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McEwen’s strong effort helps Brewer give Steamboat 1st loss

Sport: Baseball  Posted: July 4th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Ernie Clark
BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — Pat McEwen didn’t need a lot of run support Friday evening, as the righthander pitched a five-hitter with 12 strikeouts and two walks to lead Brewer to an 8-3 American Legion victory over previously undefeated Steamboat Petroleum of Searsport at Heddericg Field.

But McEwen’s teammates provided plenty of timely offense, as the Falcons scored seven two-out runs in tightening the Zone 1 standings as the regular-season approaches its midpoint.

Steamboat Petroleum of Waldo County is now 7-1, one-half game ahead of 7-2 Trenton and just a game in front of Brewer and Bangor, both 6-2. Hampden is two games back at 5-3.

“Our coach says over and over that when you have two outs to try to put the ball in play,” said Brewer shortstop Steve Klenowski, who had a two-run, two-out double in the first inning and an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. “If you put the ball in play you can make things happen, and that just gives you a much better chance.”

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Hockey remains in picture for Richmond's Harrington

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: July 3rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

BY GARY HAWKINS, Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Andy Harrington is knee deep in horse manure these days and loving every second of it.

Just a few weeks removed from graduation at Richmond High School, Harrington is pursuing one of his passions -- harness racing -- at the stables of the stepfather, John Nason, in Rockingham, N.H.

Harrington isn't thinking much these days about another of his passions, ice hockey, but that will change sometime next month when he tries out for the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Working days that begin at 5:30 a.m. and last until around 7 p.m. give Harrington little chance to play hockey.

"It's hard because I'm in the racing atmosphere," Harrington said. "When the time comes it will all change."

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White tabbed as Falcon boys' basketball coach

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: July 3rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

by Bob McPhee
RUMFORD – Life is full of challenges, so when Rick White saw an opportunity he went after it and has been tabbed as the new Mountain Valley boys' basketball coach. The familiarity of the Falcons' strong winning tradition makes White a perfect individual to take the reins.
Mountain Valley athletic director John Bernard offered the position last week and it will become official after the new school board meets next month. The Western Foothills District (RSU 10, comprised of Mountain Valley, Dirigo and Buckfield) replaces SAD 43, which has been dissolved.
White replaces Dave Gerrish, who resigned in March after having coached four years. This is the sixth mentor in the program’s history, which includes Mark Karter, Matt Kaubris, Jamie Robinson and Ryan Casey.
“Having learned so much from Dave Gerrish, I felt that I had a greater knowledge of the game,” White said. “I felt that I knew a lot about basketball but having coached with Dave I have a greater understanding of the game now then I did four years ago. Dave and I had a long conversation about the program and we both felt (other coaches as well) that I was ready to make the jump up to the varsity position.”

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Sticks and goals for Conlogue

Sport: Lacrosse (Boys)  Posted: July 3rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Kalle Oakes

Lacrosse in Maine's western foothills is far removed from the trademarked variety flaunted by NCAA champion Syracuse University.

It was a journey into that sea of orange, however, that made all the difference for Zac Conlogue and the Mt. Blue High School program.

Spending a week of summer camp in the belly of the beast with eight of his teammates last year demystified the popular but often puzzling game for Conlogue. Suddenly, trying to stick with North Yarmouth Academy and Waynflete, even Morse or Gardiner, didn't feel like such an intimidating proposition.

"That helped us with skills and building our team," Conlogue said. "Then we came home and played a lot of catch year-round, and that made a big difference. Last year most of our goals were one-on-one."

One thing didn't change regarding those goals. Whenever the Cougars disturbed the net, Conlogue usually had a stick in it.

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Mountain Valley, Dirigo players learn from English counterparts

Sport: Soccer ( Girls)  Posted: July 3rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Bob McPhee, Staff Writer

DIXFIELD —The annual Challenger British Soccer Camp has provided players an opportunity to share different cultures and styles of play.

Dirigo and Mountain Valley girls' soccer players utilized Harlow Park as a centerpiece for showing and sharing the countless strategies involved in the international game. The British athletes took advantage of playing and experiencing a new environment.

The camp, held last week, was in its ninth year.
"I started hosting it to raise the level of skill," longtime Dirigo coach Art Chamberlin said. "I felt that I was not being able to demonstrate all the drills and tendencies used in soccer. I wanted my players exposed to these things and hopefully use them in (practices and games). It has worked perfectly."

Although soccer is an international game, different styles are being played throughout the world. The British group showcased its style in the open air of the River Valley.

Chamberlain said the cost was very reasonable and the kids don't have to travel or sleep in a hot dorm room. After a scheduled secession, they still have the rest of their day to relax.

The Dirigo players included Lexi Noyes, Silvia Lutick, Natalie Bolduc, Cassie Moretto, Ambyr Wilson, Lindsey Brann, Emily Chase, Erin Turner and Gretchen Bradbury. The girls participating from Mountain Valley were Katie Puiia, Liz Adley, Katie Collette, Ellen and Kate Thorne, Hillary Dolloff, Abby Day, Autum Koch, Abbey Pinkham and Kristen Gould.

