ELLSWORTH — Fund-raising, the need for a playing field and creation of a new high school-level program are among the items on the agenda for the first annual meeting of the fledgling Ellsworth Football League on Thursday, April 8, at 6 p.m. at the former Bryant E. Moore School.
“Things are going really good,” said league spokesman and coach Duane Crawford this week.
The league attracted nearly 100 young players for last fall’s season, fielding three teams — grades 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8.
This year, the program will expand to include a team for high school-level players, and Crawford said 30 to 40 athletes already are expected to participate.
That’s in addition to numbers similar to those of last year at the lower age levels, he said.
Anyone interested in the development of the football league is invited to the annual meeting. The league is open to players from grades 3-12 from all towns in Regional School Unit 24.
High on the current list of needs is access to a suitable playing field, said Crawford.
“These are all kids from Ellsworth and the surrounding communities,” said Crawford. “Whether they’re playing football or soccer or baseball, they should have access to playing fields.”
Talks have been going on with the Ellsworth Recreation Committee concerning the use of Wilson Field at the DeMeyer Field complex, he said.
There also is the possibility of some use of Del Luce Stadium if the new Ellsworth High School soccer field is completed in time for the fall season.
Current plans are for the new high school-level team to play all of its games on the road, said Crawford.
With a year of experience, the league also is considering some changes at the lower levels.
“We learned from our mistakes of last year,” said Crawford. “With 30-plus on each team, we had a hard time getting everybody into games.”
If numbers remain as expected this year, he said, those squads probably will be split into two teams each to give all of the youngsters ample playing opportunity.
The league will soon be embarking on a fund-raising campaign with a goal of about $32,000, an amount similar to that raised last year.
“The big part of that will be for equipment we didn’t buy last year,” said Crawford, noting that it costs upwards of $600 per player to equip those in the high school-level program.
An equipment representative will be at the Lamoine Consolidated School gymnasium on Sunday, April 25, starting at 10 a.m. to fit players for equipment and uniforms.
The new high school-age team is expected to make its debut at a controlled scrimmage under the lights at Hermon High School on Saturday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m.