MIDLOTHIAN, Va. — Black Bear Elite field hockey, which includes a bundle of young stick athletes from Waldo County, excelled against topnotch competition in the Shooting Star Thanksgiving Tournament Friday through Sunday, Nov. 25-27.

A handful of Belfast Area High School student-athletes played on the U16 team that finished second in its pool competing against foes from the East Coast.

Sara McIntire Bryant, longtime field hockey coach in the Belfast area at many levels, led the team in the tourney near Richmond.

Bryant said her U16 squad also had the “honor” of competing against an elite team from the island of the Dutch Articles of the Caribbean, a contest that resulted in a tie.

Black Bear Elite U12 team. Photo courtesy of Sara McIntire Bryant

The team, coached by Bryant, included players who represented: Belfast Area High School’s Jara Brown, Breanna Shorey, Nicole Shorey, Lawless Desrochers, Kim Berry, Halle Tarbox and Jocelyn Vaileau; Hampden Academy’s Anna Napolillo; Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield’s Celia Stinson, Grace Cunningham and Bailey Churchill; and Nokomis of Newport’s Mia See Husen and Madeline Roundy.

The BBE squad finished 3-1-1, with 20 goals in five games. That total number of goals was the most in the squad’s bracket. The team allowed three goals, “which was a great thanks to our goalie Nicole Shorey,” said coach Bryant.

The U16 team beat Falcon FHC of New Jersey 7-0, lost to Country Strong of New York 2-1, beat Undertow of New Jersey 9-0, tied AuraAsao (Carribbean team) 0-0 and beat Beat Surf and Sand of New Jersey 3-1.

“This is the best hockey that we have seen this club compete at,” said Bryant. “It gave me goosebumps watching this group of talented girls play together. It was an honor coaching this group of skilled girls. I have had the pleasure of watching all of these girls play with their high school teams during their regular season. They all stepped it up. They played out of their comfort zones and excelled. This was a great learning experience for all. Our goal was to compete, learn, have fun and have them bring back something to their home team. The club is so proud of these girls.”

Black Bear Elite also brought a u12 team coached by Madison Shorey, who helped her college field hockey team at Converse University of Spartanburg, S.C. win its division.

The U12 squad consisted of Gigi Desrochers, Casey Belcher, Izabella Berticchi, Mabel Hawkes, Ava Roundy, Bently Roundy, Chanel Roundy, Morgan Shorey and Abigail Stinson.

Bryant said the local squad had the “privilege” to have the tourney’s youngest player, Stinson, 6, of MCI.

Black Bear Elite is owned by Sam and Belinda Shorey of Belmont.

MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com. 

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