After playing most of last season with eight or nine players, Maranacook had a roster of 14 for its season opener against Maine Central Institute. The Black Bears lost that game before rebounding with a 3-0 victory over Lincoln Academy on Monday.

“We actually did very well,” Maranacook coach Jeannine Paradis said. “We outshot them 26-2. So it’s just us getting used to playing with a full team and movements with a full team. We’re so used to having so much open space and playing more than one position. It’s coming together. It’s a huge adjustment for us, but one we’re really excited about.”

Maranacook has some standouts like Elise Linton, Amber Ridlon, Ellie Longfellow, Rachel Castonguay and Kianna Pushard, but Paradis said having such a small team means everyone has to contribute.

“We have such low numbers that we really have to all play together,” Paradis said. “They’re all playing well. They’re all playing within their ability, and some of them are playing beyond.”

Paradis was also encouraged by the school support for the Lincoln game. Field hockey was the only Maranacook varsity team in action that day, so Paradis said the football and boys soccer teams both stopped by to watch a few minutes of the game.

“The next day, all the kids were complimenting the girls and saying how much fun it was to watch a field hockey game,” Paradis said. “I think the girls deserve that, because they’ve worked so hard for it.”


• • •

If you’ve been watching high school field hockey in central Maine for a long time, you’ve probably noticed that in the last couple years, more and more players are using “aerials” — free hits that travel high in the air, sort of like a pop fly in baseball (a ball at waist or head level with a player in the area is considered dangerous and is a violation, but aerials are not considered dangerous because no one is in danger of being hit when the ball is 20 feet in the air).

Many of the players using aerial balls as part of their game learned that skill through the Maine Majestix Club team.

“I’m on Majestix, the national team,” Gardiner midfielder Abby Dyer said. “I learned it there first, and I brought it to the school team. We’ve actually become more of a 3-D team. We use a lot more 3-D skills. It’s helped us a lot. It spaces out the field a lot more.”

Amy Bernatchez, the director of Maine Majestix and former Colby College coach, said the aerial was popular in the 1970s and 80s — when it was called a “scoop” — and has made a comeback in recent years.

“I would have a hard time teaching it to my Colby kids,” Bernatchez said. “We realized, ‘It’s because we’re trying to teach it to them when they’re 19. Why not teach it to kids when they’re 9 or 10?’ If you’re really good at an aerial, you could throw it 50 yards, 60 yards. That totally changes the point of attack.”


Bernatchez gave as an example the Messalonskee middle school team, which is made up mostly of Majestix players. She said the players are performing advanced skills such as aerials and reverse-stick chips.

“They’re little, and they don’t know that they shouldn’t be able to do this,” Bernatchez said.

Bernatchez said she’s thrilled that the Majestix players are teaching things like the aerial to their teammates, because it improves the quality of play in the area.

“That’s one of the things we tell them at Majestix: This isn’t just to make you better. It’s to make your team better,” she said. “If you don’t share it with your teammates and give back, then it’s all for nothing.”

• • •

Gardiner field hockey coach Sharon Gallant said the Drive Out Cancer Challenge series with Cony drew a total of $8,649 for the Harold Alfond Center For Cancer Care.


“I think that’s great,” Gallant said. “We’re pretty excited about that.”

The series included field hockey, boys and girls soccer, volleyball and football games. Gallant said the money came from gate receipts, raffles and donations.

“They were good games,” Gallant said. “It was fun and for a good cause.”

• • •

The Lawrence community got a scare Saturday night when junior forward/midfielder Hunter Chesley was injured in a car accident. Chesley’s mother, Lori, is the junior varsity coach at Lawrence.

“She swerved to miss an animal,” Lawrence coach Shawna Robinson said. “She slammed on the brakes. She hit a mailbox, and blacked out at that point. They had to cut her out of the vehicle.”


Robinson said Chesley was taken to Inland Hospital in Waterville, then flown to Bangor, where she remains in the hospital. According to Robinson, Chesley has a broken left ankle, and her right leg was broken below the knee with a torn ACL and MCL.

“She’s in a lot of pain, so they still have her mildly sedated,” Robinson said. “They’re hoping in a couple days she’ll be home.”

Chesley tweeted “Thank you everyone for the love and support” on Tuesday afternoon.

“The girls have gone up and seen her,” Robinson said. “She wants to play field hockey. That’s the first thing she asked about, was field hockey. We’re just thankful she’s going to be around. She’s got a long road ahead of her.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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