The top sports stories for second half of 2022 in southern Aroostook
Editor’s Note: The following is the second of two articles highlighting some of the top sports stories from 2022. This article highlights events from July to December.
A small group of seven people participated in the Houlton High School alumni soccer game July 6. Taking part are, from left, Dan Swallow (Class of 2013), Tim Younfellow (2018), Ben Grant (2019), Connor Grant (2016), Dylan Johnston (2017), Nolan Porter (2019) and Jimmy Fitpatrick (2013).
A Hodgdon woman was the lucky winner of a pair of tickets to a New England Patriots preseason game. Lynn Oliver’s name was randomly chosen from raffle tickets sold by Living Innovations, a New England-based organization that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead good lives at home and in their communities with innovative programming and services.
Golfers from throughout Aroostook County and beyond were gearing up to aid health care in the 33rd annual County Open charity golf tournament. The event was a major fundraiser for the Houlton Regional Health Services Foundation, which supports technology and patient care at Houlton Regional Hospital and community efforts like firefighter safety and health education.
Family and friends of 1st Sgt. Aaron Henderson gathered in Houlton Community Park for four full days of softball, while remembering their fallen hero. Team Chelsea won the 10th annual Aaron Henderson Memorial Softball trophy, battling its way out of the consolation bracket by winning seven straight games. The squad defeated Team 207 twice for the championship.
It was a return to form for standout Houlton runner Teanne Ewings as the high-schooler reclaimed her crown in the 9th annual Aaron Henderson Memorial 5K. Ewings, a 15-year-old sophomore at Greater Houlton Christian Academy, bested a field of 70 runners and walkers to be the first across the finish line with a time of 20 minutes, 45 seconds.
Cross Country runners from Fort Kent and the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone joined the Houlton-Greater Houlton Christian Academy for an unseasonably warm race. With temperatures in the mid-80s and high humidity, it was not ideal conditions for running, but that did not stop the athletes from putting on impressive displays.
Citing a lack of numbers, two southern Aroostook County schools joined forces this fall on the soccer pitch. Hodgdon and East Grand have officially formed a cooperative team for its boys soccer program, merging two schools that were once considered rivals.
A large field of 116 high school runners converged on Community Park for the running of the 2022 Houlton High School Invitational cross country meet. The race also served as the Aroostook County Cross Country Championships for County squads. Runners from Houlton/ Greater Houlton Christian Academy, Caribou, Presque Isle, Washburn, Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone and Fort Kent were also joined by athletes from Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor, Old Town and Hermon.
A dramatic, late game comeback bid fell just short for the Houlton Shire football squad. The No. 6 Shires fell to No. 4 Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, 58-56, in overtime in an 8-Man Small School division quarterfinal game.
Ethan Casale may not have finished among the top runners in any of his cross country meets this season, but that did not stop the junior from having the time of his life. The 17-year-old son of April and Richard Michaud, Casale became Houlton’s first Unified athlete to compete in cross country for the Shires this fall.
Hopes of hoisting a regional soccer championship were dashed for the Houlton/Greater Houlton Christian Academy girls. The No. 3 Shires ran into a fierce opponent in top-ranked, and defending regional champ, Bucksport, but gave the Golden Bucks all they could handle. Bucksport defeated Houlton/GHCA, 2-1, in a well-played game at Presque Isle.
A pair of Houlton/Greater Houlton Christian Academy cross country runners logged exceptional times at the New England Cross Country Championships. Teanne Ewings and Natalie Johnson squared off against elite runners from around New England at Ponaganset High School, and managed to log impressive times for a seasonably warm fall race. Ewings finished 19th, with a time of 19 minutes, 13.20 seconds for the 3.1-mile course. Johnson placed 105th with a time of 20:59.70. Orono runner Ruth White won the girls race with a time of 17:51.30.
Collin Crouse was named the 2022 Little Ten Conference Offensive and Defensive Lineman of the Year. This is only the second time a player has won both awards in the same year, according to coach Jon Solomon
Walker Oliver, a senior with the Hodgdon boys squad, and his younger sister Anna, a sophomore on the varsity girls team, carried their respective squads to season-opening wins for the Hawks Friday night. The Hodgdon girls rolled to a 72-22 victory over Madawaska, thanks to a 19-point effort by Anna Oliver, while the Hodgdon boys followed up with an 83-57 win over the Owls on the back of Walker Oliver’s 52-point performance.