Ellsworth/Sumner’s Charlie Hughes (left) and Oxford Hills’ Parker LaFrance tackle Wells’ Tyler Bridge during the 2019 Lobster Bowl Classic at Thornton Academy in Saco. This year’s game has been canceled as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. BREWSTER BURNS PHOTO/SUN JOURNAL

Coronavirus leads to cancellation of Shrine Lobster Bowl

SACO — There will be no Shrine Lobster Bowl this year after officials announced last week that they would be canceling this summer’s game as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Lobster Bowl, which features the top senior football players from across the state, pits East against West in an all-star game of sorts played at Thornton Academy’s Hill Stadium. This year’s game had been scheduled for July 18.

“The Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic Board of Governors has regretfully made the decision to cancel the 31st annual Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic,” Lobster Bowl President Joe Hersom wrote in a Facebook post. “We sincerely share in the disappointment that will be felt by so many, especially the selected premier high school participants from throughout the state of Maine.”

Hersom said the decision was made after “exhausting all efforts in regards to maintaining and providing a safe atmosphere for all involved.” The game had been played every summer since its inaugural year in 1990.

This year, Ellsworth/Sumner’s Connor Crawford and Bucksport’s Dawson Eaton were chosen to represent Hancock County in the game. Mount Desert Island did not have a representative set to participate.

Proceeds, Hersom said, will still be donated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children in the name of the 2020 Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic as well as the players who had been slated to compete in the game.

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