Madison Turcotte, the only senior on the Bucks girls soccer team, runs through drills Thursday at the Buckfield High School playing fields. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Madison Turcotte was kind of like Uncle Sam in a World War I poster looking to recruit athletes from the Class of 2023 to play alongside her for the Buckfield girls soccer team.

But that turned out to be a lesson in futility, and so Turcotte will be the lone representative from the school’s senior class to play for the Bucks this season.

“Yeah, I have (tried to recruit) a couple of people from my class, and one girl actually came and tried it out this summer,” Turcotte said, “but she is just a really hardcore softball player, so she is sticking to that.”

Turcotte understands why athletes commit to one sport.

“Well, up until my sophomore year I was a three-, like an every-sport athlete,” she said. “I played softball, basketball and soccer … but since this is my senior year, I am going to try (outdoor) track this year.”

Buckfield coach Larry Thornton had hopes that more of Turcotte’s classmates would come out for soccer. He added that it was an anomaly to see one athlete from one class play for an entire four years.


“It was even unique when it started her freshman year,” he said. “Then I thought, ‘More will join; more will come out.’ There was somebody (during Turcotte’s) freshman year … but (she) ended up dropping out and not playing. And I thought, ‘Somebody else will join, somebody else will join, and she won’t have to be the only senior her senior year’ — and it never happened. 

“She was the one who stuck it out all the way through from her Class of 2023. I always thought somebody would come along, somebody would step up, somebody would help out …”

Turcotte, now a captain, has been pressed into a leadership role after the departure of players from previous graduating classes.

“Well, it is definitely a big difference from last year where we had, like, a lot of seniors,” she said. “Last year, I felt that I didn’t have to step into a leadership role because what I was thinking and what I wanted to say was already said for me. 

“So it is definitely different. I feel like I got a little bit more responsibility on my shoulders because I am the only (senior), but it is good. I like it. There is definitely pressure, but I think I can handle it.”

Thornton said Turcotte’s leadership abilities have been a plus for the girls soccer program.


“Thank goodness for her leadership all the way through,” Thornton said. “She is mentoring these younger players that hopefully see her as, ‘Yeah, I can do that. I can continue to play. I can play like her.’ 

“She is very vocal and hard on herself, but she pushes herself and her teammates at the same time. You know what you are getting every time she steps out on the field. I don’t know where this program would be right now if it wasn’t for her.” 

Thornton added that Turcotte enjoys competition and she doesn’t let up in practice. He also counts on her observations because of her position on the field — and he trusts her high soccer IQ.

“The one thing that makes her really stand out is her compete level,” he said. “She competes in practice like she competes in a game. Her compete level has been the exact same since her freshman year.

“Her freshman year she played up front and she kind of got moved around a little bit, and then I finally found a place for her — because she is so fast and aggressive and such a strong leader — that I put her in the back. We play a 4-4-2 (formation) and so she plays in the center back.”

Turcotte is impressed with the Bucks’ preseason preparation.

“We are looking really good,” she said. “The past few years, we haven’t been able to make it through the second round of playoffs, but I think (with) this year’s team — there is so much more togetherness, like wanting to work together and we are like all just family.” 

Turcotte gave a shout-out to all her coaches and teammates who made a positive difference in her life.

“I wouldn’t be the leader I am today if it weren’t for all my previous coaches and teammates showing me the ropes,” she said. “I definitely wouldn’t be the soccer player (I am) without coach Thornton.”

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