WATERBORO, Maine — The high school football game between the Massabesic Mustangs and Sanford Spartans scheduled for Friday night in Sanford has been postponed until Saturday at 1 p.m. due to rumors of violence.
According to David Theoharides, the Sanford School superintendent, there was a rumor that some boys from Massabesic in nearby Waterboro intended to bring a gun to the game.
“A girl learned about it from her boyfriend. He had overheard a group of boys in the Massabesic parking lot talking about it,” Theoharides told the BDN Friday.
The girl reported it to the Massabesic High School resource police officer and it prompted an investigation by the resource officer and the Massabesic administration.
“It turned out to be unsubstantiated,” said Theoharides, who also noted that there were rumors about a fight taking place at the game between fans of the two rival schools.
There had been some trash talking on Facebook between students from the two schools during the week, which also played into the situation.
Theoharides said administrators at both schools decided the best course of action was to move the game from Friday night to Saturday afternoon.
“Friday night football is a lot of fun but, at this point, it’s a lot easier to handle [security] at a day game,” said Theoharides.
He wasn’t sure if there would be added security at the game but he did say there will be a “heightened awareness” due to the situation.
“We normally have six police officers at our home games and we understand that some of Massabesic’s administrators will be coming to the game as will our administrators,” said Theoharides. “We’re going to take the high road and make sure we have the coverage we need to ensure it’s a safe environment.”
He said his football coach, Mike Fallon, met with the players on Friday and that they intended to leave the lights on at the football field Friday night to help prevent any kind of vandalism.
Theoharides said the one positive aspect of the issue is the fact a student came forward to report a potential problem to the administration.
“Ever since [the school shootings at] Columbine, we have instructed our students to come forward and tell an adult if they hear about something like this. In this case, she reported it to the administration and they acted on it,” said Theoharides.
In the eight-team Western Maine Class A standings, Sanford is in sixth place with a 3-4 record while Massabesic is last at 1-6.