May 24, 2018
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Deering captures 7-on-7 football title

Michael C. York/BDN | BDN
Michael C. York/BDN | BDN
Belfast quarterback Matt Smith has his eye on a receiver downfield in their game of 7-on-7 football against Bangor during a round robin tourney at the University of Maine in Orono Saturday.
BDN staff reports

ORONO — Portland’s Deering High School emerged as the winner of the 7-on-7 football round robin tournament at the University of Maine’s Alfond Stadium Saturday.

Seven high school teams played six games apiece. Each game was 25 minutes on a 50-yard field with no contact allowed and each team has three downs to gain 15 yards. Both teams go in the same direction.

Bangor, Belfast, Bonny Eagle of Standish, Brewer, Lawrence of Fairfield and Deering took part.

“It was good for the kids,” said Hampden Academy coach Harry McCluskey. “It was about getting better more than it was about winning.”

UMaine football coaches officiated the game. It was the first time UMaine hosted the event.

“It was well done. They did a real good job of organizing it,” said McCluskey.

Because the state requires two weeks of “dead week,” where football players can’t do any skill work for two weeks prior to Aug. 15, it was the last play time for players before preseason.

“I think it was perfect timing for the high school,” said McCluskey. “In time, (the tournament) will involve a lot more schools.”

Because players weren’t allowed to hit or block, McCluskey likened the games to other non-contact sports.

“It’s a lot like baseball, softball and basketball. You kind of take out the contact and it’s a lot of fun for the kids,” he said.

Deering compiled a 6-0 record in the tourney.

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