Campers line up for drills during the University of Maine at Farmington Soccer Camp last year. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The cancellation of summer camps and leagues means boredom and frustration for athletes and parents, who will face the hot, sultry weather without these activities.

The University of Maine at Farmington holds a large soccer camp for children of all ages that has been called off this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The UMF Soccer Camp has been canceled for this June,” said Molly Wilkie, who runs the camp and is the UMF women’s soccer coach. “We are hopeful that we can hold youth clinics this fall for our community.”

COVID-19 is also hurting schools’ pocketbooks when summer leagues and school-sponsored camps are closed down. 

The Western Mountain 7v7 Soccer Classic, which features nearly 50 high school teams competing against each other, will likely also be canceled, according to Mt. Abram boys soccer coach Darren Allen, who, along with his wife, Angel, organizes the event. 

For the past 10 years in Strong, family, friends and athletes have gathered under the evening skies as girls and boys soccer teams competed on Mt. Abram’s four soccer fields for a title — and a lot of summer fun — with plenty of food against the backdrop of a huge mountain. Fans are treated to soccer games that run until 10 p.m.

“We are probably not going to have it,” Darren Allen said. “We haven’t officially made an announcement, but pretty much have made the decision. We just haven’t put it out there, yet.”

Allen admitted he is frustrated, even though he understands the nation is confronting a deadly virus.

“I feel horrible for the senior class. My only questions is what is the end game?” he said. “When is it OK? When is it OK to do things?  At first, I was completely understanding and on board. Up here, we do this every day. We don’t see everybody every day. We don’t go out. The only thing is we go to school. That’s about all we do.”

Allen pointed out that the nearest large coronavirus outbreak was at nursing home in Farmington.

“Farmington is 25 minutes away from us,” he said. “I have a senior. He is totally frustrated. They are going to have some sort of graduation. It is better than I thought. They are going to have it in the gym. They can invite a certain number of family members. There is going to be a ceremony, but I just don’t see an end game. “

Then there is the bottom line to consider after the soccer tournament is canceled.

“It brought in major money for our boys and girls programs at our high school,” he said.  “It had a huge impact on what we could do. We are just going to have to deal.”

The Allens will miss the frenetic pace of organizing such a larger tournament this summer.

“We have a lot of fun with it and it’s a lot work,”Allen said, “but we’ve had a lot of people come from a long distance. You know, they enjoyed themselves. They loved it.

“We got so many positive comments about our school, where it is located and how beautiful it was and the great job we did, and the kids get to play. That’s the best part.“

Mt. Blue track coach Kelley Cullenberg won’t be making her annual sojourn north to coach a cross country camp this summer.

“I am the director of the Acadian Running Camp held in Bar Harbor every July,” she said. ‘This camp was created to unite incoming high school freshmen through first-year collegiate athletes from Maine who participate in cross country and track. 

“Given the fact that the state of Maine continues to have new cases of COVID-19 confirmed almost daily, we had to consider the health of our staff, the campers and everyone else who lives in the area. This is a highlight of each summer, and so it is with a heavy heart that we canceled.” 

Spruce Mountain girls basketball coach Zach Keene wasn’t sure if his his summer basketball league program will be canceled, too.

“I will know by the end of the week,” Keene said.

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