MIAAA leaders meet with Aroostook League

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 10:08 AM EDT
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CARIBOU, Maine (WAGM) -The Aroostook League Athletic Directors met with representatives of the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association today in Caribou. Executive Director Gerry Durgin and incoming president Dave Utterback of Brewer High School met with the group to tell them there are resources available for problems that might arise.

(Dave Utterback):” Just to let them know that their problems are our problems and that we are a resource. I know they have a good tight network of folks in Aroostook County, but they also have a pretty reliable network of folks they can lean on in other parts of the state like Brewer and further South.”

(Gerry Durgin):” We value people in Aroostook County and it is important to them to know that even though they might be considered remote they are extremely important to the value system. The activities we offer statewide. I think you heard me say earlier today that these small schools truly are the heartbeat of Interscholastic athletics.”

As Executive Director of the MIAAA Durgin has been involved in conversations with several other groups about athletics and that things change from day to day to hour to hour

Durgin:” The last year is one where we met with representatives of the Governors’ office, from the CDC, DHHS, Department of Education, Maine School Management, the Maine Superintendents’ and the MPA. We have all tried to work cooperatively and put the best step forward. Never lose sight of the importance of these activities. There is a constant almost daily conversation of where are we what are we doing next and what is the best and safest way to advance.”

Utterback is the Athletic Administrator for Brewer High School and oversees 23 different athletic programs. Brewer has almost 800 students in the High School, but Utterback says that the issues he deals with are very similar to ones that are being dealt with Athletic Directors at smaller schools.

Utterback:” I call it an almost perfect storm of circumstances. You have COVID that lingers on a day-to-day basis. Now you have bus transportation issues,you have officiating shortages, you have the normal stuff that occurs. Dealing with the personalities that are involved in High School athletics and then you have weather mixes in as we found out over the last couple of weeks. We had some major rainstorms that altered things. Now you have five major things that impact how you approach your job on a day-to-day basis.”

Durgin:” There is no script for this. We have not been through this before so every day we are writing a new template. Hopefully we have learned a lot as we advanced through this, and obviously we are going to learn more.”

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