Bessey Motors’ Emery Chickering makes a diving effort to snag a sharp line drive during an American Legion baseball game in Auburn in July 2018. Sun Journal file photo

Emery Chickering and Hunter LaBossiere were on Oxford Hills’ varsity baseball team in 2018 when the Vikings lost in the Class A North final and were on last year’s Bessey Motors American Legion team that lost in the state final. They were also in attendance to watch their former team lose to Scarborough in June in the Class A final.

Hunter LaBossiere (2) congratulates Bessey Motors teammate Wyatt Williamson, with bat, after Williamson scored a run against Topsham Post 202 earlier this month in Paris. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

They have one last chance to win a title, and that’s the sole goal of the season for Bessey.

Both players, Bessey’s only two post-grad players on a team that is virtually a carbon-copy of Oxford Hills’ team from the spring, have had very different years leading up to the summer.

Chickering is an assistant golf professional at Sunday River Golf Club and is about to take the PGA playing test in August as part of his path to opening his own golf course.

“I have my PGA playing test on August 21 and if I pass that then I have a job most likely in Florida I can go work at,” Chickering said. “Then I have to take three stages of classes and once I graduate those classes I come out with essentially a college degree in golf management.”

Golf has been the focus for Chickering. However, baseball wasn’t ever too far away. Chickering’s brother, Riley, is the junior varsity baseball coach at Oxford Hills and helped him stay in baseball shape the best he could.

“I went to a lot of practices with him, pretty much every practice,” Chickering said. “(Hunter and I) didn’t want to go to too many varsity practices because we didn’t want to take reps from kids that needed them. The JV team is pretty good and a lot of them are competing for varsity spots so that was good.”

While Chickering has his eyes set on another sport, LaBossiere’s immediate future lies in baseball.

LaBossiere joined the University of Maine at Farmington baseball team and played in left field, as he did with the Vikings, for 34 games.

“The beginning of the year for me personally I struggled at the plate. But then things started getting better for me, and I was lucky to be able to play a lot of the games, so that helped me get in rhythm,” LaBossiere said. “Team-wise it was fun. It was like how we have it at Oxford Hills where everyone was trying to get to know me and I was really surprised, going into college and me being a freshman and just having the connections I have with the guys.”

At college, LaBossiere learned how to adjust to help his team win games. This summer, he says his role on Bessey Motors is similar.

“I am having a great year at the plate, I am seeing the ball well and I think I’ve really learned a lot in college to bring back to Legion,” LaBossiere said. “… I think it’s really just the little things that have added up this year in college. There are maybe one or two plays that didn’t go my way in college that I adjust to it. Thinking more about where I have to hit the ball and being a team player and what I can do to help others succeed as a leader.”

LaBossiere barely skipped a beat with Bessey. Like Chickering, LaBossiere became very close with his Oxford Hills teammates. Even being away from the day-to-day grind with the team, LaBossiere still fits in.

“There’s really been no difference when I’ve come back,” LaBossiere said. “They’ve welcomed me back. We’re all kind of like brothers and no matter how far in life we will have a connection, either playing baseball or in the real world.”

Chickering practiced with the Oxford Hills JV team occasionally this spring, but still sees his teammates everywhere.

“We’re all brothers and it’s pretty cool that as soon as Hunter and I came back they welcomed us back,” Chickering said. “It’s awesome we’ve all remained good friends. Rodney and Wyatt come up and golf.”

The team chemistry has helped Chickering and LaBossiere re-enter the team. Everyone knows their role, and the post-grad players are ready to contribute however they can in order to finally bring home a title.

“My role would be just playing the game for what the team needs and coming in at any moment,” LaBossiere said. “Coming back to be a team player and do what I need to do to help the team win. I want to be the extra guy to help them win a state title, at least in Legion. Either laying down a bunt or drive in a run, whatever they need.”

“Especially for myself, I’ve never won a state title,” Chickering said. “I’ve never won one so that’s what I’m hoping for. Just to be able to play on a team like this and know we have a chance to win it, our mindset is that we’re finally going to come out on top.”

 


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