Black Raiders spent the first part of the week not knowing where they’d be playing the Class B North final. Richmond is the top seed in D South, guaranteed a “home” date as soon as they beat Greenville in the semifinals on Saturday.

Winslow was waiting word on Tuesday evening’s twice-postponed semifinal between No. 2 Washington and No. 6 Hermon, a win for the East Machias school that went final shortly before 6 p.m.

“We’ve kind of been in limbo,” Wolfe said. “It definitely gives the teams in the south a little advantage with an extra day (between the regional and the state finals). It’s a huge advantage. They can come watch our game. Usually it’s designed so you can’t do that.”


Wolfe and Richmond girls coach Troy Kendrick are no strangers to deep tournament runs. With a win Wednesday, the Bobcats would advance to their eighth straight Class D state championship game, while the Black Raider boys played for the Class B state title last fall.

Pitfalls always lurk during tournament time, and this year is no exception.

“We’ve kind of been through it,” Kendrick said. “This is the first time with something like (Monday’s storm), but it’s just, ‘Hey, you know what? We’re going to do the best we can.’ We’ve already practiced about 40 times this year, so if we miss one this week I don’t think it’s the end of the world.”

Last year, Wolfe’s team played on turf for the first time all season in the state championship game against Yarmouth. This week alone, they’ve played a regional semifinal and practiced on the turf at Thomas College in Waterville. Likewise, the Maranacook boys went to nearby Kents Hill School in Readfield to practice on turf with their own soggy fields still too saturated.

In a difficult situation, all parties are simply trying to make the best of things.

“It’s been tough,” Wolfe said. “It’s all about keeping in the right frame of mind. We can’t control who we play or when we play. We just have to worry about ourselves and not worry about those other things.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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