Copyright 2014 Bangor Daily News
BANGOR, Maine -- Work is continuing on upgrades to Cameron Stadium, home of the Bangor High School football team and numerous other local athletic entities.
After playing all their home games on Saturday afternoons last season while the stadium's electrical and lighting system was being upgraded, the Rams will play all home games under the lights this fall, beginning with the September 12 contest against Scarborough.
The new lighting was turned on for the first time last spring and is ready to go, said Bangor High School athletic administrator Steve Vanidestine. With the stadium's electrical needs now linked to the adjacent William S. Cohen School rather than connected to the power grid separately like the previous light system, the school department that operates the facility will save an estimated $20,000 per year in demand fees.
Vanidestine said the return to Friday night home games would be beneficial on several fronts, among them the fact that the high school team won't have to compete for fans on Saturday afternoons with University of Maine and Husson University home games, and it will allow players to have some additional weekend rest on both Saturdays and Sundays after Friday night home games rather than playing those games on Saturdays.
Bangor is scheduled to play just one Saturday afternoon regular-season game this season, that on Oct. 18 at Cheverus of Portland.
Coach Mark Hackett's Rams, who finished 5-5 and reached the Eastern Maine Class A semifinals last fall in the first season of the Maine Principals' Association's new four-class format, open their 2014 campaign at Edward Little of Auburn on Sept. 5. After hosting Scarborough the following week, Bangor faces back-to-back road trips to Portland for games Sept. 19 at Deering and Sept. 26 at Portland High School.
Bangor then plays three of its final four regular-season contests in the Queen City, beginning with home dates against Windham on Oct. 3 and Lewiston on Oct. 10.
After traveling to Cheverus, the Rams will conclude the regular season with their homecoming game against Oxford Hills of South Paris on Oct. 24.
By the time Bangor hosts Windham, new restroom facilities should be completed and operational just behind the year-old main grandstand at the stadium.
Vanidestine said all the preparation work involving plumbing, wiring and electricity has been completed, with the end of September serving as the target date for completion of the building.
Portable toilets will be available on site for the team's early season home game against Scarborough, he added.
Vanidestine said the next phase of the continuing renovations likely would involve construction of locker room facilities, perhaps in another year.
John Bapst Memorial High School of Bangor, which also has traditionally played home games at Cameron Stadium, is scheduled to play just one regular-season contest at the facility this year, that the Crusaders' homecoming game against Ellsworth-Sumner on Friday, Oct. 17.
Coach Dan O'Connell's club will host two other Friday night games at Husson University, on Sept. 12 against Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln and on Sept. 26 against Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield.
John Bapst's final regular-season "home" date of the season will be its annual Senior Night rivalry against Orono scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 30, at the University of Maine in Orono.
Bangor-Hampden soccer doubleheaders slated
One of the more intense soccer rivalries in Eastern Maine will be played in doubleheader fashion this fall.
Boys and girls varsity doubleheaders between the Bangor and Hampden Academy boys and girls soccer teams have been scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 11, at Hampden and Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Bangor.
That second meeting would represent the final regular-season matches for both schools.
In recent years the schools typically played boys and girls varsity contests against each other on the same evenings, but with the boys game at one location and the girls match at the other school at either the same time or with staggered starts.
Bangor athletic administrator Steve Vanidestine said he and Hampden Academy athletic administrator Mike Bisson determined that staging the annual meetings between the local rivals as a pair of twin bills would be beneficial to fans who wanted to see both the boys and girls varsity games and could provide a boost to the boosters' club of the respective home teams through additional concession sales with the potential for larger crowds.
The junior varsity matches between the teams have been scheduled for different dates, clearing the way for the varsity-only showcases.
The Sept. 11 doubleheader on Hampden Academy's artificial turf field will begin with the girls match at 4 p.m. followed by the boys match at 6 p.m. The times are reversed for the Oct. 21 rematch on Bangor's natural grass surface, with the boys at 4 p.m. and the girls at 6.
Hampden is the defending Eastern A boys champion, while the Bangor boys have won two state titles and three regional crowns in the last eight years. The Bangor girls are the four-time defending Eastern A champions.