Howard’s mother, Donna, had played for the Rebels and coach Jim Lunney herself in high school. So the thought of Becca following in similar footsteps intrigued them both.

“We talked about it all the time when I was younger,” Howard said. “And especially when I got to high school. We didn’t know if Jim Lunney would still be there when I got there.”

Her mother played for Lunney at the start of his lengthy coaching career at Telstar. Howard and Lunney finished their careers together this spring.

Howard ended her tenure at Telstar as one of the school most accomplished athletes. She was a four-year letterwinner in not only softball but also field hockey and basketball. She was also the valedictorian of her class.

“She is an excellent example of the student-athlete that we try to develop at all our schools,” Lunney said.

Howard has been a leader and catalyst for the Rebels during her four-year career, earning Mountain Valley Conference First Team honors the last two years. As a junior, she lead the team in all offensive categories, including a school record batting average of .654 — a record her mother once held.

“A truly remarkable year,” Lunney said.

The Rebels won the regional title and lost in the state championship that year.

“When we won Western Maine’s last year, she was mad because I got further than she did,” Howard said of her mother.

This season, the Rebels didn’t get as far in the tourney, losing in the regional semifinals, but Howard had another stellar year. She led the team in runs (24), hits (26), RBI (23), extra base hits (10) and batted .481 with an on-base percentage of .556. She was also the team’s leader on defense at shortstop. 

Though the Rebels had a seasoned team, Telstar also had a number of holes to fill in the lineup after the regional crown the year before. Howard was a constant in the lineup, whether it was her big plays or her sizable presence on the team. The Rebels finished second in Class C South at 14-2 but lost to Lisbon in the semifinals.

“I was pleasantly surprise at how well we did,” Howard said of this season. “I thought we would struggle because we had new girls in a lot of important positions this year. I was really pleased and surprised that we did as well as we did. Losing only three games was definitely something I’m proud of.”

All the while, she was wearing a familiar number.  Howard had last dibs on jerseys when she came up through the program, but the one she settled for was too big. So a girl switched with her. She’s been No. 9 ever since.

“No. 9 was my Mom’s softball number, but I didn’t know that,” Howard said. “So I coincidentally got No. 9 and got to keep it all the way through.”

In a program full of tradition and an abundance of proven players, Howard continued that excellence as a foundation for the Rebels during her career. Being able to share her experiences with her mom and Lunney made it all that much better.

“I think it’s been really cool,” Howard said. “We’re both really close to Mr. Lunney. I think that helped me grow into a better softball player, too. I think it was always cool because there would be teachers like Mr. (Jon) Eliot, who’d always say how watching me is the same as watching my mom.”

Howard is now giving up varsity athletics to attend Champlain College in Vermont. She’ll study radiography there in hopes of becoming an echocardiologist.

“I’m sure I’ll play intramural or pickup basketball,” Howard said. “Because I can’t give it up.”

[email protected]

2016 Sun Journal All-Region Softball

FIRST TEAM

Emmy Lashua, Edward Little, So., C

Jordyn Reynolds, Edward Little, Jr., 1B

Sarah Hammond, Edward Little, Sr., P

Megan Theriault, Lewiston, So., P

Lauren Guppy, Mt. Blue, Sr., SS

Olivia York, Telstar, Sr., P

Becca Howard, Telstar, Sr., SS

Emma Hlister, Oak Hill, Jr., C

Karen Flaherty, Mtn. Valley, Sr., SS

Jamie True, Oak Hill, Sr., OF

SECOND TEAM

Alexa Thayer, Gray-NG, Fr.., C

Alie Martell, Gray-NG, So., P

Hayley Peterson, Telstar, Sr., OF, P

Ali Sult, Lisbon, Jr., OF, P

Sydney Petrie, Mtn. Valley, Sr., 3B

Grace Sabine, Oak Hill, Sr., 1B

Makayla Nadeau, Oak Hill, Jr., P

Erin Morton, Oxford Hills, Jr., 1B

Madison Starbird, Oxford Hills, Jr., 2B

Angela Daigle, Leavitt, Sr., SS

HONORABLE MENTION

Hannah Dixon, Gray-NG Jr., SS; Sarah Walton, Poland, Jr., SS; Kayleigh Fontaine, Mt. Blue, Jr., C; Alex Bessey, Spruce Mtn., Jr., P; Kayleigh Oberg, Winthrop Jr., C; Hannah Anderson, Monmouth, So., 3B; Shie Smith, Winthrop, Jr., OF; Emma Lueders, Dirigo, Sr., SS; Blayke Morin, Rangeley, Sr., P; Ashley Campbell, Buckfield, Sr., 2B; Bri Damon, Buckfield, Sr., 1B; Hannah Shields, Buckfield, Fr., C


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: