Caleb King said some of his favorite times as a student at Greely High were with the football team. Now, as the Rangers’ new head coach, King hopes to help the new generation of players enjoy those same experiences.

“Coming from Cumberland and playing for Greely, I thought it was a great opportunity to continue in that winning tradition we’ve had. It was something I was really proud to be a part of,” King said.

King, 29, will be coaching football for the first time. A 2011 graduate of Greely and a 2015 graduate of Husson University, where he was a wide receiver for four seasons, King is the general manager of MJ Storey, a Cumberland-based landscape construction firm.

Both the return of Greely football and King’s appointment as head coach were approved Monday by the school board. The Rangers will play in eight-man football’s large school division.

Greely disbanded its football program after the 2018 season, when the Rangers went 5-5 and reached the second round of the Class B South playoffs. Since 2019, Greely football players have played on a cooperative team with Falmouth. In March, Athletic Director David Shapiro began meeting with students interested in reforming the program. Since then, approximately 20 athletes have been holding regular weight room workouts with others participating in a spring sport, Shapiro said.

When the players expressed interest in bringing back the football program, they said they’ll be willing to do whatever it takes, even if it meant competing as a junior varsity program. Shapiro said that was never an option.

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“We told them, this has to be varsity or nothing. It has to be eight-man or nothing,” Shapiro said. “This is a huge leap of faith for us.”

Shapiro cited the number of Greely alumni who have been successful head coaches at the school, including current baseball coach Derek Soule, girls’ lacrosse coach Becca Koelker, and boys’ lacrosse coach Mike Storey.

“Anytime you can hire somebody from within, it’s a good fit,” Shapiro said. “We have a pretty good tradition of having alumni come back to have success as coaches.”

When he accepted the job, King said the first thing he did was read the officials handbook to familiarize himself with the rules of eight-man football. Now, he’ll need to learn the intricacies of the eight-man game, along with the skill sets of his Greely players so he can tailor offensive and defensive schemes.

One thing King likes about eight-man football is the fast pace of the game.

“No matter what kind of football you play, your fundamentals are the same,” King said. “The first thing I need to learn is our players’ skills. Whatever we decide to do as a far as Xs and Os wise, we need to do it to our players’ strengths.”

 


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