The Cony football team practices on Wednesday at Fuller Field in Augusta. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

BL Lippert is breathing a sigh of relief entering the 2022 season.

The Cony football coach got through the 2021 season with just 28 players on the roster. Even with the smaller numbers, the Rams finished 6-3 record and reached the Class B North semifinals last season.

This year, Cony features a whopping 61 players in its program.

“Just from a depth perspective, from a (junior varsity) program perspective, we’re just on much healthier footing,” Lippert said. “It just kind of puts our minds at ease in terms of making our way through a varsity schedule and some semblance of a JV schedule last year. That’s certainly been one of the positives so far.”

With no COVID restrictions entering the fall season, Lippert said he thinks that may have also helped lift this year’s numbers.

“It think it had an effect on the numbers last year,” Lippert said. “I think some kids who were on the fence were like, ‘You know what? This doesn’t seem like it’s going to be fun this year.’ Our numbers were historically low at Cony. We worked in the hallways (recruiting) and all over the place trying to get more kids out for football. Having 60, 61 kids on the field for Day 1 was definitely a breath of fresh air for us.”


Cony will play a preseason scrimmage at Leavitt at 11 a.m. Saturday. Lippert said it will be a great chance for the team to get better against one of the top programs in Class C.

“We always try to play a good opponent (for the first scrimmage), Leavitt definitely fits that mold,” Lippert said.

“We install about 95 of our entire offense by Saturday,” Lippert added. “It’s kind of a cursory overview of it all, we can look at what looked good, what didn’t. We go back and we re-install it on Monday in preparation of our exhibition game against Bangor (next week)… On Saturday, I expect (the offense) to see a lot of mistakes, because it’s new, it’s the first time going against an opponent. And when you have 33-34 new kids, in some key spots, you’re going to make some mistakes.”


• • •



High school football fans itching to see some action will have some options this weekend.

Lawrence will travel to Brunswick for a 10 a.m. scrimmage Saturday. Lisbon, a Class D contender, will play defending Class C North champion Winslow at 11 a.m. Saturday. Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, which fell to Foxcroft Academy in the Class D state title game last November, will face Class A Bangor, also on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Cony High School field hockey players practice on Fuller Field earlier this week. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

At noon, Messalonskee kicks off a Class B North scrimmage at Skowhegan. At 3 p.m., Class D Madison hosts Class C Medomak Valley at Rudman Field. Edward Little will host Mt. Blue at 7 p.m.

More area scrimmages are lined up for Monday, too. Gardiner will play at Oak Hill at 2 p.m., while Waterville will host Mattanawcook in an eight-man scrimmage at 4 p.m. Mount View will travel to Ellsworth for a 4 p.m. scrimmage as well.


• • •



Winslow High will host the annual Central Maine Play Day field hockey event on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

The event, which started in 2012, has become an unofficial beginning of the high school field hockey season. Several teams throughout central Maine will participate. Teams will play 25-minute games.

“It’s something I always look forward to every year,” Winslow head coach Mary Beth Bourgoin said. “It’s like the first celebration of the season. It’s just become such a fun way to get things going.”

Skowhegan, Mt. Blue, Messalonskee, Nokomis, Gardiner, Erskine, Lawrence, Cony, Winthrop, Maine Central Institute, Maranacook and Mount View will compete. Biddeford, Falmouth and Gorham will also make the trip north to compete.

“If you talk to the coaches, I think we all have pretty much the same approach to the day,” Bourgoin said. “It’s a way for to say, ‘Okay, where are we (as a team)? What do we have going on that’s working?’ The other thing that I like to try is, ‘OK, let’s put this player in (a certain position), or (another position),’ and see what’s going to help develop the best fit for what we need for the team.”

A part of the afternoon that has become tradition at the Central Maine Play Day is the dance-off during the lunch period (scheduled between 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.), with teams showcasing their performing skills. Bourgoin said her team always looks forward to the dance-off, planning their performance days in advance.

“It’s become a big deal,” Bourgoin said. “(The team) starts preparing before the season starts. ‘OK, what are going to do for the song? When are we going to start working it out?’ Usually, in the morning we have a practice, and we’ll have a break, and they go ‘We’re going to work on our dance moves during the break.’ It’s just become a really good bonding experience for the team.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.