SACO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Former UMaine players Rob Kierstead (South Portland) and Kendrick Ballantyne (Gorham) started the year as assistants for the semi-pro Maine Sabers. Before they knew, they were back to strapping up the pads.
After some urging from team owner and placekicker Stephen Goodrich, Kierstead (starting middle linebacker/linebackers coach) and Ballantyne (starting tight end/receivers coach) decided the temptation to play again was too much to pass up.
Kierstead last played for the Black Bears ten years ago. Ballantyne retired from professional football five years ago after playing with the Baltimore Ravens in the 2007.
They've helped the Sabers to a 9-0 record in the New England Football League playoffs, clinching a bye before their regular season finale on Sunday.
Maine is also ranked in the top 20 nationally.