Mount View field hockey drops to Eastern Class CMustangs, however, still play a mostly KVAC Class B schedule
Thorndike — Following the Mount View field hockey team's 5-2 loss to Gardiner Sept. 4 to open the regular season, Mustang coach Gloria Hewett said to Tiger coach Moe McNally, by force of habit, “we'll see you again.”
Then she remembered. “No, I won't.”
The Mustangs, despite playing a full Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B schedule as is tradition this fall, now toil in the Eastern Class C ranks.
Mount View, along with Winslow and Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft — all three of which were playoff teams in Eastern Class B one season ago — moved down a class based on overall enrollment numbers for schools around the state which offer field hockey.
Hewett said not only was it an enrollment issue, but the Maine Principals' Association hoped to make the field hockey regions throughout the state more proportioned.
“We had a lot more Class B schools than any other class,” she said. “So they moved a few down and looked to see if there were any to move up.”
Other notable moves saw Mount Blue of Farmington move from Class B to Class A and Brewer move from Class A to Class B. Morse of Bath, competing in Class B East last year, also shifted to Class B West.
Among the three eastern regions for field hockey last season, Class B had 15 teams, while Class A had 11 and Class C 10, respectively.
This year shows a more balanced look for the three regions with Class C sporting 13 teams, Class A 12 and Class B 11.
Hewett's first reaction, more out of Mustang pride than rationale, was to petition back up to Class B, which would have been a four-year commitment.
“My thought was we're good enough to play in Class B, so why would we want to play in Class C,” she said. “Then I looked at my numbers this year and our numbers in the middle school are pretty low and I thought, 'This might be silly to be so proud.' ”
“My numbers dropping and the program needing to stay as successful as possible caused me to really think hard about that.”
John Bapst of Bangor, which, based on its enrollment numbers from last year (440), are fewer than Winslow (471), Foxcroft Academy (457) and Mount View (443), remains in Class B and will stay there through the conclusion of the 2014 season after having petitioned up to Class B two years ago.
The Mustangs will gallop through the regular season as they always have, squaring off against familiar foes such as Waldo County rival Belfast, Camden Hills, Nokomis of Newport and Gardiner.
But should Mount View find itself in the thick of things in the Eastern Class C playoffs, the Mustangs could be squaring off against unfamiliar teams, such as Boothbay Region, Orono, Dexter or Piscataquis Community High School of Guilford.
Hewett does not know if her team will be at a disadvantage or not should they qualify for the Eastern Class C tournament, with Winslow being the only team in the region they will have played during the regular season.
“I don't know how that's going to feel until it happens,” said Hewett, who added she hopes it does not impact the way her players prepare should they qualify for the tournament. “You think, 'Well, Class C, they're probably not as good, right?' I don't know if that's true.”
“I hope we don't play any differently.”
As far as how the rest of Hewett's conversation with McNally went?
“I told her, 'Have a good season,' ” Hewitt said. “'Go for the gold. Hope you make states.' ”
Associate Sports Director
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
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