For any of the players donning lacrosse pads this spring who played for their school’s football team last fall, this week has had an awfully familiar feel to it.
With sweltering heat befitting August workouts enveloping the region, teams have taken measures in an attempt to ensure their athletes’ safety. The key?
“Water, drink lots of water,” Lewiston athletic trainer Mary Britt told the Blue Devils as they came off the field during Tuesday’s tilt against Mt. Ararat.
That game was even tougher on the players, too. With the game at the turf field at bate College, the heat radiated off the turf as the sun bore down on the competitors.
In Wednesday’s contest at Mountain Valley, St. Dom’s coach Dave Haefele had another idea: Score goals, lots of goals.
“We had it in mind,” Haefele explained, “to try to get to 12 goals up as quickly as possible. We didn’t want to run the score up, but at the same time, it speeds the game up.”
In Maine boys’ lacrosse, when teams are separated by 12 or more goals in the second half, the clock does not stop for whistles, other than for goals, timeouts or injuries.
Both teams toyed with the idea of not playing the junior varsity game Wednesday, with both benches shorthanded.
In the end, the teams played a pair of shortened quarters, each with a handful of varsity players on the field.
“We’re thin right now,” Mountain Valley coach Jeff Gilbert said. “This week, we’ve been making sure the kids have as much to drink and eat as possible to make sure they’re OK to play.”
A pair of former Lewiston boys’ lacrosse players co-coached their first complete game Tuesday for the program that gave them their start.
Tim Roy, a long-stick defender, and Ben Fournier a midfielder for the Blue Devils in the mid-2000s, co-coached the team against Mt. Ararat with head coach Bill Bodwell sitting for one game after being ejected in the team’s previous game, against Brunswick.
“It’s nice to see the players coming back to the program,” said Tom Fournier, the former Lewiston coach and Ben’s father.
Both assistants had to finish the game against Brunswick in their first game action as head coaches, but Tuesday’s contest was the pair’s first full game.
Finish with a flourish
The Oxford Hills girls’ squad has already secured the top record among girls’ lacrosse teams in the area. Sitting at 7-3, the Vikings have also assured themselves of a winning campaign after an 18-13 win over Lewiston earlier this week.
Currently in eight place in Eastern Class A, Oxford Hills needs to finish in the top six to qualify for the playoffs. A win over Heal Points-rich Mt. Ararat or No. 1 Brunswick would go a long way to that end.
“We’re excited to play tomorrow,” Oxford Hills coach Sarah Proulx said. “We’ve been working all week on defense and making sure we play well on the back end. Our offense is rolling right now.”
The Vikings have yet to face Mt. Ararat this season, and lost to Brunswick by 13 in the teams’ first meeting of the year.
“All it is is another opportunity,” Proulx said.
For all the marbles
Speaking of the playoffs, with their win over Mt. Ararat on Tuesday, the Lewiston boys jumped into playoff positioning, and forced arch-rival Edward Little out of the picture — for now.
In a twist of fate befitting the rivalry, the team’s meet each other in what is each of the teams’ final game of the season Friday. Edward Little will host. The winner of the game will have a much better chance at tracking down a playoff spot. The loser will likely miss the playoffs all together.