ELLSWORTH — Thanks to the efforts of several area businessmen and high school coaches, American Legion baseball returns to Hancock County this summer after a one-year absence.
The group of supporters began meeting last winter and mounted an effort to raise the estimated $8,500 that would be needed to support a team drawing players ages 16 to 19 from throughout the area.
Pat Maguire, who has been deeply involved in bringing the Acadians back to life, is the team’s general manager.
But Maguire is deeply involved in District 1 Junior and Senior League baseball programs and will have no time to coach or help coach the Legion team.
That will fall to Kyle McKim, a 2011 graduate of Mount Desert Island High School, with assistance from Tim Archambault, John Chipman and Tony McKim.
Those four, along with Ellsworth High School coach Mike Boles and George Stevens Academy coaches Dan Kane and Bill Gray, “have been the on-the-field people on this,” said Maguire.
By early June, Maguire had collected about $2,300 in donations from area businesses, even though he was uncertain what the player turnout would be.
“I was worried I would be returning the funds even though I had already purchased uniforms for the season,” he said.
But he was pleasantly surprised when more than two dozen players turned out for the recent tryouts and those worries are now behind him.
The 18-member Acadian team will face off against Calais in an eight-team Zone 1 playday on Sunday at Husson University in Bangor.
Team members will include Dakota Chipman, Cody Del Conte, Mitchell Domagala, Jacob Maguire, Conor Maguire Steven Mahon and Sid St. Peter from Ellsworth High School; Anthony Bianco, Ben Eley, Will Ricker, Cooper Smallidge and Hank Vinall from George Stevens Academy; Steve Hanscom, Keegan McKim, Jon Phelps and Ben Walls from Mount Desert Island High School; Connor Morey from Deer Isle-Stonington High School; and Joe Archambault from John Bapst High School.
The eight Zone 1 teams will play a 21-game regular season schedule, with seven-inning games scheduled on Monday and Friday evenings and nine-inning games on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons through July 20, with Zone 1 playoffs to follow.
Home games for the Acadians currently are scheduled at the George Stevens Academy field in Blue Hill, but Maguire said some of those games may be played on Mount Desert Island if possible.
The Acadians will play their home opener on Monday at 5:30 p.m. against the Brewer Falcons, and they will host the Bangor Comrades on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
The rest of the schedule:
June 21 – Motor City at Husson University, 5:30 p.m.
June 23 – Penquis Navigators at Foxcroft Academy, 1 p.m.
June 24 – Hampden Riverdogs at Bordick Field in Hampden, 7:30 p.m.
June 26 – Millinocket Lumberjacks at Blue Hill, 4:30 p.m.
June 28 – Calais at Bordick Field in Hampden, 5:30 p.m.
June 30 –Brewer Falcons at Brewer High School, 1 p.m.
July 1 – Bangor Comrades at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor, 7:30 p.m.
July 2 – Motor City at Blue Hill, 4:30 p.m.
July 5 – Penquis Navigators at Blue Hill, 5:30 p.m.
July 7 – Hampden Riverdogs at Blue Hill, 1 p.m.
July 8 – Millinocket Lumberjacks at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, 5:30 p.m.
July 10 – Calais at Blue Hill, 4:30 p.m.
July 12 – Brewer Falcons at Blue Hill, 5:30 p.m.
July 14 – Bangor Comrades at Blue Hill, 1 p.m.
July 15 – Motor City at Blue Hill, 5:30 p.m.
July 17 – Penquis Navigators at Foxcroft Academy, 4:30 p.m.
July 18 – Hampden Riverdogs at Bordick Field in Hampden, 7:30 p.m.
July 20 – Millinocket Lumberjacks at Blue Hill, 1 p.m.