Farewell to a true Tiger

Transition and change are the very nature of high school sports. The student/athletes shuffle through, making their mark and moving on; the coaches and administrators come and go. In most communities the connecting thread for the high school teams is the fan base and, in most instances, a fan or two.

Floyd Nelsen was that fan at Rockland.

His passing on Thursday, November 5th will leave a deafening silence on the fields and courts here. So ubiquitous was Floyd that he became a part of the games. His presence at these events was an absolute. Arriving at a competition at Rockland one could expect to see the teams, the officials, and Floyd Nelsen. On occasion the officials failed to show, but not Floyd.

He was a member of one of the longest serving "chain gangs" in Maine high school football. With partners Don Robishaw Sr. and Francis Mazzeo, Floyd kept the sticks moving on Friday nights, Tuesday afternoons, and whenever called upon. My enduring memory of Floyd will be a baseball game in which it was cold and raining. The players were jumping around in the dugout to stay warm. The conditions were so bleak only a few fans remained in the stands. Floyd, however, grabbed a hairdryer and positioned himself beside the home dugout and began blow-drying baseballs in an effort to keep them dry. It's an appropriate snapshot of the kind of guy he was.

Cancer may have taken his body, but Floyd's spirit will live on here. He took on life with a chip on his shoulder and a heart full of love - for his friends, family, and the kids at this high school. Thanks Floyd, you will be with us always.