Walter Polky, a former head football coach at Maranacook of Readfield and Spruce Mountain of Jay, has been named to the same position at Messalonskee High School in Oakland.
Polky replaces Brad Bishop, who stepped down after six years with the Eagles.
Polky coached for the past two years at Maranacook, which finished 5-3 in 2018 and 6-2 in 2017 while competing the developmental Class E ranks. Maranacook is set to join the state’s new eight-player football class this fall.
The Fayette native coached at Spruce Mountain from 2012 to 2016, compiling a 24-17 record with trips to the Class C South semifinals in 2013 and 2014 along with a quarterfinal berth in 2015.
Polky is a graduate of Winthrop High School, where he played on the Ramblers’ 2000 Class C state championship football team.
He went on to play at Bridgton Academy and Southern Connecticut State University.
Polky’s coaching career began at the college level, including three years as an assistant at Husson University in Bangor from 2007 to 2009.
He was an assistant coach at Bates College in Lewiston in 2010 and 2011 before taking the Spruce Mountain job.
Messalonskee finished 0-8 in Class B North last fall after qualifying for postseason play in nine of the previous 10 seasons.
The Eagles played all of their games on the road in 2018 while construction was underway on a $3.9 million athletic complex on the Messalonskee campus that features an artificial-turf field and an eight-lane track.
The grand opening for that complex was held in April, and Messalonskee will play all of its home football games on the turf beginning this fall.
Messalonskee will play in a Class B North division that has expanded from eight schools last season to 11 schools in 2019 after the most recent reclassification approved last week by the Maine Principals’ Association general membership.
Other continuing members of Class B North are Skowhegan, Hampden Academy, Cony of Augusta, Brewer, Brunswick, Mt. Blue of Farmington and Lawrence of Fairfield. Newcomers to the division are Windham from Class A North, Falmouth-Greely from Class B South and Gardiner from Class C South.
Polky will be at least the second new head coach in the division this fall.
Scott Franzose, head coach at Madison-Carrabec for the past seven seasons, recently was named to the same post at Mt. Blue.
He replaces Nate Quirion, who led the Cougars for the past two years before stepping down to return to Husson as an assistant under new Eagles head coach Nat Clark.
Franzose guided Madison to a 33-31 record at Madison-Carrabec after serving for three years as an assistant with the Bulldogs.
Madison finished 5-5 last fall and qualified for the Class D South semifinals. In 2017 the Bulldogs went 9-2 and advanced to the regional championship game before falling to Wells, now a three-time defending state champion.
Mt. Blue went 4-5 in Class B North in 2018 and qualified for postseason play for the first time in three years. The fifth-seeded Cougars fell to No. 4 Lawrence 20-13 in the regional quarterfinals.
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