St. Dom’s/Oak Hill girls lacrosse coach Denis D’Auteuil, center, is surrounded by his team Monday on the first day of practice, which consisted of a meeting and paperwork at St. Dominic Academy in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

After teaming up with Oxford Hills last season, St. Dominic Academy will host a girls lacrosse co-op team this year.

The Saints, boosted by an influx of players from middle school, are joining forces with Oak Hill.

St. Dom’s joined the Oak Hill boys co-op, which also includes Monmouth and Lisbon, in 2023.

The head coach of the girls co-op, Denis D’Auteuil, said there’s an even split of St. Dom’s and Oak Hill players among the 21 or 22 who signed up during the preseason.

“I think it was an opportunity for both (schools) to bring some players together and put a full team together,” D’Auteuil said. “I think we have some experienced players from Oak Hill and St. Dom’s. We are excited about the opportunity.”

D’Auteuil, a 1998 graduate of St. Dom’s, has coached the middle school girls lacrosse team the past few years.


Oak Hill freshman Jocelyn Davis is excited her lacrosse career can continue at the high school level.

“Just being able to play,” Davis said on what she’s looking forward to for the upcoming season. “I didn’t think I was able to play.”

Anna Theriault, a St. Dom’s junior, played for Oxford Hills in 2023 and has mixed emotions about the situation.

“I was really excited because I love playing for St. Dom’s, because I love representing them, but it’s a little bittersweet because I had to say goodbye to all the girls at Oxford (Hills),” Theriault said. “I am very excited to be hosting.”

Theriault wants to apply what she learned last year with the Vikings program toward welcoming players from Oak Hill to this season’s team.

“They were super welcoming,” Theriault said of the Oxford Hills players. “It was a really great team environment, and they really showed how I can help the Oak Hill girls feel more comfortable.”


Theriault said one of the things she learned from last season is to communicate with teammates.

Oak Hill senior Eva Sallee, who played lacrosse in grade school, wanted to give the sport a shot again.

“I used to play softball, but it’s really not my thing,” Sallee said. “It was something to keep me active in the spring. I really enjoy trying new things, and something I really wanted to do my senior year was trying something new. With it being the last season of the year, it was the perfect opportunity for me to do.”

The St. Dom’s/Oak Hill program had its first official get-together — a team meeting — on Monday, which was the first day of spring practices for lacrosse, tennis and track and field. Baseball and softball also began full workouts after pitchers and catchers started last Monday.

Some players liked that the team opened the preseason by meeting in a classroom, while others wished there wasn’t a dumping of snow on the ground.

“Honestly, I was a little relieved,” Sallee said. “Mostly because I wanted to get the opportunity to know the girls before getting on the practice field with them.”


Emma Smith wanted to get on the field.

“I was pretty sad seeing the snow come down,” Smith said. “I thought it was going to be time to get on the field and get some practice going on.”

Smith, a senior at St. Dom’s, played her freshmen and sophomore seasons but didn’t play last year because of the travel between Auburn and Paris.

D’Auteuil used Monday to get a sense of the experience level of all the players who signed up. He already has an idea of some of the key players heading into the season.

“Emma Smith is a senior right now and is a very solid player,” D’Auteuil said. “Anna Theriault is another solid player from St. Dom’s. We have a couple of underclassmen from Oak Hill who sound like they have experience. That’s part of today is to understand the experience level.”

Sallee is looking forward to getting to know her new teammates.


“I like the idea of being with a group of different girls and getting to know different people,” Sallee said. “I only know a couple of girls who are in there right now. I think it’s important to gain friendships — whether it’s at my own school or a different school.”

St. Dom’s won a Class C state championship in 2019. The goal is to get back to the title game.

“I am a pretty competitive person,” Theriault said. “I like to give my full effort and the best to my ability. I think if we work hard enough, maybe we could get there.”

The St. Dom’s/Oak Hill co-op will continue to compete in Class C.

D’Auteuil said he believes the group can be competitive.

“With several freshmen coming in that I have been coaching the last several years in middle school, I know there’s talent there,” D’Auteuil said. “I think with our upperclassmen, it’s going to be a good mix.”

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