A year ago, the Calvary Chapel boys soccer team took a No. 1 ranking and a 16-0 record into the Eastern Maine Class D championship game.
This year, the Sabers’ season was ended before it began.
The Orrington school opted to suspend its team for the 2011 season because it had an insufficient number of players come out for the squad, according to Calvary Chapel athletic director Jim Lord.
Just 10 players attended tryouts, one short of the 11 needed to put a full team on the field.
“That’s why we did it,” said Lord, “and if we didn’t do it before the season we wouldn’t be able to have a (varsity) team for two years.”
Under Maine Principals’ Association rules, had the team started the season and then had to stop playing midway through its schedule, it would not have been able to field a team for the next two years, but Calvary Chapel’s decision will allow the school to field a boys varsity soccer team in 2012 if it has a sufficient number of players.
Last year’s team, which reached the regional final before falling to eventual state champion Bangor Christian, had approximately 15 players on its roster.
But several of the players graduated and Lord said three others transferred to different schools, two to Bangor Christian and one to Brewer, leaving the team shorthanded for this season.
Lord did say the school is attempting to put together a subvarsity schedule this fall for the players who remain, something that is allowed under MPA rules.
Calvary Chapel is still fielding a girls varsity team this fall. The Sabers were scheduled to open their regular season at Greenville on Tuesday afternoon.
HODGDON BOYS RETURN
A boys soccer program that had to suspend operations a year ago is back this season in a slightly different configuration.
Hodgdon High School has joined forces with Greater Houlton Christian Academy to form a cooperative team, which was off to a 2-1 start heading into Tuesday’s scheduled game at Central Aroostook of Mars Hill.
Hodgdon began preseason practices last year but suspended its team before playing its first game after attracting only seven players.
During the subsequent offseason, officials from Hodgdon and Greater Houlton Christian Academy talked about the possibility of forming cooperative soccer teams, since GHCA didn’t offer soccer at its school and the two schools had already collaborated last year in cross country and golf.
The schools reached an agreement, and while there are no GHCA players on this year’s Hodgdon girls soccer squad, the boys soccer roster has 16 players, 15 from Hodgdon and one from Greater Houlton Christian Academy.
“It’s a positive for us,” said GHCA athletic administrator Barrett Potter. “For us it was a win-win and for Hodgdon it was a win-win, because from working with them in the different sports, kids from both schools have access to sports that they wouldn’t have had at their own school.”
The Hodgdon boys soccer team competed in Class C in 2009 and would have again in 2010 after playing in Class D the previous two years. The team would have been eligible to return to Class D this fall under reclassification, but the addition of the Greater Houlton Christian Academy enrollment pushed the cooperative team back into Eastern Maine Class C for the next two years.
Hodgdon, which finished 1-11-2 in 2009, already has surpassed that win total this season. Coach Mark Morin’s club has victories over Limestone Community School/Maine School of Science and Mathematics and Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook to go with a loss to Wisdom of Saint Agatha.
The Hodgdon girls soccer team, with no GHCA players, competes in Class D and also was scheduled to play at Central Aroostook on Tuesday.