Poland coach Kayla Lyons congratulates Chloe Tufts, while Leavitt’s Hannah DeBlois looks on, after Tufts’ RBI triple in the Knights’ Class B South preliminary round win in Poland in 2018. Wil Kramlich/Sun Journal file photo Buy this Photo

When Kayla Lyons and Kat Seeley took over as co-coaches of the Poland softball program three years ago, they admitted that their first season was going to be one of rebuilding. But they hoped to set a solid foundation for the years to come.

Flash forward to 2020, what would have been Seeley’s fourth season — Lyons wasn’t going to return after giving birth in November — and the freshmen from that first team were set be the senior leaders in their final seasons of high school softball.

Poland pitcher Karley O’Leary follows through on a delivery while shortstop Chloe Tufts looks on during a game against Gray-New Gloucester in Poland in May 2019. Wil Kramlich/Sun Journal file photo

“These seniors were more dedicated than any other groups of girls I have coached,” Seeley said. “Each of them put countless hours in outside of the season to prepare themselves for the spring season.”

The group of Madison Edwards, Kailyn Eskuri, Ally and Amanda Gagne, Karley O’Leary and Chloe Tufts have helped the Knights progress from being the final team to qualify for the Class B South playoffs in their freshman year to a program that the past two years has earned winning records and battled with the better teams in the Western Maine Conference.

Seeley said she thought this year’s team had the potential for another playoff run, and the girls “had their hearts set on playing June 20 (in the state championship game).”

“This (senior) group and their underclassmen would’ve competed at the highest level this season,” Lyons said. “It is devastating they didn’t get a chance to show that.”

Seeley said it is “quite difficult” to find the words to describe how much she’s going to miss the senior class, which, in addition to the three years they were together for softball, she has also been around during the soccer and basketball seasons and as a teacher at Poland Regional High School.

“There was no better feeling then ending a game in a team circle,” Seeley said. “These seniors have created a positive culture within the program that will carry on into future years. They have showed what they can do and what it takes to get there.”

— Wil Kramlich

SOFTBALL

Madison Edwards

Madison Edwards
“Madison is a quiet leader who is willing to play wherever the team needs her. She works hard and always puts the team first.”

Kailyn Eskuri

Kailyn Eskuri
“Kailyn brought her all to every practice and game. The team could always count on her natural ability to make big plays.”

Alyssa Gagne

Alyssa Gagne
“Alyssa is one of the most dedicated, hard-working athletes on the team. Her willingness to put in extra work outside of the season has made her known on the mound.”

Amanda’lyn Gagne

Amanda’lyn Gagne
“Amanda brings a high level of intensity to every practice and game. Her hard work and dedication to her teammates is second to none.”

Karley O’Leary

Karley O’Leary
“Karley shows up and works hard, day in and day out. Her dedication goes beyond the program, (as) she spends time coaching and umpiring youth teams.”

Chloe Tufts

Chloe Tufts
“Chloe is extremely hard-working behind the plate and brings a consistent bat to the lineup. Her desire to improve shows she is willing to go the extra ‘base’ for her team.”

BASEBALL

Brycen Bell

Brycen Bell
“In sports, many coaches use the mantra, ‘Positions are not given, they are earned.” No one in the Knights baseball program exemplified that mantra more than Brycen. Brycen earned everything he ever achieved on the baseball field through a tremendous work ethic and dedication to his craft.”

Daulton Bolduc

Daulton Bolduc
“Daulton brought a unique flair to the baseball diamond, from diving for routine fly balls in scrimmages to making sure everyone was smiling. Daulton always found a way to contribute to his team.”

Nicholas Bowen

Nick Bowen
“Nick never left the team with a dull moment. Nick’s dedication to the Knights baseball program is unquestioned.”

Noah Breton

Noah Breton
“Noah took to the philosophy of becoming a multi-positional player. Noah was the program’s Swiss Army knife, and more than willing to fill any role asked of him.”

Davin Cloutier

Davin Cloutier
“Davin played the toughest position in baseball. Davin was always receptive to coaching and strived to be the best catcher he could be. Davin was a great teammate and instrumental part of the Knights baseball program.”

Brady Downing

Brady Downing
“Brady was a tremendous baseball player, blessed with an unwavering work ethic and incredible abilities. Brady was a standout on and off the diamond and will be sorely missed in both aspects by the Knights baseball program.”

