Mount View receiver Taylor Tuner (10) holds onto the ball after an interception against Marannacook during a 7-on-7 football game last week in Thorndike. Mount View on Friday suspended all fall sports. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Mount View field hockey coach Gloria Hewett knew time was not on her team’s side, so she decided to shake up practice Thursday.

“We played a bunch of games, did some fun stuff,” she said. “I thought that maybe, just maybe, this might be the end of the year. So I wanted to do something fun just in case.”

The end of the season indeed came Friday, when Mount View suspended all sports for the remainder of the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Education on Friday moved Waldo County — of which Mount View High School in Thorndike is located — into the “yellow” designation under the color-coded Health Advisory System. It’s recommended that schools in the yellow category suspend extracurricular activities, including athletics. The move came as the number of COVID-19 cases associated with a Waldo County church outbreak rose to 57 on Friday.

Also Friday, the Maine Principals’ Association announced it was pulling the cross country state championships in November out of Belfast, which is in Waldo County.

MPA assistant director Mike Bisson said they would seek another venue for the races, scheduled Nov. 11 and Nov. 14.

Mount View principal Zack Freeman said Friday his school opted to halt sports Friday once the county went yellow.

“Under state guidelines, when the county went yellow, we couldn’t do extracurricular activities,” said Mount View principal Zack Freeman, who announced the decision in a letter to students, staff and the community. “We expected this at some level. As soon as the state made the call, we had to do it. It’s sad, but our focus is on the safety of the community.”

High school soccer, field hockey and 7-on-7 touch football teams were allowed 10 games, but no playoffs or championships. The abbreviated season also featured regionalized scheduling to alleviate long bus trips.

The school had not scheduled any games this week as it monitored the outbreak. However, teams were allowed to practice. The Mount View field hockey and girls soccer teams had played six of its 10 games.

Mount View kicker Ryan Kirby boots an extra point against Maranacook during a 7-on-7 football game last this season in Thorndike. Mount View suspended all fall athletics Friday afternoon. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“Last week we were out practicing and then everything went down this past Monday,” said Mustangs girls soccer coach David Page. “As the week went on, we were concerned. We all braced for it as the week went on. It’s a tremendous bummer. We are just really disappointed that we couldn’t get some closure for the season. We couldn’t just wrap it up. We knew there was the potential for this happen, but it’s just too bad.”

Added Hewett: “It was already a very strange year. We were happy to play any games.When we were allowed to compete it was amazing and so exciting. The girls were so full of energy. We didnt’ know what we’d get, so every game was a ‘hooray.’ We played six games. The saddest kids on my team are our seniors, because they’re done. I’m glad we got Thursday in. I kind of thought that maybe this could be the end. It’s a bummer for the season to end.”

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