Dylan Desroches was poised to be a four-year starter for the Mountain Valley baseball team. The multisport standout is one of the top catchers in the conference and was expected to also pitch this season. Submitted photo

Dylan Desroches doesn’t need to be reminded of what he and his fellow senior athletes at Mountain Valley lost this spring due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Working for the Rumford Parks Department provides him daily reminders.

Desroches spent much of the past four years at the Hosmer Field Complex. Whether it was on Chet Bulger Field barking out signals as the quarterback of the Falcons’ football team or kneeling behind the plate and in front of the grandstand at the other end of the complex as the catcher for the baseball team, Desroches was usually in the middle of the action.

With the 2020 spring season canceled, he lost the chance to appropriately close the book on a four-year varsity baseball career the way he did in football in the fall and basketball near the end of winter.

He is still holding out hope that an American Legion season can provide him with some closure before he enrolls in the fall at Maine Maritime Academy, where he is planning on continuing his football career.

“I’m hoping to get a season, or at least just a few games, just to have closure on four years of baseball,” Desroches said.

His new job, and helping his family build a chicken coop, have filled some of the void left by the lack of baseball, not to mention losing out on all of the senior landmarks such as marching at graduation.

Desroches’ year-round commitment to athletics didn’t cut into his academics, since he is finishing top 10 in his class. His seasons almost always extended through the playoffs (all four years in football and baseball, three straight years in basketball) and sometimes overlapped.

The starkness of a spring without sports is made a little bit more bearable because it’s given him time to reflect.

“I’ve been looking back a little bit,” he said. “There have been a lot of great memories throughout everything, especially football and baseball. We won a couple of games in football and made the tournament all four years. We made it all four years in baseball and three years in a row in basketball.”

He noted that all three baseball playoff appearances included a long bus trip to York. The Falcons enjoyed one of the biggest wins in their recent history his sophomore year when, in the Class B South quarterfinals, they avenged a quarterfinal loss to the Wildcats his freshman year. Last year, Mountain Valley beat Fryeburg in the quarterfinals then nearly pulled off another upset at York before losing, 7-6.

A starting catcher the past two years, Desroches was looking forward to guiding an inexperienced Mountain Valley pitching staff while also contributing from the mound this year.

Instead, he’s helping keep Rumford’s fields ready for when the games finally do return.

— Randy Whitehouse

BASEBALL

Matt Brown

Matt Brown
“After playing mostly JV ball for the past three years, Matt was ready to make the step up to varsity baseball. Matt would have either played second base or third base and would have hit in the six or seven spot. Matt plays with great heart and effort and certainly is a character guy.”

Fischer Cormier

Fischer Cormier
“A first-team all-star last year, Fischer would have been the team’s No. 1 pitcher after an outstanding season of elite travel baseball. He was definitely a frontrunner for Player of the Year. He has improved each year, hitting over .500 as a junior. He is an outstanding infielder, but would volunteer to catch if needed. His energy and enthusiasm made him the ultimate teammate. He would have also been a captain this year. He made the game so much fun for everyone around him.”

Dylan Desroches

Dylan Desroches
“A four-year starter, Dylan has become an all-star-level catcher. He hit close to .400 last year and was among the team leaders in RBI, always coming up with the big hit. Dylan is a team captain and would have pitched this year. I believe he would have been in the running for Player of the Year in the MVC. He plays the game with class and passion.”

Isaac Gordon

Isaac Gordon
“Isaac worked hard this summer in (American) Legion baseball. He became a consistent hitter and would have made an impact this spring. He is very versatile and can play many positions.”

Cody Hemingway

Cody Hemingway
“Cody is a team captain and, above that, a team player. A three-year starter, Cody was the leadoff batter, hitting over .300 last year. He could play any position, but would have played either third or second. He also would have been the No. 3 pitcher. Cody is the ultimate teammate and his love for the game is evident.”

