POLAND – Lindsay Theriault isn’t counting down the days to the end of her athletic career, but the Poland senior knows her days are numbered.

“I’ve been thinking about it,” said Theriault. “That’s a big motivation.”

Theriault has been a staple in three sports at Poland. Between soccer, basketball and softball, she’s invested a lot of time and energy to her athletic career. With plans to study nursing next year at the University of Maine, playing sports isn’t on the agenda for the future. So Theriault is hoping to make this final season count.

It just so happens that softball is her favorite sport. With a father being an avid baseball fan, Theriault took up the sport at an early age. She hopes to relish every last bit of the experience this spring.

“I just love it. The sport, the atmosphere,” Theriault said. “I just love everything about it. This group of girls we have for this softball team is really great too, and our coach is amazing.”

Part of her excitement for this final season is that fact that the Knights have high hopes for this year. Poland went 9-6 last spring and lost in the Class B West quarterfinals after giving Cape Elizabeth a scare. Though the Knights graduated six seniors, Poland returns an experienced enough team that could make some noise in Western B.

It has helped fuel Theriault’s desire to make this season one to remember.

“I’ve been working a lot harder and practicing a lot on my own, just cause it’s my senior year,” Theriault said. “I want everyone to be prepared, and I want to be prepared the most, as much as I can.”

Part of Theriault’s final softball season is the challenge of being the team’s lone senior. That puts a decent amount of responsibility on her shoulders.

“I just want to be able to keep everyone up and focused during every single game to help us get there,” Theriault said.

Poland coach Kat McKay talked to Theriault during the preseason about her role this season. The task as a leader came with her status as a veteran and the shortstop.

“She really is going to step up as a leader for us this year, especially in the infield,” McKay said. “She’s our only senior and she’s also our shortstop. There’s a leadership aspect that comes with that role. This is my third season with her. She knows what to expect. She knows what the program is about, and I think she’s going to lead the girls in the right direction.”

Theriault says she’s used to the responsibility to some degree. She’s played some sort of a leadership role between the three sports she plays. Still, being the only senior is a different situation and brings with it some challenges and expectations. She may be stepping up her game a notch, but she’s still just the hard-working player that she’s always been.

“She’s not always the vocal leader, but she does lead by example, ” McKay said. “I hope the girls see that. Out in the field, she may not be the loudest one out there, but she’s giving us everything she’s got.”

She was the defensive stopper on the basketball team, working tirelessly against some of the opponent’s top players. She brings that same tenacity to the softball field. Though the Knights have an experienced group of juniors to help share the leadership, Theriault is the one that sets the tone for the team.

“We have a big junior class underneath her, but it’s still considered a young team to me,” McKay said. “With one senior graduating and having all these girls back next year, she is setting the tone when we go out onto the field. They know that they are to look to her for leadership, but we’re not putting all the pressure on her either. We want to make sure it’s a good year for her. So the juniors want to step up and make sure it’s a good year for her.”

Theriault wants to do the same for her team. They’ve all been working hard during the offseason in preparation of this spring. She knows the potential this team has and hopes the Knights can make this a great season.

“I just want to keep everyone focused and make sure everyone has their head straight and ready to go,” Theriault said.

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