Ashley, far left, Alexa, Alyvia, Tanya and Aaron Perreault wearing uniforms and shirts of one of the travel softball team the family has been involved with, the Maine Revere. Submitted photo

Finding an activity for the whole family to enjoy was a walk in the park for devoted parents Aaron and Tanya Perreault, who turned to softball to keep their three daughters active.

Sisters Ashley, left, Alexa, center, and Alyvia Perreault played one year together for the Dirigo High School softball team in 2019, when Ashley was a senior pitcher, Alexa a sophomore catcher and Alyvia a freshman shortstop. Submitted photo

Softball became the Perreault’s pastime, and Aaron and Tanya eventually started coaching their three daughters, from youth leagues through high school.

As soon as their daughters — Ashley, Alexa and Alyvia — could hold a bat and throw a softball, they began joining teams and were coached by their parents.


Tanya is in her second season as Dirigo High School’s head coach after spending six years overseeing the middle school’s softball team.

She was a member of the Cougars’ softball team when she was in high school and then played at Plymouth State College for a year before finishing her degree at the University of Maine at Augusta.


“As far as coaching, I get to spend every afternoon with them at practices,” Tanya, who is a kindergarten teacher at Spruce Mountain Primary School, said. “I get to see their interactions with their peers. I get to see their leadership. It is nice to see their leadership, their knowledge of the game and their love of the game. So I get to see that firsthand.”

The entire family showed up for Alexa’s Perreault’s senior game in 2021. From left, Ashley, Aaron, Alexa, Tanya and Alyvia. Submitted photo

Aaron also views coaching as a way to spend quality time with his children.

“My wife and I ran a local T-ball program, and it turned into youth softball,” Aaron said. “Each kid started getting older and we just kept continuing coaching those programs all the way up through. My wife took over the middle school program when our oldest was a sixth-grader, and I helped out on the program at Dirigo High School.

“All three of them have played travel ball. We have traveled the last four or five years all over Maine. Alyvia is on another program that is going to take us out of state. We spend our weekends at the softball field and our Saturdays in the winter at the Dome in Topsham. But we have made it a family event and enjoy that time together.”

Softball has helped develop a bond that has strengthen the Tanya and Aaron’s love and commitment to their children.

“I am going to be honest with you,” Tanya said. “My family has just loved softball from the moment when they started playing when they were 5 (years old). (The sport) is a love of my husband and I. 


“As a matter of fact, we spent yesterday at (Central Maine Community College) watching the girls (softball) game and we don’t even have kids in the fire. We just love softball so much that we can’t get enough of it. We know that’s where Alyvia will be playing next year.”

Softball is often discussed at the dinner table and in the car after a game.

“We talk softball all the time,” Aaron said. “I would say that all three girls know the game as well if not better than most coaches. I honestly feel they will all be coaches and give back to the sport.”

Alyvia Perreault of Dirigo High School slides into home plate, beating the throw to Mt. Abram’s Adrianna Stinchfield, during a May 2021 game in Dixfield. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Aaron runs a property maintenance company, but he makes every effort to be at his daughters’ games and still helps out with the Dirigo team when he can.

“At one point in time all three of them were on a high school team, starting, and it was pretty awesome,” Aaron said, referring to the 2019 season when Ashley was a senior, Alexa a sophomore and Alyvia a freshman.

He said that being avid fans of the sport can sometimes cause some friendly friction in the family.


“There’s been times where it certainly brought us closer together and there’s been times where you have that little argument on the field as a coach — and you are coaching your own child and they don’t see things the way you do,” Aaron said.

Dirigo’s Alexa Perreault swings at a pitch Tuesday during a Class C South softball playoff game against Spruce Mountain last June in Dixfield. Later in the game, Perreault had the game-winning hit to advance the Cougars to the next round. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal file photo

“Even our older two (daughters), who are in the Bangor (area at college), are constantly watching GameChanger,” Tanya said. “Even with them far away, conversations center around (softball).”

With Alyvia heading off CMCC to study nursing and play softball for the Mustangs, Tanya said that she will be stepping down as the Cougars head coach after this season.

“This will be my final year, and that can be on the record,” Tanya said. “I am going to follow her next year (at CMCC). Like I said, she is a diehard softball lover. She has already signed and committed to CMCC — and I don’t want to miss a game.

“We certainly have had a hand in Dirigo softball for some time. I might come back to it when she is out of college because I think I do offer a lot to the girls, but right now, after this year, I cam going to concentrate on her.”



While softball has kept all three daughters connected to their parents, they also have excelled in the classroom, finishing in the top-10 in their graduating classes, and all have been three-sport athletes.

Ashley, far left, Alexa, Alyvia, Tanya and Aaron Perreault wearing uniforms and shirts of one of the travel softball team the family has been involved with, the Maine Revere. Submitted photo

“Softball has consumed our whole life,” Alyvia said. “We practice everyday. We have games and we come home and we still continue to talk about softball. To go to practice and, like, be with our family but still be able to play the sport we love — yeah, it is something we can all do together.”