Joshua Power

Josh Power
“Josh worked hard to be the best baseball player he could be. Josh enjoyed success, and showed perseverance when the bounces did not go his way. Josh was a great teammate, willing to support anyone and do anything for the Knights baseball program.”

GIRLS LACROSSE

Ashley Hemenway

Ashley Hemenway
“Ashley Hemenway is an aggressive defender who quickly picked up the skill necessary in order to play lacrosse as a first-year player.”

Logan Lajoie

Logan Lajoie
“Logan Lajoie is an outstanding lacrosse player and a natural leader both on and off the field. Logan sticks out on the field as one of the hardest working players with her effort and energy on the field.”

Madysan Miller

Madysan Miller
“Madysan Miller picked up lacrosse quickly last season, she was always asking questions and working to improve her defensive skills.”

TRACK AND FIELD

Emma Auger

Emma Auger
“Emma brings speed and grit to the team. She is constantly working to improve her pace, she likes to run fast.”

Colin Callahan

Colin Callahan
“Colin returns for his second season of outdoor track. He purchased a javelin and practices daily. He works hard, and his commitment to his teammates is second to none.”

Abby Champagne

Abby Champagne
“Abby brings much happiness and enthusiasm to the team. Her constant willingness to try new things is wonderful.”

Cole Cushman

Cole Cushman
“Cole, who is a senior leader on the team, works hard to maintain a constant mile pace. Cole brings stability and assurance to his team through his integrity and personality.”

Faith Davis

Faith Davis
“Faith is one of the hardest-working athletes on the team. Her willingness to practice until she gets it  right speaks volumes to her commitment to the sport.”

Destiny Jipson

Destiny Jipson
“Destiny shows up to work. She is willing to help where needed and try new things to help the team.”

Nicole Kimball

Nicole Kimball
“Nicole, small but mighty, runs and jumps as fast as she can. She likes to win and does so always with grace and integrity.”

Nevaeh Longchamps

Nevaeh Lonchamps
“Neveah, a true leader, brings a positive energy to the team. The first to cheer for others on her team, she is always there in support.”

David MacKenzie

David MacKenzie
“David, or DJ as his team calls him, brings a fun spirit to his team. Always smiling and always bringing his best. He finishes every race with a smile.”

Annie McGlauflin

Annie McGlauflin
“Annie is always smiling and brings a certain charm to the team. She works hard to do her best while always checking in on others.”

Emma Mocciola

Emma Mocciola
“Emma is the first to bring a good laugh when needed. She keeps it light and fun all while working hard towards her own goals.”

Sophia Nottingham

Sophia Nottingham
“Sophia is always the first to volunteer for any job that needs to get done. She takes care of her team on and off the track.”

Kayla Ogden

Kayla Ogden
“Kayla is the true heart of any team. She is very kind and supports her team, she is the biggest cheerleader and truly loves her teammates.”

Benjamin Olson

Ben Olson
“Ben is extremely hard-working. He is the first to volunteer to fill any position needed to help the team. Ben puts the team first and it shows.”

Olivia Ouellette

Olivia Ouelette
“Olivia is hard-working and brings her all to every practice and meet. Her dedication to track is very apparent in her performance at meets.”

Benjamin Pittman

Ben Pittman
“Ben, a four-year veteran to the team, always performs at the highest level. He is a true competitor and leaves nothing on the track.”

Rachael Thebarge

Rachel Thebarge
“Rachel brings a smile and a willingness to learn to practice, every day. Her ability to make someone smile is second to none.”

Mia Turkington

Mia Turkington
“Mia is the hardest-working person on any team. She competes at the highest level and always supports her teammates by cheering  for them at the end of the track.”

Matthew Walker

Matt Walker
“Matt is a born leader and a true distance runner. He leads the team by example, even running the 400, something he normally does not run, to help his team.”

Autumn Willis

Autumn Willis
“Autumn brings a high level of intensity to every event she competes in. She works hard and works to improve each week.”

Photos and quotes compiled by Poland Regional High School athletic director Don King. Quotes provided by baseball coach Charlie Pray, softball coach Kat Seeley, track and field coaches Rick Kramer and Nancy Walker and Gray-New Gloucester/Poland girls lacrosse coach Emma LaFrance.


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