Lewiston and at least three more teams join the list of high school football squads in Maine that have players in quarantine because of issues related to COVID-19.

Marshwood, winners of five of the past six Class B championships, has half of its team in quarantine and had to cancel its preseason scrimmage later this week in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The Brewer and Noble football teams also have players in quarantine. Earlier this week, the programs at Massabesic, Morse and Winslow confirmed that they’ve had to halt or alter practices because of COVID-19 concerns.

Maine’s regular season starts Sept. 3.

“We had one positive case on our team. The kid became symptomatic after the Sanford scrimmage,” said Marshwood Athletic Director Rich Buzzell, referring to a four-team jamboree held last Saturday at Sanford High School. Noble High of North Berwick and Windham also attended the jamboree.

Buzzell said 24 of Marshwood’s 48 players are still eligible to practice and play because they are fully vaccinated. Buzzell said Marshwood was prepared to play Friday’s scrimmage, but the Portsmouth school superintendent declined.

Marshwood’s unvaccinated players can return to practice Tuesday if they are asymptomatic. The player who tested positive for COVID-19 will have to go through an additional four-day reacclimation program.

“In my opinion, this is the tip of the iceberg. (Maine) will experience this in all sports and it will happen all fall,” Buzzell said.

COVID-19 cases have been spiking this summer in Maine and across the country as the delta variant spreads. On Wednesday, the Maine CDC reported 287 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily total in the state since mid-May.

Lewiston, Brewer and Gorham played in a three-team scrimmage Saturday at Lewiston High School. A COVID-positive player was later reported by Brewer.

Lewiston will not play its next scrimmage, scheduled for Thursday at South Portland. None of its players has COVID-19, but unvaccinated players are having to quarantine because they are considered close contacts in light of the scrimmage involving the Brewer player who tested positive.

“We have 15 to 20 in quarantine,” said Lewiston Athletic Director Jason Fuller, who added he made the decision there were not enough varsity players eligible to scrimmage. Lewiston’s first day of quarantine was Sunday.

Brewer Athletic Director David Utterback said in a text message his team has enough non-quarantined players to participate in Friday’s scrimmage at Hampden Academy, “unless things change tomorrow.”

Noble head coach Keenon Blindow said “about 20, 21” of his 60 players are in quarantine after scrimmaging Marshwood. Noble does plan to play its scrimmage against York.

Windham and Sanford have opted to not play in planned scrimmages this week, although it is unclear whether that is because of COVID-related concerns. Windham was supposed to play Scarborough, while Sanford was to play Falmouth/Greely. South Portland will now play at Falmouth/Greely in Cumberland on Friday.

As of Wednesday night, Gorham’s exhibition game at Messalonskee and Noble’s scrimmage with York were still listed as scheduled to be played.

Massabesic, Winslow and Morse are forgoing their preseason scrimmages in hopes of being able to play their season openers.

That some teams can continue to play despite having quarantined players speaks to what may be this year’s most important high school sports statistic: a team’s vaccination rate.

“If you’re vaccinated, you don’t have to quarantine. So if you’re a team that’s primarily vaccinated, you’ll be in good shape,” Fuller said.

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