Struggling high school football programs get a chance to rebuild

Struggling programs get a chance to rebuild

ROCKPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - High school football looks a little different in Maine this season. The Maine Principals Association have implemented a Class E, which provides struggling high school programs the chance to rebuild.

There are six teams in Class E, including Camden Hills. Two years ago the Windjammers had to end their 2015 season early following too many injuries to an already small roster. They did not play last year, but are taking the field this season with the goal of building a program that can compete at a high level in the future. 

"I have a sibling who would like to play in the future," said Camden Hills junior cornerback and wide receiver Connor Hedstrom. "If we don't capitalize now then it is detrimental to the future of our program and not just our team."

Class E teams all share the same struggles of high school programs trying to get the next level. They do not play for a championship, but for the opportunity to get better. At Camden Hills, the team has found solace in knowing that they aren't alone.

"It feels a lot more evenly matched," said Hedstrom. "I feel a sense of comfort knowing that we aren't the only people in this position. There are other teams trying to work it all out and there is a sense of comfort knowing that you guys aren't the only ones." 

Camden Hills head coach Jeremy Marks believes that the situation his team is in in Class E has challenged them to face the program's obstacles head on. The Windjammers have a roster of 22 kids and are hoping to expand the program in the seasons to come.

"I think the boys now that the chips are stacked against us and I think that sometimes that works to your advantage in football in the sense that adversity builds character," said head coach Jeremy Marks.

Marks is in his first season as head coach, and has seen the motivation class E has given his team to continue to grow. 

"I think they feel validated. They feel that they are a part of something. That they are legitimized by being in a classification," said Marks.

Camden Hills is 2-2 so far this year. They will have an off week after fellow Class E member Traip Academy ended their season this past week because of too many injuries. for the future of the team, the Windjammers feel good about the current state of the program.

"At this point we are probably in the best position that we could be," said Headstrom. "In the end it turned out for the best I think."  

 

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