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The summer is flying by and student-athletes have been staying busy competing in various summer leagues for their respective teams. These semi-organized activities have been around for decades and the creation was done with multiple purposes in mind.
Anyone who participates will hopefully realize that it will benefit both the players and coaches, on a number of fronts. The first being the chemistry and bonding being created by the team. Each individual enters into a sport with different backgrounds, personalities, skill levels and goals. By working together toward a common endeavor, the players will hopefully realize that no single player isn't above the entire team.
Secondly, each coach is provided with an opportunity to look, learn, listen and evaluate the number of returning players. It might be necessary to move a player to a different position or mix and match rotations.
One of the biggest things that a student-athlete is able to gain from remaining active over the summer is physical conditioning. This will certainly be important when teams assemble for preseason work outs beginning Monday August 18.
For the younger children through out the River Valley it's extremely an advantage to learn the fundamentals. This can be accomplished by getting involved in programs offered by the Greater Rumford Community Center, Mexico Recreation Center and other towns that have recreation.
A high school team doesn't simply step on the field or court and achieve instant success. A case in point is the Mountain Valley softball team who reached double-digit wins inn the spring, qualified No.5 and hosted a preliminary playoff game.
The Lady Falcons are currently being led by a trio; team. Deb Buotte, the MVHS secretary and Lisa Russell are the co-varsity coaches, while JV coach Gary Dolloff also helps coach the varsity team.
Former coach Brian Mills ran the summer program and has been quit successful.
"Being a teacher at the school where I coach does have its benefits,'' said Russell, who teaches mathematics. ''You build relationships with the students in the classroom and the players on the field. You have access to attendance and grades to ensure students are keeping up with their academic responsibilities. You gain a better understanding of the girls as a whole person which really does support coaching strategies.''
The Falcons will return a solid group of girls next spring. The lone graduate this year was third base man Brooke Dolloff. They are anticipating a very strong season in 2014.
Russell's coaching philosophy includes teaching players the essential skills to be a successful on the field, to teach respect, how to be a team player and what that means, and to provide an atmosphere of open communication and collaboration.
There was plenty of high hopes when Trevor Hebert steps back in to the cage for a mixed martial fights in Biddeford on Satuday. Hebert, an MV graduate, evened his amateur record at 1-1 after having to rally back on the New England Fights VIII card at Darling's Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor in July.
Hebert of Topsham (nee Roxbury) proved that its never over by storming back to drop Stephen Desjardins (2-3).
Hebert had entered the third round knowing full well that he was behind on the judges cards. This had transpired for having had two points deducted for hitting Desjardins below the belt three times in the first round. Hebert was still flustered in the second round and his overzealousness allowed further pummeling.
''I had to tone it down a bit, especially after (referee Kevin MacDonald) took the second point,'' said Hebert. ''(Trainer Brent Dillingham) can pick up on it where a lot of fight fans can't.''
Hebert regained footing and tatooed Desjardins with a hard right hand, followed by a barrage of punches. The fight was stopped with 10 seconds remaining in the round.