Camden Hills First HS To Opt Out of Fall Sports

The news cycle in Maine was filled all week with information about whether or not high school sports would take place this fall. On Tuesday the Maine Principal's Association announced it was delaying its recommendation on the upcoming fall sports season. A final decision is expected by Thursday, August 27th.

On Friday afternoon Camden Hills High School announced via Facebook that they would not have a traditional interscholastic sports season. 

According to the post, the administrators said, "We have reached the point where we can no longer wait to see if the MPA or State of Maine will even allow interscholastic athletics. We feel the path forward is very clear and apparent. We have come to the disappointing conclusion that there is no way to adequately minimize the risks of mixing our student population with other school populations in thinking about league competition."  

Camden Hills becomes the first school to opt-out ahead of the MPA's decision next week. 

We contacted standout cross-country runner Claire Wyman who finished 16th in the Class A state meet in 2019 shortly after the decision to get her thoughts.

Wyman wrote to us, "I am disappointed that Camden Hills has made the decision to cancel all fall sports rather than considering that some sports may be better suited to competition this fall than others. However, I am not especially surprised that Camden Hills has failed to consider the possibilities for non-contact sports such as cross country, given the school's history of overlooking the cross country team. In the 2019-20 Five Town CSD Annual Report, the school failed to mention the girls' cross country team's wins at KVACs and the more-competitive Northern Regionals while touting the swim team's KVAC wins. When we won the state championship my freshman year, the school neglected to arrange the celebratory police and fire escort back through Camden which the soccer team enjoyed when they won. Additionally, while the school has barred students who participate in "club sports" from attending practice with school teams, it seems these students will still be permitted to attend school. I find this concerning because these students may be competing on travel teams without social distancing measures in Southern Maine counties with a higher prevalence of COVID 19, jeopardizing in-person learning for everyone."

The Camden Hills cross-country program is a traditional state championship contender in Class A. The Windjammers finished fourth in the state meet in 2019 as a team. They were expected to be one of the top teams again this fall with Wyman one of the top individual runners in the state.

It is worth watching if other school districts follow the path of Camden Hills ahead of the MPA's decision next week.