Spruce Mountain’s Jaycee Cole, right, drives against Richmond’s Caitlin Kendrick during a game at Richmond in December 2018. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Spruce Mountain senior Jaycee Cole wanted finished her senior year on a high note after four rewarding years.

“I was actually planning on doing a spring sport just so I didn’t have that weird offseason,” she said.

Cole’s plan was to run outdoor track for the first time as a high school athlete until the coronavirus canceled the spring sports season and put the kibosh on her aspiration. 

“I was excited. I felt like I was going to be good at it,” Cole said. “I felt like I would be naturally good at it.”

She understands that safety outweighs high school sports, but Cole’s accomplishments in the classroom and on the soccer field and basketball court speak for her character.

Cole was not the type to look for accolades every time she stepped on a field or court. The personal pronouns “I” and “me” really don’t have a place in Cole’s lexicon, but you will hear “us” or “we” when she proudly spoke about her team.

Cole went about her business in any soccer or basketball game with aplomb, but the good of the team was her sole focus.

Those attributes worked for her when the going got tough — and she is not easily rattled — and it explains why she thrived in soccer and basketball.

She excels in both sports but enjoys hoops more than soccer.

“I think I enjoy basketball better, and I had the same coach (Zach Keene) for four years,” she said. 

This past winter, Spruce Mountain pulled off some exciting victories against MVC teams, such as one over Dirigo when the Phoenix used a stall tactic to slip away from the Cougars.

“Personally not my best game, but maybe it was the best game for the team,” Cole said. “We all did collectively well that game. I think my best game … was the Mt. Abram game. I did a good job on that one. We did win that one. It was the last game of the season.”

Cole said she enjoyed being on the court with her teammates even though the Phoenix did not make the playoffs the past season.

“It wasn’t expected (for us to make the postseason) because it was more of building year for everybody,” Cole said.

She was a solid point guard and a behind-the-scenes player who is capable of calling the shots. She averaged about 12 points a game, but her speed and agility made her equally menacing on defense.

Like all high school seniors across the world, Cole is feeling like COVID-19 rudely interrupted her generation. She was going to run outdoor track for the first time, but that goal, along with graduation and possibly the prom, aren’t going to happen, at least not as planned, due to the pandemic.

“I understand the situation … it’s for the best,” Cole said. “But I am kind of upset about having to alter graduation and possibly not having a prom. A lot of my friends feel the same way.

Losing those events might sting, but Cole said it is time for her to move forward. She will be attending Southern Maine Community College where she will study dental hygiene then transfer to another to university in two years. She will also be playing basketball for SMCC next season.

“I will remember a bunch of stuff. I really enjoyed all of it. I really appreciate the staff for making it a great experience in high school,” she said. “Like every high school kid, the prom and the homecoming and winter carnival, all of that, made it really special.”

— Tony Blasi

TRACK AND FIELD

Isabelle Castonguay

Isabelle Castonguay
“Isabelle is a racewalker. Her goal this year was to break an eight-minute mile in the racewalk as well as being a top challenger for racewalk in the state. She was talking to me about the season before the season. She was pumped about the upcoming season. I feel bad that she is missing her track opportunity her senior year.”

Brandon Coates

Brandon Coates
“Brandon is the go to guy for the sprints. He was a major contributor for the team in the 100-meter dash as well as the 4×100 relay team. This was going to be his year to be a leader of the team. This year had the potential to be a breakout year for him. It’s unfortunate that he will miss this season and leadership opportunity.”

Jaycee Cole

Jaycee Cole
“Jaycee was coming back to track and field after a three-year hiatus, a three-sport (athlete) that hadn’t done track since middle school. She was a top distance runner in middle school and I think she was looking to do track this year to prove to herself that she still could do it. I am sorry she missed the opportunity to push herself to see what her limits are. We are all going to miss some great racing from her due to the season closure.”

Evan Dow

Evan Dow
“Evan is motivated and driven. He had set goals for himself before the season and had already started to train to reach his goals. I am sure that he is continuing to train, but the loss of the track season makes the training a little harder. His infectious spirit will be missed.”

Abigail Drummond

Abigail Drummond
“A sprinter with great determination! She is fun to watch run as she accelerates down the track.”

Riley Gray

Riley Gray
“Riley is a quiet leader. She leads through dedication and perseverance.”

Colby Hamblin

Colby Hamblin
“A dedicated leader to the program. He is always striving to improve not only himself, but the others around him.”

Hannah Holland

Hannah Holland
“Always friendly and smiling. She cheers on all of her teammates all the time and is always there to lend a hand. Her kindness and great attitude will be missed.”