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Monmouth names Turner to lead boys' basketball

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: July 3rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Randy Whitehouse, Staff Writer

Lucas Turner has a feeling he'll feel at home with Monmouth Academy boys' basketball, and he's hoping to build the program so that it feels at home in post-season play.

Monmouth recently named Turner, 29, as boys' varsity basketball coach.  He replaced Randy Parenteau, who posted a 9-27 record in two years with the Mustangs.

A Burlington native, Turner played basketball and tennis at Penobscot Valley High School in Howland. He attended the University of Southern Maine, where he played two years of tennis.

Turner's basketball coaching career began roughly the same time he became an academic advisor at Opportunity Farm in New Gloucester five years ago. He spent two years as freshman boys' coach at Gray-New Gloucester High School, then moved up to coach the junior varsity there the last three years before applying for the Monmouth job.

"Having played at Penobscot Valley, it definitely mirrors a lot of that kind of the same small-town feel," he said. "There was definitely appeal on that front." 

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Gillespie has right stuff to lead Calais to win

Sport: Baseball  Posted: July 3rd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Pitcher also gets game-winning hit
By Ernie Clark
BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Josh Gillespie admittedly had mixed success with his curveball Thursday evening, but the unpredictability of that pitch was one of his biggest weapons in leading Calais to a 3-2 American Legion Zone 1 baseball victory over Motor City at the Winkin Baseball Complex.

Gillespie, a righthander who will be a junior at Calais High School in the fall, pitched a complete-game five-hitter, striking out 10 batters and walking three.

He struck out at least one batter in each inning and had the Motor City batters guessing throughout — five of his strikeouts came on called third strikes.

“My curveball wasn’t working, I threw it behind a couple of guys, but my fastball was working pretty good, my slider was working all right, too,” said Gillespie, now 2-0 on the summer for the 2-6 Suns. “A couple of times the curveball slipped, but I gripped it harder and threw it a little softer and it kept dropping into the zone.”

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Bubar is athlete of year

Sport:   Posted: July 2nd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Kalle Oakes, Staff Writer

Choosing Cam Bubar as Sun Journal All-Area Athlete of the Year for boys' track and field is no stretch and no chore.

Giving him the nod at the expense of multiple Lisbon High School teammates is the tough part.

Bubar's results at the Class C state championship and Mountain Valley Conference meet — two titles, five runner-up finishes, 62 team points — are tough to ignore. But so are the overwhelming contributions of Kyle Huston, Erik Metzger, Junior Clement and Joe Doughty, to name four.

In fact, Bubar would be the first to advocate for one of those fellow Greyhounds, all of whom performed in tandem splendidly as they defended their MVC crown and fell two points shy of North Yarmouth Academy for state laurels.

"I felt that I competed better last year," Bubar said. "It was still definitely a solid year. I'd say this was more of a team-oriented year. We did a lot better in the relays."

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Assistant earns deserved praise

Sport:   Posted: July 2nd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

TRAVIS LAZARCZYK Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

When Al Wilson started as an assistant coach with the Skowhegan Area High School baseball team, he was paid under the table by then-head coach Don Finley.

"He'd pay me so much for a win, and so much for a win in the playoffs," Wilson said.

Don't bother trying to calculate how much Wilson has been worth to Skowhegan athletics through the years. The number is so high it will make your nose bleed.

Last week, Wilson was named the Eastern Maine assistant coach of the year by the Maine Baseball Coaches Association. We was recognized at the East/West Senior All-Star Game at St. Joseph's College in Standish.

"It's a great honor," Wilson said. "I was kind of surprised. There are a lot of good assistant coaches out there. I've been around a while. Maybe that's why I won it. Maybe they ought to call it the dinosaur award."

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Gibson's dream takes shape

Sport: Football  Posted: July 2nd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

READFIELD -- Months after his death, Ricky Gibson's wish for the Maranacook Community High School football program is coming to fruition.

After he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor last fall, Gibson asked Make-A-Wish-Foundation to donate $6,000 toward lights and bleachers for the football field. When word of his generosity spread, an Iowa-based company donated six poles and 24 lights, and a group of local citizens raised an additional $100,000 for field improvements.

Gibson, a sophomore defensive back, was able to see the field under the lights in special ceremony last December. He died April 10 but his dream lives on. Work for the bleachers began recently with a large group of volunteers, including area businesses that donated time and equipment.

"We mention him aloud every single day because we're just in awe of what he started to bring the community together," said Rick Stephens, who has helped coordinate building and fundraising efforts.

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Emery takes over at Maranacook

Sport: Football  Posted: July 2nd, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

READFIELD -- Joe Emery is a few years removed from his high school playing days, but he remembers what winning football is all about.

Emery was recently hired as head football coach at Maranacook Community High School, where he served as freshman coach last season. He replaces Kevin Norwood, who resigned after two years on the job due to increased work obligations.

