JAY – In order to achieve success, it requires a total effort, and the Jay High School field hockey team feels it has the qualities to get the job done.

“There is a whole different feel to the Jay field hockey team this fall,” coach Jane DiPompo said. “It’s upbeat and positive with players developing skills and getting experience on a daily basis.

“There have been no coaching changes from middle school through the high school so we have consistency there. Our team slogan this year is ‘It’s a team sport.’ We believe if this team is going to succeed to the best of our potential, it’s going to be in its use of 15 individuals working as a team and knowing their roles.”

Last year’s team finished 5-10, but lost several games by one goal. This year’s team feels upbeat since there is more experience.

This begins with the defense. Brenda Allen is ready for a second season in goal. She is healthy and has been to Styx summer camp at the University of Southern Maine for two consecutive summers. Senior Desiree Castonguay will be the sweeper and has a good mind for the game and a good stick.

DiPompo is aware of the importance of having a strong defense. She was the starting goalie on the Jay state championship team in 1981.

“These two work well together and have good communication,” DiPompo said. “I think they can bring maturity and toughness. I am also excited about our halfbacks this year. In past years, we have had deliberate older experienced players.”

The trio includes Kristen Adams, Emily Boivin and Betsy Gemelli, who do not fit into that mold. These players are free thinkers, fast and look at the offensive side of the field. DiPompo says she never knows where they’re going, but they seem to come out looking pretty good.

DiPompo and assistant Tammy Castonguay evaluated the personnel and have opted to switch to a 3-3-3-1-1 formation this year. This was done to take advantage of the team’s speed and aggressiveness, which showed dividends at a recent play-day in Messalonskee. The Tigers held their own against some traditionally strong Class A teams, scored some goals and kept opponents scoreless or gave up one in the mini-games.

The link line (midfield) will look to feed the front line and score some goals of its own. Katie Morin, last year’s top scorer, has moved from the front line, as has Bianna Beisaw. Sophomore Liz LeBlanc is the third member.

“I am just glad this line plays for us for. I wouldn’t want to play against them,” said DiPompo.

The front line is where DiPompo is still looking at combinations and options. The four players vying for three positions include senior Julie Nelson, junior Kristen Timberlake, and sophomores Katie Hall and Bryndi Richards.

Senior Jodi Rackliff will miss the season with a broken ankle.

“There is excitement in Jay, in regards to the field hockey team,” DiPompo said. “It should last for some time to come as we had 10 freshmen try out and everyone of them is committed and serious. I, for one, am smiling all the way out to the field every day.”

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