DOVER-FOXCROFT — When they played football together for four years at Winslow High School, Ben Dorval ran through holes created by Cameron Winslow game after game. That’s one of the things Dorval likes about running the ball for the East squad in this Saturday’s Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl.

“Now that I have five more people to run behind that look just like Cameron, it’s pretty great,” Dorval said.

Even with an all-star group of lineman clearing a path, Dorval knows there is not substitute for the original. At 6-foot-2, 320-pounds, Winslow is one of the biggest players on a huge East offensive line, where he’ll likely play left tackle.

“It’s definitely different, but I’m open to it because we have such a great line,” Winslow said in between practice sessions Tuesday at Foxcroft Academy.

In a group that includes Braxton Cassidy of Windham (6-2, 290), Eli Bickford of Foxcroft Academy (6-2, 315) and Gilbert Isaacs of Mt. Desert Island (6-7, 355), Winslow doesn’t stand out until the ball is snapped.

“He’s kind of a throwback football player. Not because he’s a big kid who is physical. He plays mean,” John Bapst coach Dan O’Connell, the East head coach, said. “Not everybody likes to hear that in this day and age, but he’s a physical, dominating type of presence. In a game like this, where you have a week to assert your will, he’s going to do a lot for us. He’s been great so far in camp.”

A three-year starter for the Black Raiders and three-time all-conference first team selection, Winslow’s combination of size and sill helped the the Black Raiders offense grind defenses into powder with long, power football drives. In a week one 28-20 win at eventual Class C state champion Nokomis last September, Winslow was a key blocker on a pair of second half touchdown drives. The first went 48 yards in 15 plays, taking seven and a half minutes off the clock. The second went 50 yards in four plays, taking 39 seconds and culminating with a 33 yard touchdown run by Dorval to give the Black Raiders some breathing room with 1:35 left to play.

When asked to describe the best play he saw Winslow make, Dorval went to the defensive side of the ball, and a play he and Winslow made early in a game against Lawrence last season. On fourth down and 2, Winslow sloughed off a pair of blockers to join Dorval in making a tackle for no gain.

“He had two guys on him and shed both of them. He got on top and I had the kid at the legs,” Dorval said.

“It was a big family. That’s what it was,” Winslow said of his time as a Black Raider.

When East coaches were looking for players with kicking experience, Winslow raised his hand, and promptly began booting 50 yard kickoffs. Winslow and Noah Scanlon, a 6-1, 255-pound offensive lineman from John Bapst, will do the kicking for the East. Coaching a Winslow High player with a strong leg in the Lobster Bowl is nothing new for O’Connell. When he served as East head coach in 2009, he saw the Black Raiders’ Scott Siviski come up big for the East, kicking a game-tying 28-yard field goal late in the third quarter and the winning extra point with 36 seconds left in a 17-16 win.

“It’s amazing to think that with a group of the best athletes in Eastern Maine, those are the two guys (Winslow and Scanlon) we settled on. As you’ll see on Saturday, (Winslow) can boom it. As he said, I’ll jog down and hit somebody,” O’Connell said. “Ten years ago when I was head coach, we won on the Siviski field goal. Maybe this time it will be the left tackle.”

Winslow will attend Bates College, where he plans to major in Rhetoric with a minor in Education. His goal is to become an athletic director. If you have a subject, Winslow is happy to chat about it.

“Sports, almost any topic, really. I like to talk about anything,” he said.

Winslow will report to training camp and join the Bates  football team on August 24. Winslow hit it off with head coach Malik Hall, and said that was a big motivator in his decision to attend Bates.

“Coach Hall, he’s an amazing coach, and I’m really excited to play for them,” Winslow said.

O’Connell is a Bates alum, and he and Winslow have spent time discussing the Bobcats at Lobster Bowl camp this week. O’Connell expects Winslow will have a successful career, academically and athletically, at Bates.

“He’s just a kid who understands the game. He’s very bright. He asks great questions. He’s someone who continues to really thrive in the game. Once he’s comfortable with the assignment and technique, he’ll go in and mix it up. That’s what you want up front, offensively or defensively on the line where he is. He’s your typical nasty two-way tackle who is going to make things happen. We’re very ecstatic he’s on our team and I don’t have to coach against him,” O’Connell said.


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