This week may have turned into my favorite week of the year. I have the opportunity to document all the goings on during the 2018 Lobster Bowl Training Camps at Foxcroft Academy.
100 just graduated Maine high school seniors have the opportunity to put on the pads (some for a final time), and come together for a great week of football, with all the proceeds benefiting the 22 Shriner Hospitals across the country. It’s East vs. West in Saco, but in the end, everyone wins, and that’s not some stupid “everyone gets a trophy” phrase.
This is the 29th game between the best of the East and the best of the West. What most people don’t realize is that these players are all responsible for raising money to play in the game. Each player and cheerleader must raise $500 in order to participate. $500 sounds like a big number, but for these players, that was just a start. As of last check, the players had raised close to $100,000 this year alone!
You do the math….on second thought, let me do it for you. That’s $1,000 per participant.
That’s a huge amount, and one of the best ever years they have had on the fundraising end.
Coaches volunteer a week of their time, and they would all do it again, no questions asked.
Players who looked at each other across the line at each other are now on the same sides. Rivalries were checked at the door, and will probably never be picked back up. Sore, beaten up bodies are pushed along, knowing they were working for things bigger than themselves. It was a true win, win experience.
So to all the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl participants, best of luck this week. You won’t ever say, “I wish I hadn’t played in the game”. Coaches, players, cheerleaders, trainers, school staff, and personnel. A job well done and enjoy the event Saturday.
By Toby Nelson
Sports Chowdah contributor