Tyler Hill

Tyler Hill
“Telstar’s best player a year ago, Tyler transferred to Mountain Valley. Tyler was the leading hitter on the American Legion team last summer, playing numerous positions. He was set to play center field and bat second for the Falcons this spring. He was poised to have a great senior year.”

SOFTBALL

Audra Bean

Audra Bean
“Audra has been on varsity since her freshman year. She loves softball and has worked very hard to be a very good player. She plays in the summertime to get her skills sharpened, and it shows. Her bat and glove behind the plate would have truly given her and us a great season as a team. She is a great leader always trying to help out with younger players and always loosening the dugout with her sense of humor. She will truly be missed by Falcon softball.”

Saydie Garbarini

Saydie Garbarini
“Saydie has been varsity since her freshman year and has gotten better each year. Last year she had an amazing year hitting and fielding. She is an awesome young lady and a great leader by example. I believe Saydie would have had an amazing senior year at third base and led us to a great season. I know she will be heartbroken to not have her final year on the softball field. She will surely be missed by Falcon softball.”

TRACK AND FIELD

Damien Arsenault

Damien Arsenault
“Damien had a tremendous work ethic and was willing to do whatever it took to help out his teammates. His determination was to be instrumental in building a strong team culture this spring. Above all, his attitude and compassion will be sorely missed. Best of luck in the future Damien, I know you will achieve great things.”

Cloey Ledesma

Cloey Ledesma
“Cloey was a tremendous worker that enjoyed learning how to throw a javelin. Being on a small track team, she understood that she would be called upon to (compete in) events that she would not choose to do. She was a selfless teammate and a great communicator on the girls track team. She will be missed. Thanks, Cloey.”

Noah Stickney

Noah Stickney
“Noah is quick with a joke and always trying to find ways to put a smile on everyone’s face. As a freshman, he dedicated himself to the race walk and evolved into a strong competitor in the conference. His personality will carry him positively to the next step in his life.”

GIRLS TENNIS

“Each of these athletes play multiple sports and their transfer of skills helped each of them with tennis. With three leading seniors the team had very high expectations for this season. I miss the opportunity to work with them.”

— Dirigo girls tennis coach Don Fuller

Abigail Gauvin

Abigail Gauvin
“Abby would likely have been a force with her partner at first doubles. She quietly goes about the task at hand and supports her teammates. She made the effort to clinic this winter to improve for this season.”

Kierstyn Lyons

Kierstyn Lyons
“Kierstyn took on the demanding position of first singles and battled hard for every match, and, win or lose, kept a positive attitude. As a coach I appreciated her desire to learn more about the game and certainly looked for her to have a great senior season. Whatever sport Kierstyn is playing she gives 100 percent.”

Avery Sevigny

Avery Sevigny
“Avery moved from doubles to third singles last year and had a strong season. Avery is a fierce competitor and, given our returning lineup from last year, she would have had another great year. Her athleticism kept her in every match, and her sense of humor kept practices and bus rides lively.”

BOYS TENNIS

Trevor Gallant

Trevor Gallant
“Trevor has worked hard to gain skill and confidence over four years and was going to anchor down one of our doubles spots.”

Josh Hodsdon

Josh Hodsdon
“Josh brings a level of determination and grit to this sport that leaves people with nothing but respect for him, as his hustle is second to no one. It’s not rare to witness Josh go full ‘Boris Becker’ and dive for a shot and bounce up to see that he had won the point.”

Kaleb Noyes

Kaleb Noyes
“Kaleb was poised to be our co-captain and has been a very enthusiastic part of this team for four years. This year, Kaleb would have battled to get off the doubles ladder and into one of the singles positions.”

Photos and quotes compiled by Mountain Valley High School athletic director Thomas Danylik. Quotes provided by baseball coach Steve LaPointe, softball coach Gary Dolloff, track and field coaches James Taylor and Adam Curato, girls tennis coach Don Fuller and boys tennis coach Todd Papaniou.


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