Mount Desert Island’s Aiden Grant looks to break free of a defender during the first half of a high school football game against Stearns/Schenck on Sept. 4 in Bar Harbor. MDI’s Week 2 game against Morse was canceled after MDI administration took time to investigate what MDI Regional School System Superintendent Marc Gousse called “a potential outbreak of COVID-19” at the school. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

MDI cancels weekend athletic activities

BAR HARBOR — COVID-19 forced the cancellations of all athletic activities at Mount Desert Island High School over the weekend.

MDI’s Week 2 football game against Morse, cross-country trail race fundraiser, all junior varsity games and all practices for Friday and Saturday were called off Friday afternoon. The cancellation came as MDI Regional School System began an investigation into what Superintendent Marc Gousse called “a potential outbreak of COVID-19” (three or more confirmed cases of the virus that are “epidemiologically linked”) at the school.

“We have contacted the Maine CDC to begin an investigation to determine the next step,” Gousse said in a letter distributed Friday to MDI Regional School System families. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are canceling all extracurricular activities this weekend.”

The cancellation affected the MDI football team’s home game against Morse. Originally scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, the Trojans’ eight-man showdown with the Shipbuilders was then moved to Saturday before announcement of the cancellation came just hours later.

The schedule change is the second in as many weeks for MDI football. A week earlier, the Trojans’ Week 1 plans were altered as Stearns/Schenck, which was originally set to face Mount View, arranged to play MDI in Bar Harbor following COVID-19 issues in the Mount View program. The Trojans had been preparing for a bye after the cancellation of Washington Academy’s season gave the team an open date.

Also affected was the MDI golf team’s matchup at Hermon Meadows Golf Course. The Trojans were scheduled to take on Hermon and Ellsworth in that match, which had been scheduled for Friday afternoon.

The investigation continued into Sunday with a possible further delay to in-personal school activities, athletics and other extracurriculars pending the outcome of the investigation. Late Sunday morning, MDI Principal Matt Haney announced that the findings of the investigation warranted no further disruptions to school activities.

“We have concluded the investigation and have determined that all MDIRSS schools will participate in full-time, in-person school on Monday,” Haney said. “This includes all after-school activities.”

MDI’s football game against Morse will not be rescheduled. The Trojans (0-1) will now play a six-game schedule that will resume with the team’s road game against Orono at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, at the University of Maine’s Alfond Stadium.

MDI was not the only Hancock County team to have its Week 2 football game canceled over COVID-19 as Ellsworth/Sumner’s game against Camden Hills and Bucksport’s game against Poland were also called off. In all, six Maine high school football games were canceled in Week 2.

MDI’s cross-country team, which was less than an hour away from the start of its annual trail race benefit at the time of the cancellation, will resume competition with a meet at George Stevens Academy at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17.

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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