Charlie’s Field at the Maxwell Athletic Complex in Winthrop was empty Thursday afternoon, as a mass shooting in Lewiston on Wednesday night resulted in the school closing. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The Mt. Blue High School boys soccer team, fresh off its defeat at Lewiston High in a Class A North quarterfinal game Wednesday night, stopped at an Auburn restaurant for a post-game meal to unwind before returning to Farmington.

And that’s when an otherwise quiet evening erupted into one of chaos and terror, after the team and others inside Chipotle Mexican Grill learned of a shooting at Just-In-Time Recreation in nearby Lewiston.

“The workers explained the situation, that there was this guy going around to businesses in the local area and that we had to get out of there for safety precautions,” said Mt. Blue boys soccer coach Zac Conlogue. “It just really puts the game into perspective. You just had a great game (a tight 1-0 overtime defeat), then that happens, and you’re wondering, ‘Wow, does the game even really matter at this point?’ You’re thinking about the victims.”

State and federal law enforcement officials on Thursday were searching for a Bowdoin man suspected of killing 18 people and wounding 13 others in a pair of shootings in Lewiston on Wednesday night. It’s most likely the deadliest shooting in state history.

The shootings and subsequent manhunt for the suspect — Robert Card, 40, of Bowdoin had many in the state on edge. Shelter-in-place orders were instituted in several counties, including Androscoggin.

The rampage also came as high school sports teams across the state were preparing to compete in state tournament competition. The Maine Principals’ Association announced Thursday it had postponed the cross-country state championships from Saturday to Nov. 4 in Belfast. The volleyball state finals scheduled Friday were also pushed to next week. Some soccer, field hockey and football playoff games were also postponed this weekend.


It was unclear when, or if, those contests would be rescheduled.

Many coaches and athletic directors across central Maine said Thursday the shootings have deeply impacted their school and teams.

Charlie’s Field at the Maxwell Athletic Complex in Winthrop was empty Thursday afternoon, as a mass shooting in Lewiston on Wednesday night resulted in the school closing. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Carrabec Athletic Director Erik Carey said he would be uncomfortable with hosting “any event anywhere” with the suspect still at large, as was the case Thursday afternoon. His girls soccer team had its eight-player South semifinal game against Madison postponed from Friday to Monday. The semifinal boys game was also postponed to early next week.

“Nobody seems to be biting at the bit; they all seem to be understanding that what’s going on here is bigger than high school soccer,” Carey said. “I had a conversation with two of our players, and it was clearly a tone of understanding when I told them we had to pause. These are teenagers that are really understanding the significance of this.”

While many coaches and athletic directors supported the postponement of some high school sporting events, others said it’s important for the games to be played.

“It’s a horrible, horrible tragedy,” Skowhegan field hockey coach Paula Doughty said, “but I am a firm believer that life should go on. It’s very important that we keep things as normal as we can for the kids. The first thing we will do is talk about the tragedy with the team, because not every kid has that opportunity.”


The River Hawks had their A North semifinal game Saturday against Edward Little postponed. A makeup date has not been determined.

“It’s too bad,” Doughty said. “We are a ways away from what’s happening. We need to keep these kids together.”

Mt. Blue football coach Matt Friedman said some students at the school had connections to the victims. The Cougars are scheduled to play a B North quarterfinal game Friday night at Cony. A decision whether to play that game will be made by noon Friday, Cony Athletic Director T.J. Maines said. 

Cony is also scheduled to Host Nokomis in a B North field hockey semifinal game on Saturday at 11 a.m.

“This has already impacted people in our building already,” Maines said. “How’s that impacting our coaches? How’s that impacting our athletes? We weren’t able to practice (Thursday). Field hockey is supposed to play on Saturday. Is that fair to them? I don’t know if Nokomis is practicing, but they could be; they’re further away from all of this. I do not want to penalize (Cony teams), by not being able to practice, participate, do the things they need to do to be at their best.

“After the worrying about where my coaches and my players are at mentally, and how this is impacting them emotionally, then it’s the practicality of them being able to prepare to play.”


The Skowhegan football team is slated to play at Gardiner in another B North quarterfinal game Friday night. Skowhegan interim coach Brad Cyr said he felt a resolution to the situation would have to be reached before any games could be played. 

“As much as we love football and want to play football, there are things in the world that are bigger than our sport,” Cyr said. 

Whenever the game is played, it will be a welcomed relief for Gardiner coach Pat Munzing, who is a Maine State Police trooper. Munzing said he was called into Lewiston on Wednesday night to assist law enforcement.

Charlie’s Field at the Maxwell Athletic Complex in Winthrop was empty Thursday afternoon, as a mass shooting in Lewiston on Wednesday night resulted in the school closing. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“I’ve got a really good network of troopers that I work with,” Munzing said. “I’ve got a coaching staff that’s handling stuff on that end, as well as being able to communicate with our athletic director (Nate Stubbert). And I’ve got a really supportive wife (Lisa Munzing), who has been fantastic through the whole thing. I was at practice, came home at dinner, got a phone call and then was dressed and out the door. I (woke) back up at six this morning to go to work. It’s something that we as troopers and in law enforcement prepare for, that stress, the change and the sleep deprivation stuff.

“(Football) is my release. That’s why I coach, to be able to give back and check out from the law enforcement stuff. As far as comfortability, with the dual role of being in the law enforcement community, once we find this guy and we get the all clear, go ahead and play.”

Munzing is far from the only member of the Gardiner athletic department closely associated to the shootings in Lewiston.


The tragedy also hit closer to home for Stubbert, the Gardiner athletic director.

“It resonates really closely with me, one of my family members was killed (Wednesday night),” said Stubbert, who is in his fifth year at Gardiner. “I would feel comfortable getting back to play (after the shooter’s capture), for sure. But, as of right now, we have to use an abundance of caution. It’s just crazy what’s happening right now.”


Central Maine Sports Editor Bill Stewart contributed to this report.

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