Members of the Skowhegan High School field hockey team try to seek refuge from the sun under umbrellas at the Victories Over Violence field hockey tournament on July 23, 2022 at Thomas College in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Area field hockey players are once again hitting the turf for a good cause.

The third annual Victories over Violence tournament will take place Friday afternoon at Thomas College in Waterville. The event, put together each year by the Skowhegan field hockey team, raises money for the Family Violence Project, a private, non-profit organization that raises awareness and provides services for victims of domestic abuse in Kennebec and Somerset counties.

“Our team really loves raising money (for the event),” said Skowhegan senior forward Layla Conway. “We started with the Battle for Breast Cancer, but we decided to move on to Victories over Violence (in 2021), which has been awesome. It’s just been really fulfilling spending our summer raising money and helping people in our community. It’s been awesome.”

Eight teams are scheduled to play during the seven-hour event: Skowhegan, Mt. Blue, Lawrence, Erskine, Messalonskee, Dexter, Winthrop and Spruce Mountain. Teams will take part in 25-minute games on the Bernatchez (field hockey) and Smith (soccer) fields, both artificial turf. There will be two minute breaks in between games as teams rotate on and off the field.

“You have a bunch of fun playing, we play teams that we normally don’t play during the season,” Conway said. “That’s always fun. And it’s cool to know you’re all there for the same reason, they’re all there helping the community. The educational (speech, before the games) is always awesome. It just kind of opens your eyes up to (domestic abuse).”

“A lot of these teams we don’t ever see,” Skowhegan senior midfielder Laney LeBlanc. “It’s just good to connect with (fellow) captains, teams. It just really brings us together with these teams to interact and raise money.”


Members of the Skowhegan field hockey team try to seek refuge from the sun under umbrellas at the Victories Over Violence field hockey tournament on July 23, 2022 in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

The tournament is also a reminder that preseason practice is not in the far distance, a fact not lost on the members of the defending Class A champion River Hawks.

“We just have to play hard as a team, come together as a team, and just focus on getting better for our (upcoming) season,” LeBlanc said.

“This is the last field hockey event before we have the two-week (hands off) period, before preseason” Conway said. “It’s kind of our last chance before preseason. But it’s all about having fun.”

Victories over Violence starts at 1:30 p.m. There is a gate fee/donation of $5 for adults, and $3 for students and children. All funds from the event will be donated to Family Violence Project.


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Darren Allen had just finished with the lining of the soccer fields at Mt. Abram High School in Strong on Monday afternoon, getting ready for the 14th Western Mountain 7v7 soccer tournament this weekend.

Allen, the Mt. Abram boys soccer coach, didn’t have much time to relax. His mind immediately went to potatoes.

“I’m picking up 600 pounds of potatoes (on Tuesday),” Allen laughed. “We’re trying to get all of the concessions straightened away.”

The concessions are just a small part of what’s gearing up to the biggest tournament the school has hosted to date. Allen said 56 boys and girls soccer teams will compete.

Maranacook plays against Mountaineer Soccer Club in the Western Mountain 7v7 Soccer Classic on July 29, 2022 at Mt. Abram High School. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“We are thrilled, we’re psyched,” Allen said. “And it filled up fast, too. Really, in about a month. Usually, I’m calling people. Not this year, it was just, boom.”


The two-day tournament begins with girls soccer play on Friday, followed by the boys on Saturday and an alumni game scheduled on Saturday night at 6. In previous years, games would be spread across four fields. Due to the number of teams this season, Allen had to add a fifth field.

“I asked if I could put a fifth field on the baseball field,” Allen said. “This is the absolute max (capacity for the tournament). I’m flabbergasted. I’m happy.”

Allen said a food truck and concession stand will be on site at the school, along with a spaghetti and breakfast buffets. Teams may once again camp onsite during the weekend, one of the major attractions of the summer tournament.

“I don’t know how many trips to Sam’s Club we’ve made (for the weekend), and we have to make one more,” Allen joked.

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