The Maranacook Black Bears take the field for the last regular-season home football game Friday at the Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams in Readfield. Senior players were honored in pre-game events. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The minutes were dragging on after the 44-8 loss to Mt. Ararat was complete, but the Maranacook football team’s postgame meeting in the end zone of the Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams kept going. And going.

For good reason. As coach Jordan DeMillo said afterward, the Black Bears had some issues they had to discuss.

“I think it was necessary,” he said. “I’ve never seen … a team that had so much talent that can’t get out of its own way. I don’t know how to fix it, and that’s basically what I was telling them right there. I can be a coach, but leaders come from teams. Leaders are the ones that step up when the going gets tough. … I was just kind of questioning where their character’s at during adversity.”

The Black Bears are 2-3 and still plenty alive in their pursuit of a championship in the small South division of eight-man football, but the team was clearly frustrated as it first struggled to finish drives against the Eagles, and then saw the deficit mount as Kaiden Getchell and Shea Farrell combined for 387 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

“I just told my seniors, Friday night lights are special, and they’re numbered from here on out for you,” DeMillo said. “If you walk off the field from here on out not being the best player that you could be, it might be the last time you walk off the field.”

Maranacook won’t have to face Mt. Ararat — which plays in large North — in the playoffs, but DeMillo said that wasn’t a reason to shrug off the loss.


“There’s no reason why we could not be competitive against Ararat,” he said. “It’s tough, because they have a ton of talent. I have (been high on them), and I’m still high on them, talent-wise, when this team plays good football. But the trouble is it’s every time we face adversity, we struggle.”

An incomplete pass gets by Maranacook’s Seth White, left, and Mt. Ararat defensive back Mack Wilkins during a football game Friday in Readfield. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

DeMillo did say that he thought the meeting resonated with the players, who will be tested again as their playoff road begins with a regional quarterfinal game at 4-3 Old Orchard Beach.

“I do think I struck a chord tonight,” he said. “I think I finally got through to them, because some of the behavior we saw in the huddle and outside the huddle immediate after was a marked difference.

“They need to understand that they just need to overcome (adversity), and we’re just not there yet. Hopefully, this coming week, we can get there. … I think we still definitely have a very good chance this year.”


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Cony got a great relief appearance at quarterback on Saturday from Dom Napolitano, who stepped in in place of injured starter Davyn Flynn.

It could be more than a cameo. Coach B.L. Lippert said after the game that Flynn will likely be out at quarterback for a while after being tackled during a run in the second quarter.

“From the looks of it, it looks like he broke his wrist,” he said. “As he was leaving, he said ‘I’ll be back.’ I said ‘Well, you may be back at school on Monday, I don’t think you’ll be back in this game tonight.'”

Flynn had a cast on his right hand and wrist after being tended to on the sideline.

Cony’s Dominick Napolitano, left, is about to get tackled by Lawrence’s Cade Scott at the 40 yard line during a football game last Friday on Fuller Field in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“He had his hand down to brace himself, he started to get up, looked down and it had a little ‘S’ curve to it,” Lippert said. “He’s a tough kid. Most kids would have looked down and panicked, and he was just like ‘Uh oh.'”


Lawrence quarterback Andrew Trombley left the game after a big hit later in the quarter, and didn’t re-enter the game but was in the handshake line afterward. His status for the weekend is uncertain.

“He took a pretty good shot to the head tonight, and our trainer thought that he didn’t have any memory here once he left the field,” coach John Hersom said. “But as the second half continued, he showed some improvement. … I don’t think he ruled it as a concussion, it was just more (he was) disoriented when he took the hit.”


Cony sits at second in Class B North at 4-2 after the win and closes the regular season against Brewer. Lawrence is third at 3-3 and will close against Messalonskee.


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Gardiner got a win it needed to have last weekend, rallying back from an early deficit to defeat Westbrook 19-14. The Tigers are now 2-5 and in the seventh spot in the Class C South standings, but can move to sixth with a win Friday night against MCI. Climbing one spot should rule out playing powerful Cape Elizabeth in the first round.

Tigers coach Pat Munzing said he was happy to see the team’s improved play of late translate on the scoreboard.

“I like how they didn’t get down after the first score. We stayed resilient through the game, we battled through some stuff with some penalties,” he said. “It’s been good for us to finally get some guys back. We’ve been battling injuries and guys (being) out.”

Few areas of the team have felt the sting of injuries and unavailability more than the offensive line, which Munzing said has had to change every week since the preseason game against Cony. The Tigers took a big step forward against Westbrook, however, as four of the original starters in left tackle Gage Poore, center Ephraim Hamm, right guard Drake Ahearn and right tackle Jack Fleming suited up. Riley Kimball has been filling in for Jah-Neil Wilson, who’s out for the season, at left guard since Week 3.

“It’s been about as consistent as we’ve had,” Munzing said.

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