March 26, 2013

COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: Sheridan busy coaching 2 spring teams

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Depending on when you read this, Tom Sheridan is either coaching one team, coaching another or teaching. You can probably rule out sleeping.

Sheridan, just starting his 19th year as coach of the Messalonskee High School boys lacrosse team, is also coaching the University of Maine at Farmington men's lacrosse team this spring. Sheridan is listed as UMF's interim coach on the school's website.

"They didn't have a coach right before the start of the season," Sheridan said of UMF.

Sheridan, who is also a full-time physical education teacher at Messalonskee, said he has a lot of morning practices with the Beavers and often stays overnight in Farmington the night before. He added his family has been very supportive.

"They've been great," he said. "I help coach my daughter's team as well. That's my life. I'm a three-season coach. Now I coach four teams. It's been pretty busy, but it's definitely worthwhile."

According to Sheridan, there was only one day this spring where Messalonskee and UMF each had a game scheduled. He said the UMF game was rescheduled.

"Basically, there's really only one week overlap of games," he said. "Messalonskee starts on the 12th of April and Farmington has (four) games after that."

The Beavers have only three seniors on their 17-player roster and finished 2-11 last spring. They were 0-3 this year heading into Tuesday night's game with Central Maine Community College at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

* * *

The Thomas women's lacrosse team has its last game before North Atlantic Conference play when the Terriers host Regis on Thursday. Thomas lost to Regis, 15-10, last year as part of a 5-7 season, but the Terriers are 4-3 so far this spring.

"It will be a very good gauge in general, just because they have been playing some of our conference opponents as well," Thomas coach Lauren Bickford said.

Thomas opened this season by falling behind St. Joseph's 12-3 at halftime and going on to a 17-6 loss. Bickford said the Terriers are playing much better since, especially in transition and on offense.

"Since that game, we have really improved and corrected some of our errors," Bickford said.

Messalonskee graduate Miranda Tinsman, Ceara DiBiase and Gardiner graduate Jenn Day lead an impressive offense. All three are averaging more than two goals per game.

"There's still some that I feel like are going to be coming out of their shell too," Bickford said. "We're working on them."

Sophomore Toral Nelson, a 5-foot-1 defender from Holden, has a goal and an assist but leads Thomas in ground balls with 30 and has caused 10 turnovers.

"She's been all over the field," Bickford said. "She's been a ball of energy out there. She never gets tired. I always feel confident that if Toral's on that side of the field, the ball will be taken care of."

* * *

It wasn't a school record, but it was definitely quite a day for University of Southern Maine senior third baseman Nick Grady.

Grady, a Whitefield native and Erskine Academy graduate, went 6 for 6 in a game March 21 against Trinity. He ended up one short of USM's single-game record of seven hits, set by Ken Joyce in 1985.

Grady also drove in three runs and stole three bases as USM won, 16-10. The Huskies stole 12 bases in the game.

Coming into the Trinity game, Grady was hitting .313. He finished that day with a .500 average and was hitting .452 entering Tuesday's doubleheader with Thomas.

Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243

mdifilippo@centralmaine.com

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