Last Friday, thunderstorms halted football games.

This Saturday, a hurricane is likely to eliminate all high school events.

Welcome to the wacky weather world that high school athletic directors have to try to navigate.

“Hopefully tomorrow looks good and Friday looks good but, holy smokes, as far as the weather, we haven’t had a great summer, and the early fall hasn’t been any better,” said Rich Drummond, the AD at Windham High.

Like several of his peers, Drummond had to make the decision to clear Windham’s football stadium last Friday when lightning started to illuminate the sky. Bangor returned to Windham on Saturday to complete the final 10:10 of the third quarter and play the fourth quarter. Windham won, 35-6.

“This is my 24th year as an athletic director, and that was my first lightning suspension of a football game,” Drummond said.


Hurricane Lee, a Category 3 hurricane, is creeping up the Atlantic seaboard. As of midday Wednesday, Lee is expected to lose intensity and drop to tropical storm status but grow in size. Its effects are expected to impact Maine on Saturday.

“I’m seeing that Friday is looking good and we are trying to hold Thursday and Friday as scheduled,” said Gorham AD Tim Spear.

Further complicating things is the persistent rain so far in the fall sports season. Drummond said when he looked at the Doppler radar Tuesday, he thought everything would be fine after a brief shower around the time school let out.

“Well, that shower wasn’t a shower. It was pouring rain from 2 to 6, 7 o’clock. The weather is a big part of our jobs, and sometimes trying to outsmart Mother Nature, it’s difficult,” Drummond said.

Spear postponed Gorham’s girls’ soccer game against Windham from Wednesday to Thursday because of forecasted rain. He also postponed the Southern Maine Classic cross country meet, scheduled for Saturday, until Monday.

Maine residents are being urged to take precautions because much of the state is expected to see high winds, heavy rain and coastal flooding on Saturday.

Power outages from downed trees are likely. Wind gusts are expected to be in the 40-to-60 mile per hour range up and down the coast. Trees are heavier with full leaf coverage, and their root systems less stable because of the already saturated ground. Inland flash flooding is also a threat.

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