NORWAY — Cassidy Dumont is one of the most well known female athletes in Oxford Hills and beyond. A leader on Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School’s varsity basketball team, Dumont was a key player when the Vikings won back-to-back  state championships.

This year’s basketball season looked decidedly different. The Maine Principals’ Association first announced the season would commence in January. The surge of COVID-19 that the drove the four most southern and western counties into the moderate risk category first delayed the date and then threatened to cancel the season for Oxford County schools.

Fortunately, the coronavirus curve was once again flattened enough that Dumont and her team could finally take to the hardwood on Feb. 6.

“Coach [Nate] Pelletier did a really good job of keeping us all in touch,” Dumont said of the three-month season delay. “We gathered for ZOOM workouts so we were able to stay in touch. We were all pretty nervous about if we would be able to play.

“As a team we worked to keep the negative energy out of it. I know some players must have been frustrated, thinking they might not be able to show their improvement from last year.”

Cassidy Dumont was team captain and starting point guard for OHCHS’ girls basketball team. There were no play-offs in 2021 but the Vikings recorded an undefeated season. Courtesy Brewster Burns

This year’s basketball season was abbreviated by four games and there were no conference games or playoffs to work toward. But that didn’t deter any of the players, notably Dumont.

“We went undefeated,” Dumont noted. “At first it was a little strange but as the season progressed we kept up our competitiveness and we all played just as hard as if there would have been playoffs.”

Dumont, team captain, had an excellent season. She shifted from her previous position of shooting guard to point guard and was responsible for running the offense, a change from her other varsity seasons.

“When you play point, assists are so important, you have to make sure everyone is involved and gets their shots,” she said. “It’s actually easier being a shooter, but I find that playing point guard there is not as much pressure. You share the ball, you don’t have to take all the shots.”

Spreading the ball did not have a significant impact on Dumont’s stats however. She still finished the season as the team’s leading scorer. She was also one of 10 semi-finalists for Miss Maine Basketball, an award given to the top player in the state.

“It was very competitive group and I was proud to be in it,” she said. “A lot of those players are going on to play at Division 1 and Division 2 schools.”

Dumont’s high school basketball career has come to an end so she is setting her sights for spring on a sport she has never even played – lacrosse.

“I’ve aged out of the basketball travel team so I would have had the spring off,” she said. “I knew I’d miss the activity, being part a team, so I decided to play lacrosse. I’ve only played maybe a few times during gym class or here and there.”

Cassidy Dumont of OHCHS played on two state championship basketball teams. In 2021 she was named a semi-finalist for Miss Maine Basketball. Submitted photo

Spring sports practices have not started yet but Dumont is already working on her game, going out with a few friends and throwing the ball around. So far she has found that she’s better at catching than throwing, laughing that sometimes her throws don’t get to the spot she means them to.

But next year Dumont will continue her basketball career at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, where she will major in chemical engineering. She is undecided whether to go into the medical field, food products and preservatives or personal care. Her decision to pursue a chemical engineering education came out of an English assignment, of all things.

“Last year, I had to write a paper in English that was on doing research and making a choice,” she explained. “For my topic, I decided to research colleges and majors. I didn’t realize before that chemical engineering has such a broad spectrum of work. And the money is good, too.

“I really enjoy chemistry. With the labs, it’s really hands-on learning, which is the way I like to learn. Rather than studying how to solve a problem, you solve it yourself. In the lab setting, you’re mixing different chemicals and seeing the different reactions.”

Getting through a pandemic and watching the process unfold as different companies raced to develop vaccines is a lesson in itself for a student looking to enter the field in the future. Right now Dumont is leaning toward that track – working on new medications. But she intends to explore other aspects of chemical engineering before settling on a specialty.

With her senior year bouncing between hybrid and remote learning, Dumont says she still finds it easier than last year when everyone was stuck at home. That realization was driven home when her family was exposed to COVID-19 over the winter and ended up having to quarantine for two weeks.

“Quarantining was actually more frustrating than at the start [of COVID],” she said. “Last spring we were all stuck at home. When we had to stay home for two weeks, knowing that others can still get out and about, but I couldn’t, it made it hard.”

Getting to at least play soccer and basketball helped Dumont get through a tough, distant year. She appreciates the extra effort and work her teachers put in for students, saying that it got better as the year progressed.

One thing she is sorry to have missed out on her final year at OHCHS is mentoring. She was a mentor to about 15 students as a junior but the program was cancelled last fall.

“The teachers draft the mentors and assign them to freshmen,” she said. “We would meet once a week, and as mentor, I would help guide the kids through their first year of high school. … We would do group activities and games. I really enjoyed helping them come out of their shell. It makes the transition to high school easier for them.”


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