Prior to coaching the freshman team, Emery worked for four years in the junior program. He played high school football under Ray Caldwell at Mt. Blue as a center and defensive end. The Cougars lost to Winslow in the 1982 Class B state championship game during Emery's junior year, but they made a greater habit of winning.

"We never lost a home game in (my) three (varsity) years in high school," Emery said.

Emery said he's derived a lot of his coaching philosophy from former Mt. Blue defensive coordinator and wrestling coach Tom Ward.

"I liked his demeanor, discipline, hard work, teaching the fundamentals," he said.

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Hot Corner: Kane deserved his break

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: July 1st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Kalle Oakes

Gavin Kane is off to chase a dream.

Yes, it's countless winters overdue. And Maine's loss is Maine's gain.
Kane conveyed to his Dirigo High School boys' basketball team Sunday night and confirmed for the rest of the state's often-dysfunctional hoop family Monday morning that he is leaving that post.

In this era of scholastic bench bosses being burned out, bum-rushed and otherwise bullied out of the business, here's a departure I couldn't be giddier to report. Kane, who captained both halves of the Dirigo basketball ship over a matchless, 15-year tenure, is joining the University of Maine women's program as an assistant coach.

This, after you can be sure multiple smaller colleges and universities missed more than one chance to hire a gem in recent years in the interest of "keeping it in the family" or under the guise of a "national search."

So while congratulations are in order for Kane, who is supremely qualified for this promotion on every level, I reserve the real slap on the back for Cindy Blodgett and the flagship university's staff.

It's easy to forget how far and how quickly women's basketball at Maine has plummeted. Only five years ago it was a closer-than-you-think second to hockey in fan support and national acclaim.

Joanne P. McCallie (now at Duke) and Sharon Versyp (Purdue) made a living making a mockery of America East. Then the Black Bears would scare the daylights out of an eventual Final Four team on the road in the NCAA tournament.

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Dodge right on tack

Sport:   Posted: July 1st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Kalle Oakes

There's a compelling case to be made that Emily Dodge enjoyed the best day of any student-athlete in the tri-county region.

No, that doesn't mean merely this spring or this school year. Try ever.

Hard to imagine anybody celebrating such a non-stop series of unprecedented natural highs from fitful Friday night's sleep to Saturday all-nighter than Dodge did June 6.

By day, Dodge delivered three individual state championships for Edward Little High School, providing 30 points that were just a shade less than the mathematical margin of an authoritative team victory over Scarborough.
Dodge topped the 100-meter hurdles, triple jump and long jump, soaring roughly a foot past her seeded distance in the latter event to break Lindsey Visbaras' school record.

"She was actually there and was the one who told me about it," Dodge said. "It was never in my mind. I'd never jumped 17 feet before, never mind 17-10."

Once the victory lap was complete at Thornton Academy in Saco, Dodge made the 45-minute jaunt northward on the turnpike in time for graduation ceremonies.

Oh, did we mention that Dodge was valedictorian?

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Changes to MVC means less travel for Bucs

Sport:   Posted: June 30th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Joseph Cyr
Village NetMedia Sports Reporter
THOMASTON (June 29): When Georges Valley High School student-athletes return for the fall sports season, the distance that the Buccaneers will travel to play road games will be greatly reduced from recent years.

The Mountain Valley Conference is one of the most geographically vast in the state, with teams as far away as Georges Valley in Thomaston and Mountain Valley in Rumford and Telstar in Bethel, for example, traveling to face one another.

A major change takes effect in the league starting with the fall sports season as St. Dominic of Lewiston will join the MVC.

"St. Dom's has very skilled teams and are compatible with schools in our conference in a number of sports," Georges Valley athletic director Ed Hastings said. "Their addition to the MVC was well-received by the athletic directors and principals."

With the addition of St. Dominic, the Mountain Valley Conference will now have 16 schools, for most sports. Because of the even number of schools, the MVC will be divided into two regions, but the names of those two regions have yet to be determined. Hastings said the two regions will either be named the North and South or possibly "Coastal" and "Valley."

"Part of the problem with our conference is that we have only had 15 teams, so it couldn't be divided equally," Hastings said.

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Speaking the ‘universal language’ — Baseball

Sport: Baseball  Posted: June 30th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Students collect equipment to give to Cuban children
By Jack Faherty, Special to WoRD

BRUNSWICK — On Sunday, new and used youth baseball equipment will begin the long journey from Maine to Cuba. This shipment was made possible by two Brunswick High School juniors who want to share their love for baseball with Cuban children.

Jack Faherty and Alex Toole, who both play baseball for the high school, conceived the notion of donating baseball equipment to needy children as part of the BHS’ Service Learning class.

For four months, the boys worked to collect balls, bats, helmets, gloves and catchers’ equipment. Local youth baseball leagues donated much of the gear, which was exhaustively cataloged by Toole. Other equipment was solicited from the high school community and from friends.

“I know when I was little, there was nothing I wanted more than to play some pick-up baseball with my friends,” said Toole. “It’s unfortunate that some kids aren’t given the same opportunities to play, so it’s my hope that this gear will make someone smile just as I did when I was younger.”

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