Young team hones skills

ROCKPORT — The Mount Desert Island High School football team held their own in their first interscholastic matchup Monday, against Camden Hills.

“They played really hard,” Coach Mark Shields said. “We had some success moving the ball. Defensively we played pretty well, too, but there’s lots of room for improvement.”

Junior Colby Candage has been “getting most of the reps” as quarterback, Shields said. Freshman Andrew Phelps has been playing quarterback with the second group. “Both of them are coming along nicely,” he said.

A solid core in the backfield includes senior fullback Sandy Henggeler and junior running back Taner Bickford, each in the starting lineup for the third year, and senior Jalique Keene. Henggeler and Keene each averaged about 8 yards per carry in the scrimmage Monday, exploiting the holes opened by the offensive line.

“We’re a younger team this year,” Shields said. “It’s been a nice group; they all work really hard every day. We’ve had a good preseason so far.”

Double practice days ended Wednesday with the first day of school around the corner.

MDI is set to host Ellsworth-Sumner Friday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. In most high school sports, the Eagles are the Trojans’ primary rival, but in football, Ellsworth plays in the Class D league. It’s a newer program, as the school has focused more on boys’ soccer for many years.

Regular season games begin for the Trojans Saturday, Sept. 6, 1 p.m. at Nokomis. Homecoming is set for Sept. 12 at 7 p.m., hosting Belfast.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.