For the third straight year, a group of mothers in
Raymond have spent their Sunday afternoons in September and October introducing
girls in grades three, four, five and six to field hockey.
“It’s about focusing on the fundamentals and giving the
girls exposure to a variety of sports,” said Julie Wilson, who has organized
the group for the past three seasons. Her daughters, Whitney, 11 and Ellie, 9,
both play. Other Raymond moms involved in the program include Carrie Colby,
Kristin Fielding, Gina Bolk and Erin Gurney. Windham High School field hockey
captain Morgan Richmond, a Raymond resident, has also been instrumental in the
program, helping teach the girls the fundamentals and some cool stick-handling
tricks. The first time Richmond showed the girls a maneuver, their eyes lit up
and they beamed big smiles as they envisioned themselves trying the move during
But Wilson stressed that making sure the girls learn the
basics remains the foundation for the program. They learn where they need to be
on the field when playing a certain position and the get a better understanding
of what the rules are. When they move up to the next level, this knowledge will
help them fit into a new team more quickly.
The girls from Raymond have been playing Sunday
afternoons against teams from Poland, Bonney Eagle, Lake Region and other area
towns. They will participate in a total of three tournaments this fall and will
wrap up their season in a round robin tournament at the University of Southern
Maine on October 21.
Wilson said that a goal of the program is to prepare the
sixth-grade girls to hopefully continue their play for the Windham Middle
School team next season. This year there are 10 sixth-grade players in the
Raymond program and Wilson said that she’s been in touch with the Windham
Middle School coach so that they are on the same page in preparing the girls
for further play.
Two graduates of the program, Kora Hunter and Chloe Smith, both
from Raymond, played for the Windham Middle School team this year.
Additionally, beginning this year RSU 14 has begun providing transportation to
Windham for seventh and eighth grade students to participate in the Windham
Middle School sports programs that are not offered in Raymond, including field
ensure that the girls aren’t forced to make a choice between sports at such a
young age, the Raymond program has always been and will continue to be played
on Sundays so it does not interfere with Raymond Rec Soccer on Saturdays.