July 13, 2020

Many teams forced to adjust schedules

For high school and college athletic teams, the ice storm wreaked havoc on game schedules, caused players to miss valuable practice time and forced administrators to reschedule their teams to play four to five games a week.

In the storms first three days, more than 70 high school events were postponed.

By Jan. 12, Leroy Keller, the referee assigner for all Penobscot Valley Conference junior high and high school basketball games, faced the daunting task of assigning referees for the more than 250 games which had been rescheduled.

The storm came right after most schools were returning from a long Christmas vacaction when coaches had cut back on practice time. As a result, some teams had not practiced since New Years Eve and returned directly to ballgames without the benefit of practice sessions.

Bucksport High girls basketball coach Mike Archer said it was difficult for his team to play when it returned for a Jan. 13 contest against John Bapst Memorial High School of Bangor.

We recognized at halftime that we didnt have our legs, Archer said.

John Bapst also struggled, but won.

I think it took the kids 16 minutes at least just to get going. Thats just being rusty, John Bapst coach Len Miragliuolo said.

College teams also felt the storms impact. Some were lucky to get out of the state: The University of Maine hockey team managed to play a weekend series in Massachusetts Jan. 9-10.

The UMaine mens basketball team wasnt so lucky. The Bears Jan. 8 contest against Towson State at Alfond Arena in Orono was moved first from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., then to 2 p.m. the next day.

The game couldnt be played, was rescheduled for two weeks later, and Maines next opponent, Delaware, showed up for a Jan. 10 game at 1 p.m. Power was restored to Alfond Arena, but its emergency power batteries were shot, so UMaine officials moved the game to the Penobscot Job Corps gym in Bangor later that night.

Most college teams are now back on schedule, but the high schools continue to scramble to find playing dates. Schools in the Greater Waterville area didnt reopen until Tuesday.

Teams are attempting to get all their games in as most playoffs begin in the second week of February.

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