November 4, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FIELD HOCKEY: Skowhegan, Nokomis relish run to title

Teams reflect on successful seasons

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

The photo was taken Saturday evening by Gabe Souza of the Portland Press Herald. The Nokomis players are celebrating after winning the Class B state field hockey championship. Kelsey Kerstetter, No. 16, has a reaction more expressive than all of her teammates. Kerstetter is leaning back, joyously screaming at the sky, like nothing is or ever will be wrong in her world.

click image to enlarge

CELEBRATION TIME: Skowhegan’s Renee Wright, (2) and Emily Trial, (23) embrace at far right as they celebrate their victory over Scarborough during the Class A field hockey state championship game at Yarmouth High School.

Maine Sunday Telegram photo by Gabe Souza

click image to enlarge

CHAMPIONSHIP SIMLES: Nokomis celebrates its victory over York in the Class B field hockey state championship Saturday at Yarmouth High School

Maine Sunday Telegram photo by Gabe Souza

“My mom was like, ‘That just describes your whole four years of field hockey,’ ” Kerstetter said. “It looks like a picture out of a magazine. It’s pretty sweet.”

Monday continued the celebration for Skowhegan and Nokomis. Skowhegan defeated Scarborough, 4-1 on Saturday, to win its fourth consecutive state title, and 12th in 13 years. It capped a run for the Indians in which they won all 76 games over four seasons, and outscored their opponents 483-18 in the process.

“It was one of the most exciting things of our life,” Skowhegan senior Alanna Wacome said. “Being the first senior class to go all four years undefeated was one of the best things we’ve ever done.”

Nokomis, on the other hand, had to fight through a very competitive Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B to go undefeated. Eighth-seeded Camden Hills took the Warriors to overtime in the quarterfinals, and Nokomis won 1-0 games in both the regional and state finals.

“I thought this year, every team came out really strong,” Kerstetter said. “Everybody had very skilled players.”

The Nokomis players all talk about how the Warriors had such great chemistry this fall. There were no fights, no drama. The word “family” comes up a lot when they talk about each other.

“I think this year, we definitely had a lot more teamwork,” senior Drew Graves said. “Our team had a lot more chemistry. On the field, it definitely shows if you’re not getting along. We were all there to help each other out, and be supportive when we needed it.”

Skowhegan won 10-0 in its quarterfinal game, but the Indians also played well when they were tested. They knew they had come so far since indoor play in the spring.

“We basically forgot a lot of fundamentals in the spring,” Wacome said, “and we picked them up again when we got back together.”

“We all really worked our butts off during this winter, and did all the extra drills we could,” Skowhegan senior Mikayla Toth said. “The coaches really brought it all together.”

Toth said the reason Skowhegan was so good in 2012 — outscoring its opponents 147-2 — was because they had developed a connection after playing together for so long. She said the Indians didn’t have that coming into this season, but began to show it before their first season.

Toth, a captain this season, also credited former Skowhegan stars like Nicole Sevey and Sarah Finnemore for establishing standards and carrying on the legacy of the program.

“Playing with them, you learn how to grow as people,” Toth said. “Growing up with them as role models, I think that’s helped me become the captain I am.”

The Indians won Saturday because they didn’t believe in superstition. The last time they lost a game was against Scarborough in the 2009 state final at Yarmouth High School. Playing the same team at the same place didn’t bother the Indians, and they cruised to a 4-1 victory.

Nokomis, meanwhile, believed in the power of superstition. On the way to the 2010 state final, the Warriors played a Katy Perry song and ended up beating York that day. On Saturday, the bus was again playing Katy Perry, and the Warriors beat York again. There were about 50 students and family members waiting for a reception at the high school after the game, and no shortage of congratulations on Monday, when the state champions were back in the classroom.

(Continued on page 2)

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