After years at varsity status, Carrabec played a JV baseball schedule last spring. The goal, coach Troy Dunphy said, was to eventually get back to varsity play.

Thanks to eight new players, including three seniors coming out for baseball for the first time, the Cobras are back in the varsity ranks. Monday evening was their first practice, as teams around the state welcomed the spring season on the first allowed day of full team practices.

After going with 11 players last spring, Carrabec has 17 on the roster.

“This is the most that I’ve ever had sign up since I’ve been coaching,” said Dunphy, who’s in his sixth year at Carrabec. “They’re very concentrated on what they’re doing, very focused on playing baseball. It’s a great group of kids.”

Carrabec will have a handful of players swing between varsity and JV so the Cobras can get in a few junior varsity games. Dunphy doesn’t know how long it has been since Carrabec had varsity and JV games.

“It’s been years,” he said. “Years.”

On Monday, Dunphy talked with his players about being able to look forward to playing a varsity schedule, and he also reminded them about what it means to be a team.

“We try to get the unity of the team going on the first day,” he said. “That’s something that had been missing a long time. We got a hold of it last year. We just focus on team. And then we start playing baseball.”

For baseball and softball, pitchers and catchers have already been practicing for a week. Nokomis softball coach J.D. McLellan said he’ll mainly work with the other players early this week, because the pitchers and catchers are already in a rhythm.

“They really don’t need me to warm up and go,” McLellan said.

McLellan also said that the first few days of practice are instructive for telling which players made the most effort to stay in shape over the offseason.

“By the second or third day, all their arms are going to be sore — unless they worked out,” McLellan said. “They feel like they got punched in the arm.”

At Messalonskee, Ashley Pullen is the third coach in three seasons for the girls lacrosse team. When she was a freshman at Messalonskee in 1998, Pullen played on the first Eagles girls lacrosse team, which was at the club level for two seasons. Gwen Bacon coached the Eagles, and Pullen remembers the players learning by watching video of college games from the 1980s.

“I was one of the very first women’s lacrosse players at Messalonskee,” Pullen said. “It definitely holds a special meaning for me.”

Pullen said she had 27 players sign up to play this season. As for the turnover in coaches, she said she’ll try to make the best of it.

“I think it makes it more important to put out my expectations: What do we want this program to look like? What do we want Messalonskee women’s lacrosse to mean to people?” she said.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

 


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