Demika Lacoste

Demika Lacoste
“Demika was going out for the team for the very first time and would have been a very good piece to add to the running events for the girls program. So sorry you missed the opportunity.”

Adria Plourde

Adria Plourde
“A very good athlete that was coming back to track for her senior year. Her leadership skills were going to be a great addition to the program this year.”

Karissa Ritter

Karissa Ritter
“The kind of athlete every coach wants on their team. The kind of person that is always willing to help and be the person to lead by example. She will truly be missed.”

GIRLS TENNIS

Annabelle Collins

Annabelle Collins
“An amazing young woman with fire and passion. You will do great things. Best of Luck.”

Ngan Huynh

Ngan Huynh
“You have been a great addition to the SMHS community, becoming involved in soccer, bowling and planned on tennis. I am sure that we have learned more from you than you have us. You will be missed.”

BOYS TENNIS

Cameron Cain

Cameron Cain
“You are very fun to watch, playing with intensity and fortitude. Agile and quick, you were able to make plays most could not. Good luck in your next adventure as I know you will do well.”

Scott Jackson

Scott Jackson
“It has been a lot of fun watching you become an accomplished tennis player. Your intellectual knowledge of the game proved to be your biggest asset in your success. Best of luck next year.”

BASEBALL

Bryson Bailey

Bryson Bailey
“Bryson is coming off a season in which he was one of the top pitchers in the MVC. He would have been in the infield when not on the bump as he is easily the most versatile player on the squad. Combine that with a great bat, power and leadership and you have a top quality player.”

Connor Beaulieau

Connor Beaulieau
“Another strong pitcher and starting third baseman. Connor has great mound presence and a good bat. A true leader for this team.”

Trey Davis

Trey Davis
“Trey would likely have been the starting shortstop. A great fielder with range and a strong arm that would have also seen time on the mound.”

Brandon Frey

Brandon Frey
“Brandon would have been returning to baseball after several years running track. He would have helped to shore up the outfield and provide speed and quickness at bat and on base.”

Dylan Gould

Dylan Gould
“Dylan is a southpaw that is always around the plate. He has a good bat and would likely have seen time both in the infield and outfield this season.”

Logan Moffett

Logan Moffett
“One of the pitchers on this senior staff with college aspirations as he heads to Penn State. When not hurling, he would have been the starting first baseman and likely one of the top hitters for the Phoenix this year.”

Rodney Poulin

Rodney Poulin
“Rodney would have seen time in the outfield this season as his skills continued to improve and would have provided a valuable asset in the form of speed on the basepaths.”

Colby Rollins

Colby Rollins
“Colby comes off an ankle injury that sidelined him for most of 2019. He would likely have been a utility player seeing a lot of time in different positions. A great leader on and off the field.”

Jacob Schoonover

Jacob Schoonover
“Jacob is a three-year player that would have added some versatility to the team with pitching and outfield play.”

SOFTBALL

Kayla Adams

Kayla Adams
“Kayla brings experience to the squad that lost six starters last year. She is a good hitter and would likely have seen time in the infield this year.”

Ashley Campbell

Ashley Campbell
“Ashley saw time in the infield last year and would likely return to shore up an infield that lost three seniors. She displays hitting and fielding ability and leads by example.”

Emily Castonguay

Emily Castonguay
“Emily has a great deal of experience, possesses speed and quickness. She would have been a leading hitter and would likely have moved back to the infield to replace key losses. She works hard and is a great leader.”

Skye Chretien

Skye Chretien
“Skye returns to the program after a year off. She is a great fielder with a bat to match. She would likely have been in and out of the infield and outfield based on need and matchups.”

Katrina Cook

Katrina Cook
“Katrina has a passion for the sport of softball. She is a good fielder with a good arm that would likely have seen time in the outfield this year.”

Grace Goodwin

Grace Goodwin
“Grace is a good fielder that comes to the varsity (team) for the first time. She is a very good fielder and provides power at the plate.”

Grace Harmatys

Grace Harmatys
“Grace has anchored the outfield the past few seasons and would likely return there with the possibility of some time in the infield. She has great speed and a good arm. She possesses a great deal of experience and knowledge of the game.”

Jenna Martin

Jenna Martin
“Jenna was the starting third baseman for the Phoenix last year. She is a good hitter with a quality glove, a strong arm and great leadership skills.”

Marissa McMannus

Marissa McMannus
“Marissa finds her spot behind the plate. She sees the field and knows the game and will provide depth at the plate.”

Photos and quotes compiled by Spruce Mountain High School athletic director Marc Keller. Quotes provided by track and field coach Jay Lindsey, girls tennis coach Jeremy Gath and Keller.


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