ELLSWORTH — The 2017 season marked the first time that the recently revived Ellsworth/Sumner football team was eligible to participate in the Class D North playoffs. Thanks to a late-season surge, the Eagles didn’t let that opportunity go to waste.Ellsworth/Sumner won the final three games of the season in October to clinch the playoffs for the first time in history. The appearance marked the football program’s high-water mark since the varsity team returned after a hiatus of nearly six decades in 2012The Eagles had played well all season but found themselves on the losing end of several tight games. The team was 1-4 through the first five weeks but had the lead at halftime in the majority of those games.Ellsworth/Sumner players Charlie Hughes (left) and Ethan DesJardin tackle Houlton’s Ethan Carter during the first half of a high school football game Sept. 22 in Ellsworth. The victory was the first of the year for the Eagles, who later won their final three games to earn their first playoff bid. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL“The Hermon game was the only game where we weren’t really in it, but other than that, we competed with everybody,” head coach Duane Crawford said. “We knew that if we kept the spirits up and continued doing what we did, things were going to pan out.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textOn Oct. 7, the turnaround began when the Eagles beat Stearns in Millinocket for the second year in a row. The 49-7 score marked the biggest margin of victory in team history.In Week 7, Ellsworth/Sumner beat Orono 41-3 to avenge a loss the previous season in blowout fashion. The team continued its scoring rampage into Week 8 and secured the No. 5 seed in the Class D North playoffs with a 48-12 home win over Washington Academy.Although Ellsworth/Sumner fell to Dexter 34-20 in the first round, the defeat didn’t put a damper on what had been a historic campaign. After 56 seasons without a team and five without eligibility because of the Maine Principals’ Association’s rules regarding cooperative partnerships, the Eagles finally had a playoff berth to their name.“You spend years trying to build things up through feeder programs, teaching the game and getting kids involved, and that process can only happen when you have a lot of hard work from a lot of people,” Crawford said.Ellsworth/Sumner has a golden opportunity to build on its success next year. The Eagles had only five seniors on their 2017 roster, and with Little Ten All-Conference selections Connor Crawford and Javon Williams leading the way and a sizable freshman class incoming, the team will have high hopes once again.“We’re excited about the group we have coming back,” Duane Crawford said. “We’ve felt for a while that we’ve turned the corner, and now we can go even further.” MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Bio Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest Posts
But a league source stressed the deal, which is believed to be a one-year guaranteed contract worth around $1 million, has not been finalized. “You just try to find a guy who can best fit that situation and fill the biggest needs you might have,” Scott said. “When you get a guy this late, whether it’s a 10-day contract or the rest of the season, you don’t look at this guy and say he’ll play a lot of minutes. First, he has to get acclimated to what we’re doing on both ends of the floor.”It seems safe to presume Scott had such conversations with Kupchak, among other things. But Scott only disclosed that “we just had a meeting about the team in general,” something he said they will hold every 15-20 games this season. But the most pressing items entail how the Lakers will fill out their roster. The first step involves Clark, who has recently averaged 28.8 points for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the Development League. That could prompt the Lakers to waive Henry, who would still be owed a guaranteed $1.1 million. Almost a month into the 2014-15 NBA regular-season, the Lakers already have experienced unique circumstances.Lakers coach Byron Scott had what he called a “state of the union meeting” on Tuesday with general manager Mitch Kupchak, with plenty to discuss surrounding the team’s worst start in franchise history, a league-worst defense and an injury-depleted roster.The Lakers have suffered season-ending injuries to veteran guard Steve Nash (recurring back pain), rookie forward Julius Randle (broken right leg) and reserve swingman Xavier Henry (ruptured left Achilles). Meanwhile, recurring hamstring injuries will keep reserve forward Ryan Kelly for at least five weeks. All of which has prompted the Lakers to have “talks” to sign forward Earl Clark, according to a league source familiar with the discussions. Clark posted a picture of himself wearing a Lakers uniform on his Instagram. That evoked memories of his breakout campaign with the Lakers in the 2012-13 season, during which he averaged a career-high 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds after being acquired from Orlando as part of the Dwight Howard trade. Or the Lakers could wait until the NBA grants them a hardship exception. That tool gives teams the right to have 16 players on a roster when they field more than four players out with injuries. The Lakers could use that to add a player, though they would have to waive a player once Kelly returns to ensure a league-maximum 15-man roster.Only Wayne Ellington and Ronnie Price have nonguaranteed contracts, but their absences would deplete the team’s backcourt.But at this point, the Lakers need bodies. It became so bad that Scott said that Lakers assistants Mark Madsen and Larry Drew participated in Tuesday’s practice just to ensure a full-court scrimmage.How soon will the 53-year-old Scott suit up after winning three NBA championships with the Lakers during his 14-year NBA career?“We get two more guys hurt, I’m probably going to be out there,” Scott joked. “But we’re going halfcourt only. No fullcourt.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
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