Coach Donna Jordan’s awards ceremony presentation on Nov. 13 began with a recap of the past season which she called “the season of storms,” how the team weathered the various storms, and ended with positive comments about each player on the 2019 Boothbay Region High School field hockey team.
Before pointing out the lower points of the season to the players, parents and friends gathered for the ceremony held in the BRHS gym, Jordan thanked her assistant, Lauren Brown, and Brown’s fellow parent and youth coach Michelle Bouchard for their continued effort in building the local field hockey program.
She also told a story of one of the team’s bus trips (to Bethel) where one youth field hockey player accompanied the team and how the young girl kept looking back over her seat at the Seahawk players on the bus, curious about what they were doing.
“She is like all the others in the youth program. You (Seahawks) are heroes to them, whether you know it or not. They learn from you and look up to you. We need to continue to teach them and encourage them,” said Jordan.
Jordan, who just completed her sixth year as BRHS field hockey coach and who won two state championships at Piscataquis Community High School in 1987 and 1992, said the 2019 season was challenging.
She pointed out that the challenges began when she was notified she had to serve jury duty in September and October – a commitment she managed to get changed to January and February after writing a letter to the clerk of courts.
“Then, when we started pre-season practice with an expected 15 players, only 10 showed up,” said Jordan. “And during one of our pre-season scrimmages, Mara Gentry got blindsided and had to sit out a few games because of a concussion.”
She said an annual pre-season fundraising tournament in Topsham was the topic of a social media war when a Facebook post pointed out that BRHS was one of several participating teams that were going to release balloons, which the environmental group took offense to.
“The guy never contacted any of the coaches or the Mt. Ararat coach to see what the fundraiser was all about – a fundraiser for the Maine Children’s Cancer Network,” said Jordan.
The roster grew to 12 early in the season but five games in, junior Kylie Brown was lost for the season with an injury.
“We sometimes played with just nine players (to the other team’s 11) and at least one game we played with eight (due to injuries) against Mountain Valley Conference opponents, one of the most competitive leagues in the state,” said Jordan.
As has been her tradition, in addition to handing out certificates, letters, bars and field hockey insignias and praising each player as they came forward to receive the awards, Jordan handed out an extra gift to the girls. She gave each player, as a reminder of the past season, a bracelet with the words, “Be stronger than the storm” emblazoned on it.
The players on the 2019 team included senior tri-captains Chloe Arsenault, Hali Goodwin and Josey Smith; juniors Kylie Brown and Cortney Meader, sophomores Jaelyn Crocker and Emily Echols, and freshmen Kyra Blake, Sydney Blake, Mara Gentry, Kathryn Hibbard and Meghan Leeman.
Arsenault, the team’s most valuable player, was also recognized by being named to the Maine Field Hockey Association’s all-state field hockey team, the Mountain Valley Conference player of the year and first-team all-star, and an MVC all-academic team member. She was also a Maine Field Hockey Association academic all-state athlete. She scored 31 goals and had four assists this season and finished her career with 78 goals, second only to BRHS graduate Sydney Meader (’18) who scored 86 goals.
Crocker and Meader were MVC second-team all-stars, Smith and Goodwin were honorable mention all-stars and Goodwin was an MVC academic all-star and a Maine Field Hockey Association academic all-state athlete
Crocker received the team’s Coaches Award and Sydney Blake received the Most Improved Player plaque.
The team “survived the storm,” said Jordan, adding that perhaps the roster will grow next year as the successful Boothbay Region Elementary School team had 10 eighth graders.
The Seahawks finished the season with an overall record of 5-10, losing to the third-seeded St. Dominic Saints in the quarterfinal tournament game, 7-3.
This article has been updated from its original posting.