By Patrick Carson
OXFORD HILLS — In general, sports can offer students a variety of valuable lessons that are transferable to the real world, especially after a student athletes’ high school career.
While attributes such as discipline, hard work and selflessness are often highlighted as characteristics sports help build, the fun and family atmosphere that exist on many sports teams can often be overlooked as essential building blocks for life-long success.
This year’s 2017 Lady Vikings are enjoying their best season (8 wins, 5 losses) in recent history and both players and head coach Chad Truman point to fun they’re having and the family atmosphere that exist within the team as the main reasons why.
“It has been good for the soccer program and the girls to see their hard work pay off. Throughout the season we have gained momentum and worked to become a competitive program again,” explained Head Coach Chad Truman. “But most of all, it has been a blessing to see the girls laugh and have fun playing together.”
“It’s true, we really enjoy playing together,” added sophomore forward Julz Colby. “You can see it during games with our passing.”
“This is the best passing team I have ever coached,” added Truman. “When they communicate and work together it is fun to watch.”
Truman continued explaining how the different aspects of the team work so well together. “Our forwards of Bailey Whitney, Julia Colby, Olivia Swift and Ella Kellogg are fast, precision passers and young. The midfield of Kayla Bernosky, Lauren Merrill, Cassidy Dumont, Caroline Burns, Saige McGinnis, Cecelia Dieterich and Gillian Grover have done a fantastic job of controlling the game and work so well together. Our defense has been anchored by Cassidy MacIsaac, Marissa Paine, Bri Spinhirn, Cetta Stewart and Emily Wallace. They have been a solid group of defenders and goalie Jillian Douglass has kept us in every game this year. It’s a special group, and it is also young group.”
The early season success experienced by the Lady Vikings seems to be the foundation of their positive season. An early September win against Mt. Blue provided a framework that included possession soccer and scoring.
At the midway point, the Lady Vikings experienced their biggest win of the year by beating Mt. Ararat on the road.
“That was by far our biggest win,” explained Truman. “It’s a tough place to play as the crowd is boisterous and the play is physical. In fact I don’t remember winning a game there before. The team played its best soccer of the season and controlled the game with a 4-1 victory. We left that game with the knowledge that we can play at a high level and it really confirmed for our girls that hard work pays off. It has been a fun year.”
The Lady Vikings have one game remaining against powerhouse Messalonskee and will begin playoffs the week of October 23.