It felt like a lifetime to these student athletes as they waited for winter sports to be approved and today, they are afraid to blink because they know it will be over before they know it. That hasn’t stopped them from taking advantage of every moment, each practice, each skate, each laugh, and every day they have been able to be together. Every moment seems a little more important but in a totally different way than in previous years. The normal intensity and focus on winning, beating the cross town rival and the intra-team battling for starting positions aren’t the main focus this year. The focus seems to be more on just being together, being with your teammates, having fun, enjoying the time on the ice, and just doing what we can to be ready for that game where we all wear Gold and Brown and play together.
This year’s team will be led by two returning seniors, Katie Fobare from Madrid-Waddington and Mackenzie Spicer from OFA. These two players have been members of the Canton Golden Bears Girls Hockey Team for the last 4 years. They’re great teammates, they’re great leaders, they work hard to improve, and are a positive part of this program. I am beyond excited they have the opportunity to play their senior year.
A number of veterans will be returning to the lineup this season. Juniors Cate DeCoteau (Canton) and Quinn Woodward (Canton) will lead the team on defense with their experience at the varsity level. We have several young players who are interested in playing defense this year, it will be nice to have Cate and Quinn lead them with their skill and knowledge. Junior Katherine Smith (OFA), who led the Bears last year on offense will be returning, I’m hoping she will continue to be an offensive threat during the few games we will have this season. Sophomore Sydnee Francis (Canton), will return this season after being out last season due to an injury. She was one of the league’s leading scorers during her 7th and 8th grade years, I am hoping having her return to the lineup will improve the team offense and overall play. Returning to goaltend this year will be Junior Sarah Rodee (Canton). This will be Sarah’s third year between the pipes. Each year, Sarah gains experience, confidence and improves which makes this year look promising. Returning to the team after taking a year off is Sophomore Bryce Butterfield (Canton). Bryce’s skill, strength, and knowledge of the game has been missed. It will be nice to see her back in the lineup.
The team has several younger returning players from last year’s squad, which is great for the future of the program. Freshman Chloe Baxter (Canton), will be returning to the defensive lineup for the Bears and will be part of the core defense with Quinn and Cate. Returning to the forward positions are up and coming offensive players Lucy DeCoteau (Canton), Emily Estabrooks (Canton) and Ava Murphy (Lisbon). This freshman line has great talent and is a powerhouse that has a great future within the program and throughout the league.
Newcomers to this team are Freshmen Audrey Harradine (OFA) and Mia Jeneault (OFA) along with Eighth graders Ella Mousaw (Canton) and Abbigale Nee (Canton). Even though the time I have had to spend with these younger players has been limited, I have been able to see the desire they have to be on the ice and the willingness they have to learn and to work hard. This season may be short and our time together might be limited but I believe they will be a great addition to the team and to the program.
This year isn’t a building year, it isn’t the year we are going to be undefeated, or are going to win the Section X championship or go to States. It’s the year we get to practice together, we get to have a few games, our seniors get to play in their senior game and we get to wear our Golden Bear jersey to represent our school. We are thankful for that opportunity and thankful to anyone and everyone that made it possible.
Editor’s Note: This post comes courtesy of girls varsity hockey head coach, Anita Francis.