The debate concerning whether public- and private-school interscholastic athletic teams should continue to compete against each other or have separate postseason tournaments arose again this week with the decision by veteran coach Tom Maines to resign after one season of guiding the Scarborough High School girls varsity basketball squad.
Maines guided the Red Storm to a 19-2 record last winter and a berth in the Western Maine Class A championship game where they lost to eventual state champion Catherine McAuley of Portland, a private school that has won four state crowns and eight Western Maine titles since the start of the 1999-2000 season.
He cited travel, in particular the costs involved with traveling from his home in Brunswick to Scarborough each day, as a reason for his decision to step down.
But also in the picture was his belief that the playing field between public- and private-school athletic programs is not equal and that there should be separate tournaments.
“Now I can highlight my objection,” Maines told The Forecaster, a southern Maine newspaper. “I don’t begrudge anyone getting a private education. In many cases, a private education is better than a public education, but when it comes to interscholastic play, especially basketball, with so few players, McAuley just has to pick good players from other towns like Cape, Falmouth, Greely, Scarborough and Yarmouth, who are great public education institutions. I’ve always felt that was unfair. I’ve always expressed my opinion if there’s something detrimental to the youth of a community. I get criticized for that vocalization, but others remain silent.”
Maines is perhaps best known as the boys varsity basketball coach at Morse High School in Bath from 1982 through 1993. He guided the Shipbuilders to three consecutive Class A state championships in 1987, 1988 and 1989.
Guerette leads Westbrook grid rebirth
Bangor High School graduate Jeff Guerette has the Westbrook High School football team off to its best start in years.
The Blue Blazes, playing their second year in Western Maine Class B after dropping from Class A in 2011 due to declining enrollment, have begun their season by defeating both combatants in last year’s Western B championship game.
Westbrook stunned Mountain Valley of Rumford 30-0 in its opener, then last week knocked off reigning state champion Wells 28-20 to avenge a 23-6 loss to the Warriors in the 2011 regional semifinals.
The Blue Blazes face another major test Friday night when they host 2-0 Greely of Cumberland Center at Olmstead Field.
Last year, Westbrook got off to an 0-3 start in its Class B debut, then won four of its last five regular-season games to earn the No. 5 seed in Western B. The Blue Blazes then defeated No. 4 Falmouth 12-7 to earn its trip to the semifinals.
Westbrook High School had a student enrollment of 689 as of April 1.
Guerette is a 1997 graduate of Bangor High School, where as an offensive lineman and defensive end he earned All-Pine Tree Conference honors as a junior while helping the Rams win the conference title. His senior season was cut short by a compound fracture of his right leg.
Guerette graduated from Colby College in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, then earned his master’s in social studies education from the University of Maine in 2004.
He served as an assistant coach at Husson College in Bangor under his high school coach at Bangor, Gabby Price, for two seasons before joining the staff at Westbrook in 2004. Guerrette was the Blue Blazes’ freshman football coach for three years, then coached the varsity offensive line and linebackers for one season before ascending to the head coaching job in 2008.