Wrestling has best finish in more than ten years at Noble Tournament
The wrestling team was busy over winter vacation, competing at three tournaments.
On December 19, the Ponies travelled to PVHS for the Howland Holiday Tournament, a regional competition of 17 teams. Foxcroft won for the second consecutive year, placing eight wrestlers in the finals. Brandon Weston, Antonio Ayala, and RJ Nelson were runners-up, while Zach Caron, Billy Brock, Brandon Brock, Michael Pendriss, and Connor Holmes were tournament champions.
The next week on December 29, Foxcroft wrestling travelled to Berwick for the very competitive multi-state Noble Tournament. Led by tournament champions Zach Caron, Michael Pendriss, and Connor Holmes, the Ponies finished third–the team’s best result since 2005, besting the finishes of Coach Ayala’s 2011, 2012, and 2013 state champion teams.
On Saturday, January 2, the Ponies rode six second-place finishes–Brandon Weston, Antonio Ayala, RJ Nelson, Billy Brock, Brandon Brock, Connor Holmes–and two first-place finishes–Zach Caron and Michael Pendriss–to take second at the Warrior Clash Tournament at Nokomis High School.
Foxcroft Academy’s next big tournament will be in Sanford this weekend as the Ponies hit the mats against New England’s best at the Spartan Invitational Tournament.
Dankert’s hot hand leads boys basketball to two victories
After a slow start to the season, the boys basketball team went 2-2 over winter recess, beating Houlton High on the road and Mattanawcook Academy at home.
One common denominator in the two wins was sophomore Drew Dankert’s prowess from long range. In both wins, Dankert connected on four threes, scoring 17 points against Houlton and 14 against Mattanawcook.
Senior Dylan Harmon-Weeks and freshman Jeremy Richard were also instrumental in both wins. Harmon-Weeks scored 11 points and collected 7 rebounds in the win over Mattanawcook and contributed 12 points in the victory over Houlton. Richard scored 16 at home against Mattanawcook and chipped in 11 on the road at Houlton.
The play of Coach Erickson’s guards undeniably has opened up the paint for senior forward and reigning Big East Player of the Year Hunter Smith, who has scored more than 24 points in Foxcroft’s last two games.
The Ponies seem to be heading in the right direction as they face Orono on Thursday and Dexter on Saturday during a two-game homestay.
Nelson wins mile and two mile to lead track at UMaine
Senior Cooper Nelson won the mile and two mile races in convincing fashion to collect 20 team points for the Ponies at the second meet of the Eastern Maine Indoor Track League season. Nelson ran 4:46 to better the mile field by more than 15 seconds and ran away with the 2 mile, completing the 16-lap race in 11:10.
Senior Gabe Piquette amassed 12 points, taking second in the 2 mile and fourth in the mile with a four-second PR of 5:08. Nate “The Blockless Wonder” Church added a second-place finish in the 55-meter dash, fifth-place jump of 18-01 in the long jump, and joined Evan Chadbourne, Blaine Robinson, and James Smith in Foxcroft’s 4×200 relay, which finished third. Chadbourne also placed fifth in the 55-meter dash and sixth in the 200-meter run, while Paul Birtwistle’s hard close in the 400-meter dash earned him a fifth-place finish.
Virginia Macomber placed third in the 2 mile, Desirae Brawn took sixth in the shot put, and the 4×200 meter relay team of Erika Chadbourne, Jordan Thomas, Hannah Sprecher, and Brawn placed sixth to lead the girl’s team.
“I’ve been very impressed by the team’s performances so far this season, but I’ve been most impressed by the close-knit nature of the team,” said Coach Pearsall. “Something about the indoor season really brings a team together. I think it’s the shared workouts in the cold, the trips to Orono for practice, and the fact that all the events take place in a field house in close proximity to each other. It makes it fun, and fun breeds success. This is a true team, and I look forward to seeing what they can accomplish this season.”
After two meets, the Ponies have accrued nine Class B State Championship qualifying marks and will look to add more when they face-off against Bucksport, Mattanawcook, John Bapst, and Sumner in the University of Maine field house on Saturday at noon.
Girls swim wins two more, remains undefeated
The small but potent Foxcroft girls swim team took first in 9 out of 12 events to edge out a home victory over John Bapst, whose swimmers heavily outnumbered the Ponies.
Jenna Clukey (200 free and 100 Fly), Avery Carroll (200 IM and 100 back), Gabie Johnson (100 Free and 100 breast), and Emily Curtis (50 free) all finished first, as well as Foxcroft’s 200-yard medley and 400-yard free relays.
While the contributions of Coach Rublee’s veteran swimmers are evident, it was the results of her first year swimmers that most impressed her. “A highlight of the meet was Emily Curtis getting first place in her 50 freestyle–she’s a first year swimmer!” said Rublee. “Abby Henderson, who was close behind, got second in that race, and she’s just a Freshman!”
First year swimmers Owen Booker, David Salley, and Nate Skomars, joined by second-year swimmer Hunter Giacomuzzi, also took first first in the 400-yard free relay for the boys.
“We are halfway through our season now, and I’m amazed at the incredible improvements that our beginning swimmers have made,” said Coach Rublee. “States is within reach for several of them, a remarkable feat for first-year swimmers.”
Coach Rublee’s squad will compete against Washington Academy at the PRYMCA for the Ponies’ last home meet of the season. The first event is set to splash at 11 am.
Click here to see Racquel Bozzelli and Ali Desmarais’ great photos of the GSA swim meet, here for Racquel Bozzelli’s outstanding photos of the meet in Old Town, and here for photos of the home meet against John Bapst.
Girls basketball takes down fifth-ranked Orono
Led by Abby Simpson, the Foxcroft girls basketball team travelled to Orono, taking a win away from the fifth-ranked Red Riots. Simpson led the Ponies with 17 points, while Madison Chadbourne and Grace Bickford both contributed 12.
While it is impressive that three Ponies scored in double digits, it was the stifling defense of the Ponies that limited the Red Riots to just 35 points and led the team to a road victory.
Coach Smith’s team is now 4-4 and holds a playoff spot, according to the most recent heal-point standings. Foxcroft will look to solidify their spot in the playoffs during this week bookended by games.
The Ponies travel to Old Town on Monday and stay at home on Friday for a contest against Dexter.