FARMINGTON — A goalie for Mt.Blue High School's field hockey team has once again been chosen to play on one of two Maine field hockey teams that compete nationally. These teams participate in the National Field Hockey Festival.
At 16, Rileigh Blanchet of Farmington, could have played on either of the Maine Majestix teams as they are divided by age, under 16 and under 19. Based on her skill level, she was chosen for the older group.
"It's a faster game," she said of the upper-level team.
Blanchet played last year on the younger team and went to the National Field Hockey Festival held in Phoenix, Ariz.
"It's the largest field hockey festival in the world," she said. "This year it takes place in November in West Palm Beach Florida."
Between now and then there is lots of training and practice to do on her footwork as she begins her junior year at Mt. Blue. The training is done at Colby and Thomas Colleges.
Blanchet began playing in seventh-grade and is on the high school team. Last year during a summer tournament, a recruiter was watching and invited her to try out for the statewide team based in the Waterville area.
The Majestix team includes teammates from 11 Maine high schools including Skowhegan, Foxcroft Academy, Kents Hill School, Waterville, Winthrop, Messalonskee, John Bapst, Winslow, Belfast, Yarmouth and now Mt. Blue.
The goal, according to the Majestix website, is "to provide advanced training and the preparation necessary to become a successful college student and field hockey player."
The tournaments are used as a recruiting tool by college coaches. The players can get national exposure with the intent to play at the college level in the future. More than 100 college scouts from all over the country attended the Arizona tournament last November.
That experience provided an opportunity to play teams with higher skill levels than she has experienced on high school level teams, she said after the tournament last year.
"It's about improving by doing," she said.
Along with the training for the Majestix team, Blanchet said she'll continue to try her hardest during the upcoming school team season. That record carries on to her Majestix experience.