When the Messalonskee High School girls lacrosse team opens the season today, the players won’t be the only ones who need to shake any first-game jitters. First-year head coach Katie Gorham will have them, too.

“Your first game as a varsity coach is always nerve-wracking,” Gorham said.

Messalonskee plays at defending Eastern Class A champion Mt. Ararat, while most sports begin regular-season play next week. The high school baseball and softball regular seasons get underway Wednesday, with a full slate of games in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A division. The KVAC B begins play next Friday.

Area tennis teams have exhibition matches scheduled for next week, with regular-season matches set to begin on April 25.

The track and field season was scheduled to begin Thursday, but a meet at Lawrence featuring the hosts, Nokomis, Maine Central Institute, Mt. View and Lewiston was postponed due to poor conditions. The meet was rescheduled for April 25.

The track was fine, Lawrence coach Tim Alberts said, but athletes would not have been able to compete in field events. Also, there was no place for more than 250 athletes to sit.

“I didn’t want to host a meet where all the kids couldn’t compete,” Alberts said.

For Lawrence’s jumpers, Tuesday was the first day outside. Now, there’s another 10 days before the opening meet, and athletes are getting antsy.

“Tuesday was the first time we even got into a pit,” Alberts said. “For those kids, they’re champing at the bit.”

Veteran athletes use early-season meets to start prepping for the big late-season conference and state meets. For younger athletes, this time is spent trying out a number of events in the hopes that one or two click.

“A lot of these younger kids, they really have no idea what they’re going to do,” Alberts said.

Gorham takes over a team that went 7-7 last season, and reached the regional semifinals. With a number of players returning, Gorham is ready to get the season started.

“My expectations are definitely high,” Gorham said. “We’re looking to push the ball forward and be aggressive.”

Against a strong Mt. Ararat team, defense will be key, according to Gorham.

“We have to play some strong defense, and transition quickly between defense and offense,” Gorham said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

 

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