Boothbay Region has new varsity football and girls basketball coaches
A couple of familiar faces have assumed two vacant Boothbay Region High School head coaching vacancies. This summer, Brian Blethen took over as head girls varsity basketball coach and Clarence “Eddie” Crocker became the new varsity football coach. Both have been involved in Boothbay Region athletics for many years. Blethen has been a volunteer assistant varsity girls coach for the past four years. He also been a volunteer high school football and boys basketball coach. He has been involved in coaching his two daughters’ American Athletic Union (AAU) basketball teams for several years. He has also coached local YMCA girls basketball teams.
Crocker is a 1994 BRHS graduate. He played varsity football, basketball and baseball. As a football player, Crocker played inside linebacker on defense and was a fullback on offense. Crocker is also a three-sport official. He has officiated basketball for 25 seasons, baseball for seven, and soccer for two. He has also been a BRHS varsity baseball assistant coach. His other coaching experience includes the local Babe Ruth baseball team last season, AAU boys basketball, and as the Brunswick High School football’s team line coach. Crocker also began coaching the Lincoln County football program when it originated several years ago.
Blethen wants to continue the girls basketball program’s winning ways. Two years ago, the Seahawks won the Class C South regional title. Last season, Boothbay finished second in the Heal points for the second straight year and lost in the regional final. Blethen believes his familiarity with the program will make for a smooth transition to a new coach.
“I wanted to ensure the consistency in the program. I didn’t want the program to lose momentum due to a coaching change,” Blethen said. “With the coaching change, I thought I’d be the best person to keep the continuity and consistency to help the girls keep progressing.”
Crocker has wanted to become more involved in the Seahawk football program for years, but was unable to due to work requirements. But a change in jobs has allowed him to coach football this fall. He is now employed as an educational technician in the local Community School District’s behavioral program.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for years. Coach Dionne has asked me for years to help out and know I finally have the time,” Crocker said.
Both new coaches say their high school mentors will have a big influence on how they run their programs. Blethen is a Morse High School graduate. He played for the legendary Tom Maines at the Bath school. Maines is known for his intensity and his teams’ defensive full-court pressure and transition game.
“He showed me how to play the game and how commitment and hard work leads to success. And I’m looking forward to sharing that with my team,” Blethen said.
Crocker played for Boothbay football coaches Chris Norton and Tim Rice. As a player, Crocker learned from his high school football coaches how to mentor young athletes. “The lesson I learned was how to be a mentor. My coaches didn’t bully their players, they built relationships. I had a lot of conversations with my coaches and learned a lot about motivating players and encouraging everyone to get better.”
So far, both teams are off to a good start this summer. The girls basketball team has between 14 and 18 players participating. The football team has 33 players signed up for summer workouts. Girls basketball has an eight-game summer schedule, will compete in the Gold Rush Invitational Tournament this weekend at Colby College, and will host the annual Lobster Jam tournament in July.
The football team began weekly workout sessions June 22. Crocker will hold two sessions per day in July before taking a break and resuming pre-season practice in mid-August.