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Patience is a virtue, just ask a trio of players from the River Valley who committed to playing American Legion baseball for Locke Mills The players included soon-to-be junior Tyler Frost of Dirigo, and Ben Holmes and Izaak Mills, who graduated in 2012 from Dirigo and Mountain Valley, respectively.
The team, which played its home games at Lombard Diamond (Gould Academy) in Bethel, had limped through the regular season in Zone III. They entered the final regularly scheduled game with a 6-11 record and were well aware of the circumstances. In order to qualify for the post-season zone playoffs, LM had to beat Zone III regular season champion Windham. LM had to travel last Thursday and upset Windham 5-2 behind the pitching and hitting by Holmes, who had struggled to find his hitting zone.
''It was an adjustment for sure,'' said Holmes. ''But I have decided to play baseball at Husson (University) next spring and I did not want to go in to it after not having done any thing for two years, so I decided to play American Legion baseball.''
The win forced as tie between LM and Highland Green (Topsham) who each finished with identical 7-11 records. The teams had to meet for a play-in game at the Field of Dreams last Saturday morning. The winner would advance to play against No. 3 Bessey Motors in a quarterfinal game 30 minutes later.
It was a tall task indeed, however, LM beat both teams in extra innings. LM led 6-3 going into the seventh, but Highland tied the game. Holmes doubled home two runs in the top of the eighth inning.
Against Bessey Motors (Oxford Hills), the lead changed sides or was tied four times in the scheduled nine-inning game. Mills had scored on an error in the seventh to tie the game and Frost drove home the eventual winning run in the 10th. Kyle Peterson won both games in relief.
LM played Windham in a semifinal game on Sunday.
There is football played in the summer and Jake Theriault of Mountain Valley and Spencer Trenoweth of Dirigo were present when the 24th annual Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl classic was held last Saturday.
The two local players were teammates on the West team that lined up against a team from eastern Maine.
The East won the game 25-13 behind a pair of touchdown passes by quarterback Jordan Whitney of Mount Blue. The event is held for the 22 Shrine Hospitals nationwide and 100 percent of the net proceeds benefit the organization.
The Kora Temple (Lewiston) has presented the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic since 1990, showcasing some of the Pine Tree state's premier high school senior football players and cheerleaders in a summer All-star game.
The players each enjoyed stellar senior seasons, each earned All-Campbell Conference honors based on their skills while standouts on offense and defense, respectively. The former Cougar and Falcon were both lining up at wide receiver. In recent years, the River Valley has been well represented at the Lobster Bowl, including former Falcon players Dean McCrillis, Derek Sicotte, Justin Staires and brothers Matt and Ryan Laubauskas, Cam Kaubris, Christian Durland and Taylor Bradley each played in the Lobster Bowl. Dirigo players included Kevin O’Leary, Aaron Fenstermacher and Nick Crutchfield and Spencer Ross. Michelle Morrison of Dirigo was selected as cheerleader, believed to be second ever. Former Cougar Dawn Blackman was a cheerleader at the 2011 game.