Hodgdon girls look for renewed success

2 years ago

HODGDON, Maine — It will be a season of renewed possibilities for the Hodgdon girls basketball team this year.

On paper, the Hawks could be one of the more interesting squads this season as the team looks to improve on the 5-8 record of a season ago. But in doing so, Hodgdon must find a way to replace three key starting players — Kylee Mooers, Emma Drew and Sabra Scott — who graduated from last year’s squad.

“Even though we graduated three starters we are very optimistic and excited for this coming season,” sixth-year coach Wendell Harvey said. “The students are excited to play and will adjust to whatever is thrown at them.”

The 2021-22 Hawks feature seniors Kaelyn Lawlor (forward) and Monique Polchies (center); juniors Marissa Dow (guard), Sadie Thompson (guard), Vicki Porter (forward) and Madison Smith (guard); sophomores Aleyah Matheson (guard/forward) and Meghan Peters (guard), and freshmen Anna Oliver (guard), Gracie Little (guard/forward), Paige Fitzpatrick (forward) and Emma Folsom (forward).

“We are quick and have some really good shooters,” coach Harvey said. “We are hoping to be able to push the ball and get some easy transition points.”

With only two returning starters from last season, figuring out who will be the starting five has been a work in progress for the veteran coach. “Our starting five will be determined by the player’s effort and improvement in practice,” he said. “It may be the same every game, but could change depending on how players are competing in practice.”

The upperclassmen of Lawlor, Polchies, Dow, Thompson, Porter and Smith will be called upon to provide key veteran leadership for the younger Hawk players. All six players have varsity playing experience and will be essential to the team’s success.

Finding a full complement of players to practice with has proven exceedingly challenging for all coaches as COVID-19 has forced many players into quarantine due to close contact exposure.

“COVID-19 has changed everything,” Harvey said. “You can’t count on anything. From one day to the next you may have people out sick or in quarantine. You may have a game and be ready to play and the other school may not be able to play due to COVID. It makes for a very difficult season.”

In each of the last two seasons, Hodgdon has also had students opt not to play because of COVID-19, the coach added.

Harvey said his mission is to get the Hawks to play better team defense and to rebound the ball better. “I am optimistic that with hard work in practice we will improve as the season goes on,” he said. 

Southern Aroostook, Fort Fairfield and Katahdin will be among the Hawks’ toughest competitors, according to the coach. Hodgdon also has games with Central Aroostook, Washburn, Fort Fairfield, East Grand and Madwaska.