The parents also required their daughters to play two other sports besides softball. All three played field hockey and basketball.

“It didn’t matter what it was. We didn’t care,” Aaron said. “You pick something. You have to do something outside of your studies. They excelled in all three, even though they might not like that sport. They gave it their all.”

While Alyvia, a senior shortstop for Dirigo, will be playing at CMCC in the fall, the two older sisters’ post-high school lives are focused on academics. Ashley, the oldest daughter, is now a junior attending Husson College, where she is studying occupational therapy. Alexa is majoring in chemical engineering at the University of Maine in Orono.

“I think they saw what (sports) did for us as a family,” Tanya said. “Aaron and I, for the most part, don’t miss a game. One of us is always there. I think they knew they had the support of their parents. I am not surprised that they didn’t give up in all three sports that they play.”


Alyvia said having her mom as a coach has worked out just fine, for the most part, but there are some tense moments.

Dirigo High School softball coach Tanya Perreault gives praise to her team during a May 2021 game against Mt. Abram. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal file photo

“I do enjoy playing for my mom,” Alyvia said. “Sometimes it can be a little hard because I know a lot of the softball and sometimes I question our decisions, but I also know she is making the right decisions.

“It is a little hard playing for her, too, because I want to make decisions for myself. I am a really strong base runner, and sometimes she will be like not telling me to go, but I was like, ‘I know I can make it,’ so I still go. Sometimes that can be a little problem, but it always works out.”

Of course, working around everybody’s schedules with three athletes in the family can be chaotic.

“Sometimes it can be like Grand Central Station,” Alyvia said. “We are always in and out, and everybody is just go, go, go.”

She is excited that her parents will be on hand to watch her CMCC games, even though her mom will be leaving Dirigo.


“I will definitely miss having her coaching me and being able to take to her about every situation,” Alyvia said. “But I feel I will keep that bond as I move on.”

Alexa, who was a catcher at Dirigo and is now freshman at UMaine, never viewed softball as something she was forced to do.

“It was just fun,” the 2019 Dirigo graduate said. “I loved it. There was a year where all three of us girls played together, and that was like inclusive for all of us. We got to spend more time together at the same place.

“I wouldn’t consider (our schedules) hectic because we were always doing something. We were always busy because it was normal for me. For other people, it might be hectic. It was just natural, I guess. That’s what we always did.”

She does miss playing for the Cougars, her mother and all the hoopla that went with being committed to a team.

“Softball was always there; it was exciting for me — whereas my mom and sister are still on the team,” Alexa said. “It is kind of sad because they are still playing and I can’t.”


Ashley, who graduated from high school last year, was the starting pitcher most of the her tenure at Dirigo and is now a junior at Husson University.

“I have been playing since I was 4 or 5 years old, and my parents have been coaches since then,” Ashley said. “I go home as much as I can to watch Alyvia now. It has always been something that is our family thing.

“We play softball all the time. We were all on the same team. We were all close in age, so we played together for as long as we could. It think it is a little bit different for us, though, because we both have mom and dad who love the sport as much as we do, so they are feeding into the sport with us and getting us all to the training clinics.

“I was going to pitching clinics, my sister plays on many travel teams year-round. We were going to batting clinics — everything.”

The 2019 Dirigo High School varsity softball team, which featured all three Perreault sisters. Front row, from left: Mackenzie Osgood (manager), Abby Stevens, Kailey Hackett, Audrey Cox, Alexa Perreault and Mackenzie Ladd. Back row, from left: Allie Dyke, Katie Morse, Alexa Varnum, Megan Fletcher, Ashley Perreault, Lillie Williams and Alyvia Perreault. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times file photo

Ashley graduated before her mother became the Dirigo head coach, but she did play for her in the middle school and youth programs.

“She did start coaching the high school after I graduated,” she said. “I was a little bit bummed. I was jealous. I wanted to have her as my high school coach, but I am fortunate enough to help her at home as much as I can. Having your parent as a coach can be very difficult, just because you have your home life and sports life and those can butt heads a lot more when your parents are coaches. But it was nice to have them there. They were always at games.”


When they return home from school, Ashley and Alexa help their mother coach the Cougars.

“All three of them know the game,” Tanya said. “Ashley has a lot to offer the pitchers. Alexa has a lot to offer the catchers, and they just see the game and really give me some insight for what I need to do and change.”

So, what now for the Perreaults, as their schedule appears headed toward slowing to a crawl?

 “We all have had our hands in it for so long,” Tanya said. “I am not very sure what we are going to do next year, not being part of Dirigo softball. We will certainly come and watch games because we helped build the programs, but we are also excited to watch Alyvia take it to the next level and also watch her senior year at Dirigo. It has been a pretty cool run.”

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