2011 proved to be a good year in sports

12 years ago

    2011 was a strong year for athletics in Aroostook County, especially in the central Aroostook region. In the first six months of the year both Washburn and Central Aroostook won state titles in high school basketball, with the Panthers adding even more to the school’s trophy case.

    Here is a short compilation of January through June. The second half of the year in review will be in next week’s paper.

January

    • Washburn’s Rebecca Campbell broke the 1,000-point scoring plateau. She becomes just the fifth girl in the school’s history to score 1,000 points. Previous 1,000-point scorers were Glenda Fox, Dawn Oldmixon, Kim Richardson and Amy O’Donnell.

    • A new Aroostook County cheering champion was crowned at Caribou High School as Houlton captured the 2011 title. Presque Isle had won the local competition in both 2009 and 2010.

    Houlton edged out the two-time champ Wildcats by less than four points.

    • For the second time that season, a schoolgirl athlete joined the 1,000-point club. Fort Fairfield’s Amanda Hotham accomplished the remarkable feat in a game against Easton. Hotham, then a junior, is the first girl at Fort Fairfield to reach this scoring plateau.

    Two Central Aroostook High School basketball players joined the 1,000-point club in January. Vicki McIntyre and Caleb Kelly accomplished the feat.

    • The Central Aroostook Panther cheerleaders collected their fourth consecutive regional crown at the Bangor Auditorium with a sensational routine that featured multiple lifts, stunts and tumbles to blow away the competition.

    Watching Panther coach Sami Allen on the sidelines, it’s hard to say who jumps around more, the coach or her athletes.

    “You’d think I would get used to this, but I don’t,” said Allen, who started coaching varsity in 1998. “It’s harder to stay on top, because everyone knows what you have on your roster. It’s hard to get enough tumblers. We are very lucky to have as many as we do and it’s huge for a Class D school.”

February

    • The E.ON IBU World Cup Biathlon made its way to the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle the first week in February. The event was heralded as a huge success.

    • Fort Fairfield senior Travis Noyes became the third Tiger boys basketball player and fourth overall to reach 1,000 points for a career.

    • Although it didn’t come as easily as the regional championship did two weeks earlier, against a similar group of competitors, the Central Aroostook Panthers cheerleaders were able to continue their state championship dynasty.

    Central Aroostook won its fourth consecutive Class D title and in the process, became the winningest Class D program with its nine overall state crowns.

    • February was a very good month for the Panthers. The Central Aroostook boys Alpine team and the Caribou boys Nordic team captured state ski championships.

    The Panthers claimed their Class C Alpine title at Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley, tallying 112 points to edge Fort Kent (115) by three and third-place Freeport (135) by 23.

March

    • Two area teams took home the Gold Ball at the high school basketball tournament. The Washburn Lady Beavers claimed the state Class D girls title and the Central Aroostook Panthers won the boys D crown.

    • The Eastern Maine Hockey Coaches Association held its awards banquet March 6 in Brewer.

    Presque Isle was honored with the sportsmanship award.

    The Wildcats also won the Maine Principals’ Association sportsmanship banner for Class B hockey.

    • The Big East all-conference basketball awards were awarded, with Caribou senior Jenna Selander and Presque Isle senior Travis Dyer named Players of the Year.

April

    • A total of 107 runners and six walkers participated in the annual UMPI Spring Runoff 5K, with a pair of Stockholm residents capturing top honors.

    Russell Currier took first place overall with a time of 17 minutes and 11 seconds, while Susan Plissey was the women’s winner in 20:36.

May

    • The University of Maine at Presque Isle held its annual athletic awards program.

    Highlighting the ceremony was the presentation of the 2010-11 male and female Athletes of the Year, and the recipients were Aroostook County natives Kyle Corrigan of Caribou and Megan Korhonen of Littleton.

June

    • Only a couple points separated the Presque Isle boys’ varsity tennis team from an Eastern Maine Class B championship.

    The Wildcats came close to knocking off No. 1 and undefeated Ellsworth in the title match played at Colby College. PI lost, 3-2, and in the deciding match was close to pulling off a victory before falling just short.

    • The Cinderella season for the Caribou softball team came to an end, as the No. 8 Vikings fell to No. 3 Bucksport, 2-1, at Coffin Field. The Vikings enjoyed a marvelous romp through the postseason, knocking off No. 4 Old Town, 4-2, in the semifinals; No. 1 Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, 1-0, in the quarterfinals; and No. 9 Belfast, 2-0, in a preliminary playoff.

    • The Ashland Hornets softball team wound up as Eastern Maine Class D runners up after falling to Deer Isle-Stonington.

    Played under a constant, steady rain, that saw players from both teams slipping and sliding on a surface that looked more like a football field than a softball diamond, No. 5 Ashland came out on the losing end of a 28-2 decision.

    • There was a lot of running, jumping and throwing at the Caribou High School track and field complex on  June 21 as more than 200 youngsters participated in the Northern Regional Finals of the Hershey Youth Track and Field Games. The Caribou Recreation Department organizes the annual event, which brings kids from Houlton to Fort Kent to test their speed and strength.