Snowstorms can be unpredictable.
Bangor High School athletic director Steve Vanidestine found that out earlier this week in the aftermath of a rare October snowstorm.
“I went over to Cameron Stadium (home of the Bangor High football team) and they had 3 inches of snow. But we wound up with 6-7 inches at the high school. That’s a significant difference (in two spots) just three miles apart,” said Vanidestine, whose soccer field is at the high school.
With snow still on the Bangor High soccer field, Vanidestine was able to move Wednesday’s Eastern Maine Class A girls championship game between his Rams and Brunswick to the artificial surface at Husson University’s Boucher Field.
“Husson has been very good to us. We have a wonderful relationship with them,” said Vanidestine. “We couldn’t have played on our field.”
It won’t cost the high school anything because Husson and Bangor High have an agreement in place which sees them share each other’s facilities when available.
The Bangor boys and girls swim teams use the Husson pool, and Husson’s first-year women’s outdoor track team will use the track at Cameron Stadium next spring. Husson’s field hockey team occasionally practices at Bangor High’s field, according to Vanidestine.
Vanidestine said Brunswick athletic director Gene Keene was fine with the decision.
Vanidestine said the move to Husson will be beneficial to both teams.
“Whoever wins will play on a surface similar to that in the state game on Saturday,” said Vanidestine, referring to the artificial turf field at Falmouth High School.
Vanidestine acknowledged that even without the snowfall, the high school field is in less than ideal condition due to the usage.
The boys and girls varsity and JV teams use it. Bangor also fields freshman boys and girls soccer teams, but they play at Union Street.
Vanidestine said the soccer teams love the location of the home field and the setting next to the high school, but they won’t have an ideal situation until they replace the grass with an artificial surface.
A capital campaign is under way to raise $7 million over the next three years to replace Cameron Stadium with a multi-sport facility that will have an artificial surface. The hope is to have it done within five years.
In addition to football, the soccer and field hockey teams will have also have access to the facility, although they will play most of their games at the current fields, according to Vanidestine.
He said the facility will also be available to youth and middle school programs and the John Bapst football team will continue to use it as its home field for games.
But he also said after that project is finished, he would like to put artificial turf on the soccer field as soon possible after that.
If it appears as though it’s going to take a long time to get an artificial surface for the soccer field, he said “we’ll re-sod it.”
OTHER FIELDS WERE OK
Penobscot Valley High School athletic director Gerald Hutchinson was elated with the condition of his field, the host site for the Eastern D final between his Howler girls and Van Buren.
“If you had told me in August that we would have been able to host a playoff game in November, I would have told you that you were out of your mind,” said Hutchinson.
“It’s in the best condition it’s been in all year,” said Hutchinson, whose field was spared significant snowfall.
The field gets a lot of use as the boys and girls varsity teams share it with the JV teams and the junior high teams.
But Hutchinson said one of the parents donated a roller and they’ve rolled the field several times to get it ready.
He said they have put down some Speedy Dry on a few wet spots like the goal areas.
Hutchinson said their field was muddy in their 4-1 quarterfinal win over Central Aroostook of Mars Hill.
He offered to push the game back in order to work on the field, but Central Aroostook wanted to play that day, according to Hutchinson.
The field was in very good shape for the Howlers’ 1-0 win over Fort Fairfield, he said.
“Fort Fairfield was shocked (at the good conditions),” said Hutchinson, who has worked on the field with parents throughout the playoffs.
Hutchinson said having the field in good condition is special because PVHS hosting a regional championship soccer game is rare.
“It may be 30 years since we last hosted one,” said Hutchinson.
Central High of Corinth athletic director Matt Arsenault said his field was a “little muddy” for the its girls C title game with Orono, but other than that it was fine.
He said they applied some Turface, which, like Speedy Dry, acts as a drying agent on the field.
Arsenault said he is in favor of having the regional championship games on artificial turf fields so the players aren’t forced to play on wet or frozen surfaces.
The other EM championship girls game, Class B, featured Hermon at Presque Isle, which plays on an artificial turf field.