Ayala and Caron record 150th career wins
It has been a special season for the Foxcroft Academy wrestling team that enters the postseason after perhaps its best regular season in team history–a tall task for the team that has hung five state championship banners over the past 12 years.
It has also been a special season for senior captains Antonio Ayala and Zach Caron, who both recently recorded their 150th career wins, becoming just the fourth and fifth wrestlers to ever do so in Foxcroft Academy wrestling history. Caron’s 150th win came on January 6, in Howland as he led the team to wins over PVHS, Dexter, Caribou, and Mattanawcook Academy. Ayala’s milestone victory came at home on January 14, as he guided the team to wins over Dexter and Guilford.
“The milestone does not happen by accident,” said Coach Luis Ayala. “You can’t just be a good wrestler. You have to be a high-quality wrestler. You have to be a varsity wrestler your freshman year and be fortunate enough to be injury free for all four years–not to say that they have had it easy. Both of them have faced adversities and have overcome them to accomplish this. These two have definitely put in their time on and off the mat to be at this level. They are very special!”
Hunter Smith scores 1000th point
Going into the Big East showdown with Old Town, Hunter Smith needed 24 points to bring his career total to 1000. In front of a packed gymnasium of supporters, Smith scored 28, his 1000th coming on an athletic layup in traffic during the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. Smith added two free throws and an emphatic slam to bring his career total to 1004 at the conclusion of the game. Smith joins his father, Dean, in the exclusive 1000-point club.
Coach Ayala celebrates 300th team win
Coach Luis Ayala recorded his 300th career team win on the road at Howland on January 6. When he returned home for the team’s next meet on January 14, he was met with enthusiasm and a celebration worthy of his lofty accomplishment. More than a dozen alumni wrestlers returned to congratulate Ayala and celebrated his feat with a video that summarized a career that has already included five state championships, eight regional championships, seven PVC championships, and 33 individual state champions.
“I am very humbled to be honored in such a manner,” said Coach Ayala. “Seeing the video and all those great people brought back some great memories. It does not seem like it has been 15 years! I have been very fortunate to have been involved with FA wrestling all this time. I have enjoyed every moment of it!”
Coach Ayala’s team kicks off the wrestling postseason at the PVC Championship Tournament in Ellsworth on Saturday at 9:30.
Cheering concludes greats season
The Pony cheerleading team wrapped up their competitive season with an 11th-place finish at the Class B North Regional Cheering Competition held at the Cross Insurance Center on Saturday, January 23.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the team they grew into over the season,” said Coach Shari Sage. “These kids worked so hard for months, putting in hours of stunting practice, transitioning, tumbling, and motions. They grew as a team, encouraged each other, improved their confidence to preform, and gained respect from their peers and the community! I couldn’t be more proud.”
While the competitive season may have come to a close, the cheerleaders are not done supporting Foxcroft’s sports teams this winter. They will continue to entertain crowds and cheer on the boys and girls basketball teams as they conclude their regular seasons at home and advance to the Cross Insurance Center for the playoffs.
Girls basketball raises more than $1000 for cancer research
For the past five years, the Foxcroft girls basketball team has donned all-pink uniforms for the Big East Conference’s Hoops for a Cure game. This year, the Ponies decided to take their efforts to the next level and raised more than $1000 for the American Cancer Society. The Ponies raised money by selling Foxcroft Hoops for a Cure t-shirts, which the team will continue to sell throughout the season, and from donations generously given by Dover-Foxcroft’s local businesses. The team extends their sincerest thanks to H&R Block, Pleasant River Lumber, JD Raymond Transport, McKusick Petroleum Co., Prouty Auto Body, Dave’s World Inc., Prouty Ford, Will’s Shop ‘N Save, Carpe Diem Salon, Foxcroft Printers, Bob’s Hardware, Pastimes Pub, Athens Pizza, Dover True Value, Chasse Chiropractic, AE Robinson, Save-A-Lot, Penquis Rental, R&J Electric, and Mountain’s Market for their extraordinary generosity.
Photo taken by Jen Bickford. To see more photos of the game, click here to see Nick Phan’s shots.
Swim wins seven events at Ellsworth meet
The Foxcroft girls swim team, which is now 6-1 on the season–only falling to Class-A Bangor, won seven events at Ellsworth on January 22 in the team’s most recent victory. Individually, Jenna Clukey won the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, Gabie Johnson won the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke, and Avery Carroll won the 500-yard freestyle. Johnson, Clukey, and Carroll also joined forces with Elena Russo to win the 400-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relays.
The swim team makes the long trek up to Presque Isle on Saturday for their final regular season meet.
Foxcroft sprinters close season strong
Running in the team’s penultimate regular season meet last Saturday, Foxcroft’s sprinters continued to build on early season success with even greater performances at the University of Maine field house. Racing against Class-A competition from Brewer, Bangor, and Hampden, the Foxcroft Ponies impressed, placing three individuals–Nate Church, Evan Chadbourne, and Jason Eubanks–in the top six of the 55-meter dash and four individuals–Church, Chadbourne, Eubanks, and Blaine Robinson–in the top six of the 200-meter run. With help from the distance squad, the Foxcroft 4×200-meter relay team of Church, Eubanks, Tobias Hogfeldt, and Cooper Nelson also won.
The Foxcroft track team competes again on Saturday at noon in the University of Maine field house.
Photo taken by Ali Desmarais.
Simpson scores 26 points to lead girls basketball by Old Town
On January 22, Abby Simpson poured in 26 points on 11 made field goals to pace Foxcroft in a home victory over Old Town. 26 points is a career best for Simpson and the highest point total by a Pony this season.
Grace Bickford, who ranks in the top-ten of the Big East Conference in rebounds and assists, added 17 points.
Boys basketball defeats Dexter
At Dexter on January 27, seniors Hunter Smith and Dylan Harmon-Weeks combined for 25 points to lead the Foxcroft Ponies to a win over the Dexter Tigers. The Ponies used superior team defense and excellent foul shooting to secure the win on the road.
The Ponies will conclude the regular season at home with a games against Hermon on Tuesday and Central on Thursday.
Pony fans bring school spirit to new level
The picture says it all. As Hunter Smith pursued 1000 career points, fan support and Pony pride reached new highs.