Foxcroft’s Caden Crocker blocks a pass intended for the Ramblers' Evan Jones in the fourth quarter of the Class D State Championship game at Cameron Stadium in Bangor on Nov. 19, 2021. Cameron Stadium will host the Class C and Class D football state championships in 2022. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

When efforts began more than a decade ago to rebuild Bangor’s Cameron Stadium, organizers envisioned the finished product not only as a modernized competitive and recreational resource for the city’s residents, but as an economic driver for the region through hosting regional and state championship events.

That latter vision is becoming reality.

The upgraded multisport facility is expected to stage at least three high school state-level events this year, beginning June 4 with the Class A track and field championships on the new eight-lane track and adjacent field-event facilities. Cameron Stadium also has been penciled in by the Maine Principals’ Association to host a state championship football doubleheader on Nov. 19 for the Class C and Class D finals.

The stadium, featuring an artificial-turf field used for the first time last fall, hosted its first championship event last November when Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft edged Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale 19-16 to capture the Class D football state title.

“Everything we thought that might happen with a new facility designed the way we designed it has happened,” Bangor High School athletic administrator Steve Vanidestine said. “The MPA’s been great and we’ve been willing to host and will host regional and state games in every sport that we can.”

Vanidestine and Bangor were eager to bring the Class A track meet to the Queen City this spring as one way to celebrate the completion of the Cameron Stadium upgrades, particularly given that the Rams will be participating in the meet as the host school.

Bangor will enter that event as the defending Class A girls track and field champion after winning the 2021 title at Massabesic High School in Waterboro.

“We’re very pleased, we wanted to host it in this inaugural year of the track,” Vanidestine said. “We can’t wait.”

The Class A meet is one of two state track and field events slated to be held in eastern Maine this spring. The Class B championships are set for Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor — MDI is the defending boys champion — while the Class C meet will be hosted by Lewiston High School.

The 2022 football championships will be played under a revised schedule this year after the MPA and its football committee opted to eliminate night state finals due to the sometimes extreme cold weather in mid-November.

Instead, all state championship games will be played during the day on back-to-back Saturdays, with the two eight-player finals scheduled for Nov. 12 at a site still to be determined and the four 11-player title games set for Nov. 19 with the Class A and B contests at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland and the C and D matchups at Cameron Stadium.

The first game at each location is expected to start in the late morning followed by the second game in mid-afternoon, similar to the starting times for the first two games of previous Super Saturday tripleheaders at Fitzpatrick Stadium of 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Cameron Stadium organizers will look to build off the momentum of last year’s Class D title game, which was played on a Friday evening.

“It was a little cool, in the middle of the game we had some flurries come through, but it was just a magical night,” Vanidestine said. “Both teams spoke very well of the atmosphere and how they were treated.

“I can’t see it not being a great event again.”

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...