More in Sports
There's times during a season when teams are confronted with adversity and need to make a decision. In a span of a few days, the Mountain Valley boys, soccer team used the time wisely to discover a great deal.
The Falcons started slow, one win in six games, so the captains held a practice to clear the air and get pointed in the right direction. The following afternoon, the team upset Spruce Mountain and then Lisbon. Those win vaulted MV into contention and a preliminary playoff game looms.
"It feels like we are peaking," said Todd Papianou. "Better to be peaking at the end of the season than at the start. We have played to our potential (second half of season). It's finding the right mix now at the right time, we know who we are at this point."
Papianou says putting skills, conditioning, and strategy to the test was key. Finding the social piece was the toughest, because some players needed to step-up with the heart to keep the momentum rolling. When the mood gets down they need to find a way to lift up their teammates.
Against top-ranked St. Doms, the result was not a downer because the Falcons realized the Saints are one of the elite teams. They tried a seldom used defensive strategy, 7-2-1, its a Bunker/Counter attack formation that created scoring chances against a stout defense.
"The team committed to it at practice," said Papianou. "I commend them for being able to switch to a zone style defense on the fly after one practice with it. We might need it if we get through a couple rounds of playoffs."
MV has received contributions recently from juniors Andrew Boucher and Shawn Bennett, who have seen personal improvements.
Garrett Carver has been the most consistent play, through his quiet leadership. Garrett talks with his feet.
The Dirigo game (last Friday) was a great test, as the score of the first game did not reflect the Falcons effort.
MV football coach Jim Aylward returned after having had the equivalent of two surgeries, two impacted teeth removed and a gland that needed surgery.
''We surely missed him,'' said assistant Steve LaPointe. ''We tried to hold things together, kind of like putting a finger in a dike. He is the heart and soul of the program. He knows how to motivate.''
Dirigo football and field hockey players, in conjunction with Med-Care, featured a public service announcement on sudden cardiac awareness. During halftime of a Dirigo-Mount Abram boys' soccer game, the student-athletes demonstrated what is needed to be done if a human being suffers an attack and collapses. After having someone call 9-1-1, the victim needs to be placed on their back. The players had several upper torsos on the ground and showed the procedure. Place a palm on the center of their chest and administer 100 compressions per minute. The compressions should continue until emergency help arrives.