Mountain Valley’s Rylee Sevigny heads toward the net during a recent game against Dirigo in Rumford on November 10, 2020. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Editor’s note: The coronavirus pandemic made the 2020 fall sports season different than any before it. Some teams didn’t play. Those who did, played shorter schedules, and some only a handful of games or less. There were still standout players, though. And while there might not have been enough games to compile the typical All-Region teams, the Sun Journal still wants to recognize some of the standouts by selecting players of the year for the sports that had seasons.

Mountain Valley’s Rylee Sevigny looked to make the best out of her final field hockey season which only had eight games.

In three games reported to the Sun Journal this season the senior forward had 11 goals. In three years prior to that,  she had 62 goals and 32 assists. Her offensive prowess has led her to be named the Sun Journal All-Region Player of the Year.

“I will remember the anticipation if we were going to have a game, every game(day),” Sevigny said. “I think for this reason my team was much closer this year because we were grateful to step up on the field.”

She also knew as one of the captains she could lead by example and continue to work on her skills while teaching the younger players.

“I think this gave us a chance to really work on our skills,” Sevigny said. “At the end of the day, it didn’t matter if we won or lost, we were just there for each other. Obviously, we wanted to win every game we could, but it was more about building our skill set and working together as a team.”

She was pleased how the freshmen performed this year and thought the juniors also made progress in their development.

Sevigny said she continued to work on getting stronger during the offseason. Not only physically stronger, but mentally, knowing that there may be potentially starts and stops once the season got underway.

As for her teammates, Mountain Valley coach Melissa Forbes saw them marvel at what Sevigny can do with her field hockey stick on the ball.

Mountain Valley’s Rylee Sevigny, right, dribbles past Dirigo’s Jayce Brophy during both teams’ season finale in Rumford last week. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“Her athleticism, her coordination and what she can do with a field hockey ball I think leaves kids awestruck,” Forbes said. “Kids who like the game of field hockey, girls, I think they watch her and they want to be like that. What she can do with a field hockey ball and stick is crazy and is so fun to watch. I think that when young girls watch her play, middle school or freshmen and they want to be able to do those things.”

With an eight-game schedule, the Falcons were only able to play teams in Oxford County so they saw a lot of the same teams. Sevigny will remember the battles with Dirigo this year after the Falcons and Cougars met four times.

She said it was fun, but games with Dirigo did get a little repetitive.

“It definitely was (repetitive), especially playing Dirigo all the time since they are one of our rivals,” Sevigny said. “We never wanted to lose but they were a good team. By the end of (the season), we knew how each other played.”

The Cougars won the series 2-1-1.

Another difference this year was Rylee didn’t have her sister Avery on the team for the first time. Avery was a senior last season.

“We had to change our formation up because we didn’t have her,” Rylee said. “She was super strong up front as a (forward) and we made up for it in the backfield. We definitely had a lot of talented players back there.”

What Forbes will remember the 2020 season is not for Rylee’s stats but the passion she had for the sport.

“Once the whistle blows and it was the girls playing, her love for the game shines through,” Forbes said. “That’s what I saw in the eight games that we were able to play”

As for Sevigny’s future in the sport, she doesn’t know where it may lead. She hasn’t made a video yet to send to colleges. She hopes to decide in the next few weeks on her future plans.

“COVID, even though I thought it would help me prepare more, it made me uncertain on what I want to do in my life,” Sevigny said. “I am going to try the next few weeks to figure out what my plan is.”

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