Edward Little High School tennis coach Greg Vincent works with sophomore Jonah Chen, center, and senior Shane Kilby during the first day of practice at Lewiston High School on March 29. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Greg Vincent’s head was spinning Tuesday, and who can blame him?

The Edward Little boys tennis coach had to keep track of his Nos. 1 and 2 singles players in one area of Lewiston High School’s tennis courts during a match against the Blue Devils, while also having to keep an eye on his two doubles teams in the other corner of the eight-court facility.

Edward Little’s No. 2 singles player Molly Vincent returns a shot against Lewiston’s Julia Svor during Tuesday’s match in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

As if that wasn’t enough, Vincent’s daughter, EL senior Molly Vincent, was playing a match in another far corner of the facility, with the Red Eddies playing the Blue Devils in both boys and girls tennis at the same time.

Five matches, one person trying to watch them all.

“It’s a little tough,” Vincent said, chuckling. “It’s good to at least get to see (Molly and her cousin Mya) and have the opportunity — you know, if they were traveling, we were home, (I wouldn’t have been able to).”

Edward Little Athletic Director Todd Sampson said he purposely tried to schedule the boys and girls matches on different days so Vincent could get as many chances to see Molly play, as well as sophomore niece Mya Vincent. With Lewiston’s larger-than-most facility — which the Red Eddies have called home this season — a dual boys-girls match with the Blue Devils made sense.

It also made sense for where Vincent perched himself Tuesday — as both a coach and a parent.

“I talked to my daughter before the season started, and kind of what to expect, and I think it’s some pressure off her,” Vincent said. “I think when I’m standing right on top of her it gets a little — as the parent, not the coach, but as the parent — I think it’s a little more difficult. But yeah, it’s definitely worked out pretty well.”

Vincent was two courts away from where Molly played her match, and up a little hill to where the boys singles matches were taking place. It was a prime spot to watch Mya play later in No. 1 singles.

MT. BLUE BOYS TENNIS USING A DEEP LINEUP

Depth has been key to the Mt. Blue boys tennis team’s success this season.

“There’s really not a lot of difference between top guys and we have had a lot of success at doubles this year,” Mt. Blue coach Zac Conlogue said. “Our singles, we have slowly gotten better as the season has gone on. I think because they are so close, they (are gaining) confidence practicing with (each other). We have improved a lot throughout out the year.”

The depth of the Cougars (7-1) was on display this past Saturday at the Region Four qualifier for the state singles tournament. It was little surprise that No. 1 singles player Michael Ferrari and No. 2 singles player Ayden Beisaw qualified for the 48-player field, but a third player, Kaden Allen fifth on the depth chart also qualified.

Mt. Blue nearly had five players make the 48-player field, but Carson Zunde and Elijah Graig just failed to qualify.

“We thought we had a shot of getting all five through, obviously the other two just fell a little short,” Conlogue said. “Like I said, any of them can play singles at any moment and have success. It has been a lot of fun coaching them this season.”

Conlogue is extra excited for the playoffs this year since the Cougars won’t play some of the top teams in Class A North in the regular season. They have faced off against regional teams like Mountain Valley and Waterville of Class B, along with Dirigo of Class C.

“We usually play a lot of these teams in the preseason so we are familiar with them, but it’s interesting to see what happens more in a pressure situation,” Conlogue said. “We haven’t faced a few of the top teams in Class A. It will be interesting come playoffs how we pair up against the Camden Hills, Brunswick, Mt. Ararat and Hampden Academy.”

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Lisbon pitchers Mason Booker and Hunter Brissette turned in an encore performance against Mt. Abram and impressed coach Randy Ridley last week.

“Good day, very good day,” Ridley said. “My two pitchers did a great job. I’d like to see us follow the strike zone a little bit more over the course of a game, but I am not disappointed at all of how either one pitched. They got into a little adversity and they battled out of it each way.”

Booker and Brissette combined to allow just two runs on four hits in the 10-2 Greyhound victory.

A DESERVING HONOR

The renaming of Dirigo’s baseball field to honor former Sun Journal sports writer and Cougars assistant baseball coach Bob McPhee was something to behold last week. What was also a sight to see is how the Dirigo players gathered around him to listen to his instructions before the team squared off against Leavitt last week.

His good friend and fellow collegian Dennis Smith had it right when he said: “In terms of his willpower and determination and grit, I have never seen anything like it, and it is just great to be around. So you get as much as you give back with Bob and more.”

So true.

Dirigo High School assistant baseball coach Bob McPhee, left, takes part in the team huddle prior to the start of last Monday’s game against Leavitt Area High School. The ballfield was renamed “Bob McPhee Baseball Diamond” prior to the start of the game. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

All week, Elaine Derosby preached the little things that win softball games to her Edward Little softball team as it geared up for a rematch Wednesday against Lewiston

It was about doing things that win you games, and the hours of work came in clutch on Wednesday evening late in the game against their rivals. 

“In the first couple innings we were not hitting line drives,” Derosby said. “We had been just reminding them to hit line drives and then we started hitting line drives. Even ground balls were going to take a little bit of time.”

EL hit the ball hard in the sixth inning, down three to Lewiston, when the Red Eddies went single, double, double and then single to tie the game without recording an out. Balls were lined deep into the outfield and when it mattered most, the team received a return on its practice time investment. 

Then, in the seventh, EL’s McKenzi Horton and Amanda Raymond both hit hard grounders and ran hard to first to get on base in time for Leah Thibodeau’s hard grounder to third that was able to score the winning run after Thibodeau herself beat out the throw to first. 

“We are young, with a lot of softball play, but not necessarily strategic,” Derosby said. “We want them to think about why we practice these things for the game.”

NEW COLORS, SAME PLAYER

Charlotte Gastonguay has scored eight goals in three of her four games so far for the Lewiston girls lacrosse team  her first season with the Blue Devils after starting her high school career at St. Dominic Academy. 

After starting the season a couple of weeks late after the Lewiston team had to go into quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gastonguay scored eight on Edward Little to start the season, then faced off against her former school and scored eight more. 

Gastonguay said she wanted to win really bad against her former team, and scoring eight goals shows that determination, but she also has been dishing out assists and helps press the ball carrier defensively every chance she gets, proving why she was voted a captain of the team.

BARNES’ BEST

Last Saturday’s Husky Throwdown at Maine Central Institute was a chance for outdoor track throwers around the state to compete against each other in discus, shot put and javelin.

Gray-New Gloucester senior Zoe Barnes was named the Throwmeister of the meet, and it was no surprise why. Barnes won both the discus and shot put, and broke both the meet and school record in the discus in the process. Her throw of 124 feet, 1 inch was nearly six feet farther than the previous meet record.

The Patriots easily won the girls team competition, with 61 points to runner-up Brewer’s 27 and third-place Edward Little’s 23. EL’s Faith Small won the javelin.

Leavitt won the boys competition, out-pointing second-place Brewer 41-35. The Hornets had a standout performance by Tommy Casey (third in javelin and shot put, fifth in discus), as well as Robert Oliver’s runner-up to EL’s Cameron Langlois in the javelin. Gray-NG’s Tyler Amos was second in shot put and third in discus.


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