OAKLAND — The lacrosse net in the Pickett’s backyard has seen better days.

“We’re always out back shooting around,” Devin Pickett, a junior on the Messalonskee boys lacrosse team, said. “We have a net and it’s torn up.”

Pickett also speculates that he and his younger sister, Lauren, a freshman on the Messalonskee girls team, have probably lost “hundreds of balls in the woods” over the years as well. Lauren’s teammate, Calla Balboni, a senior captain, said she and her younger brother, Alden, a freshman on the boys’ team, have gotten their fair share of use out of the net in their yard as well.

For each set of siblings, though, the only nets they are hoping to light up going forward will be the oppositions’.

Both Messalonskee lacrosse teams were at Thomas College Monday afternoon to make final preparations for their respective Eastern Class A championship games on Wednesday. The girls will host Portland at Thomas at 3:30 p.m., while the boys travel to Brunswick for a 6:30 p.m. start.

“We’re ready for the pressure,” Lauren Pickett said.


“I’ve been in the same situation three times in hockey,” added her older brother. “It’s going to be a big game and hopefully we come out and play well against Brunswick and I hope they go out and beat (Portland).”

The Picketts and Balbonis have made various contributions for their respective teams this season. According to Messalonskee girls coach Ashley Pullen, Calla Balboni and Lauren Pickett have each made their mark for the Eagles on opposite ends of the field.

“Calla, she’s one of our two seniors so she has provided a lot of leadership on the field and she’s a returning defender,” Pullen said. “She definitely kind of directs traffic back there.

“Lauren, we’re very lucky to have her out there on the field as a freshman who has been playing lacrosse in the offseason and on some travel teams, which is really nice. She’s got great stick skills and definitely has a nose for the goal.”

Devin Pickett, meanwhile, has been one of the top defenders for the second-seeded Messalonskee boys team according to his coach, Tom Sheridan.

“He’s really come into his own. He’s one of those kids on your team that’s just athletically gifted,” Sheridan said. “He can just run real fast, he sees the field well when he picks up the ball in transition.


“He’s one of my best takeaway check people as well. He probably leads the team in takeaway checks. He’s a really solid defender. We usually put him on the other team’s top offensive player, or one of the other team’s top offensive players.”

As for Alden Balboni, he has been a second-line midfielder for the Eagles and is one of a handful of freshmen contributors on the team along with classmates Austin Pelletier and Nick Poulliot.

“(Alden Balboni) has done a really good job,” Sheridan said. “He’s got about 10 goals this year. He goes hard when he’s on the field and he doesn’t play like a freshman. He’s strong defensively as well.”

As for where he got his skills, Balboni’s older sister has a suggestion.

“Maybe he learned it all from me,” said Calla, turning to her brother with a wry smile.

“Maybe,” he said, offering the same dry humor in return.


One thing both can agree on, though, is how they hope Wednesday ends: With a regional championship.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640


Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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