Freeport High School football players warm up in the head lights of a Winthrop police cruiser Friday night at Maxwell Field in Winthrop. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

WINTHROP — A car accident on U.S. Route 202 on Friday evening knocked out power to nearby Maxwell Field, forcing the postponement of the Freeport-Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale football game.

A Winthrop police spokesperson confirmed the accident shortly after the Ramblers (4-0) and Falcons (4-1) were set to kick off in a Class D game that had playoff implications for both sides.

The power outage occurred 20 minutes before kickoff.

“We’re hugely bummed out,” Winthrop athletic director Joel Stoneton said. “(Freeport) was jacked up, we were jacked up, we were ready for a good football game and get tested. That was where we were at. There’s nothing that we can take care of ourselves because it’s a car accident. We certainly hope everyone is OK, but it’s certainly a letdown.”

The game has been rescheduled for 3:30 p.m. Monday, according to Winthrop Coach Dave St. Hilaire.

Winthrop High School football head coach Dave St. Hilaire, left center, talks with parent Jason Baird, right, on a dark Maxwell Field in Winthrop on Friday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

It marked the second time in eight years a game at Maxwell Field was postponed because of a power outage. In 2013, Stoneton said a transformer blew, which resulted in an outage that postponed a game against Lisbon.

Freeport players were on the field warming up when the lights went out. The Ramblers had wrapped up their pre-game routine and were in the locker room.

After a few minutes, the public address announcer informed the crowd the game would be delayed.

Coaches and officials soon gathered at midfield.

“We’ve had one home game the last 22 1/2 months,” St. Hilaire said. “We lost our homecoming game (due to a cancellation) and our chance to play two weeks ago. We haven’t had a home game since opening night (Sept. 3, a 41-20 win over Bucksport)… You get jacked up to play. This our first game against a team with a winning record. First home game in six weeks, second in 22 1/2 months. I know the guys are disappointed.”

Added Freeport coach Paul St. Pierre: “(Immediate feelings are) shock, a little bit of amusement, just because I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s a little disappointing, but considering we’ve had a game canceled due to COVID, it’s just one of those years, man. Who knows, maybe next week we’ll get canceled because of a blizzard. Who knows? I don’t know what’s coming next.”

After the game was officially postponed, fans also expressed their disappointment.

Winthrop youth cheerleaders leave a dark Maxwell Field in Winthrop on Friday after the football game against Freeport was postponed because of a power outage. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“I think the whole community was looking forward to this tonight, it’s a gorgeous night,” Winthrop resident Sharon Murphy said. “We’re worried about the people on the highway, though, that’s on our minds as well.”

Winthrop High School senior class president Caraline Squires said Friday night was supposed to be the pep band’s season debut at Maxwell Field.

“I’m so bummed, because I play snare drum in the pep band,” Squires said. “It’s our senior year, so we want to go to as many games as we can. We talked about how there was going to be a white out (where students wear all-white outfits) at our school meeting. We’ve had to go to away games, we’ve been driving an hour away just to see the team play. We were so excited to see the team play at our field, and then it’s canceled. So, we’re bummed.”

 

Dave Dyer – 621-5640

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Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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