Updated with more photos

Lions on cruise control for coach Holmes-Jackson's 200th win

Belfast field hockey clips host Erskine Academy Eagles' wings in 10-0 late-season victory
By Mark Hakell | Oct 11, 2019
Photo by: Mark Haskell Belfast field hockey team members celebrate coach Jan Holmes-Jackson’s 200th career win. Front from left, Kiara Doolan, Sadie Wheeler, Sarah Woods, Reilly Nickerson, Emily Woods, Reagan Seekins, Grace Hall and Chelsea Gaiero; and back, head coach Jan Holmes-Jackson, assistant coach Brittany Tarbox, Hailee Lindelof, Hannah Banks, Kayci Faulkingham, Mallory Tibbetts, Brooke Richards, Madison Limeburner and Madison Shorey.

South China — The Belfast field hockey team’s road game against Erskine Academy on Thursday, Oct. 10 was hardly one for the record books.

The Lions caged seven first-half goals and prowled to their ninth win of the season — a 10-0 triumph — over the host Eagles, who, by comparison, had one win on the high school stick campaign.

Watch video and see more photos below.

However, the win was significant for Belfast coach Jan Holmes-Jackson, as the victory was the 200th of her illustrious varsity coaching career, which began in 1995 at Camden-Rockport High School, then at Camden Hills and then to her alma mater of BAHS.

Holmes-Jackson led the Windjammers for 17 seasons and stepped down in 2012, only to take the Belfast field hockey job in 2013 after her father, Allen Holmes, stepped down after 40 seasons. She led the Windjammers to one regional final, 10 playoff appearances and collected her 100th career win with Camden Hills in 2011.

Now, Holmes-Jackson has made the playoffs in each of her seven season as Belfast’s coach and has led the Lions to one regional championship in 2016.

“It’s really amazing,” said Lion junior Kiara Doolan. "She’s a great coach, she works really hard and she works us hard. It’s fun to be part of her team.”

“It’s very exciting,” said Holmes-Jackson on the milestone. “We have to work hard to get wins because the [Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference] is very tough and there’s a lot of competition.”

“Jan Holmes-Jackson has been a strong competitor and dedicated coach every year she has coached field hockey,” said Mount View coach Gloria Hewett, who herself has 129 career victories in her 13 years guiding the Mustangs. “First as the Camden coach and now as the Belfast coach. In addition to Jan's love of the game, she teaches her players skill, teamwork and perseverance. I'm happy to see our coastal field hockey friend hit the 200-win mark. It's a true measure of her ability as a coach.”

Annually, the Lions are in the state championship picture. This season is no different as Belfast is fifth in Class B North and in the mix to host a regional playoff game.

“It’s pretty cool,” said senior goalie Brooke Richards of her coach's accomplishment. “It’s cool to be part of multiple wins [for her]. Not just this year, but since I was little [in youth camps], I’ve been playing with her. Even if those games don’t count, that’s where it started for me and it’s just carried on for four years [of high school].”

The Lions had a week off from their last game, a 1-0 loss at Class A Mount Ararat of Topsham. Holmes-Jackson said she thinks her student-athletes “looked ahead” against the Eagles, but got back to “playing their game” in Thursday’s win over another team of Eagles.

“We knew it would be a bumpy, grass field again, which we struggle on,” the coach said. “So we talked about that and finishing in front of the cage today. And we did.”

Did they ever.

Senior captain Mallory Tibbetts said she is “very proud” of coach Holmes-Jackson.

“She’s definitely made me very versatile and very aware of my surroundings and what goes on on the field,” Tibbetts said. “She makes me a better player overall. I can play any position and that’s because of her.”

Leading the potent Lion offense on Thursday was Kayci Faulkingham (3 goals), Chelsea Gaiero (goal), Sarah Woods (goal, assist), Madison Limeburner (2 goals), Doolan (goal, 2 assists), Hannah Banks (2 assists), Tibbetts (goal, assist) and Hailee Lindelof (goal).

Belfast held a 49-1 edge in shots and 25-1 advantage in penalty corners.

Richards made one save in goal for the Lions, while Emily York made 30 saves for the Eagles.

Holmes-Jackson said she would allow herself to enjoy the milestone, but admitted she is already thinking about the team’s game on Friday, Oct. 11 at Morse of Bath and the team’s regular-season finale against top-ranked Winslow on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

“We certainly are capable of beating Winslow,” Holmes-Jackson said. “But we have to focus on playing our game and being very aggressive and adjusting. They’re tough up the middle.”

The team traveled back to Belfast Area High School and had a surprise banquet for Holmes-Jackson, including a short escort with two police cars and a fire truck, along with cupcakes with friends and family.

Short and sweet. Then, back to work.

Richards said Holmes-Jackson “expects a lot out of us, but that is really good for us.”

“It makes all of us play harder and makes us want to do better,” she said. “We don’t want to disappoint anybody, but we definitely don’t want to disappoint coach. She’s hard on us in practice, she expects the most out of us [and] expects us to work hard 100 percent of the time and that’s all she ever asks for.”

In the Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Class B North, Belfast (9-3, 77.7551 points) is fifth, while Winslow (12-1, 115.4710 points) is first in the 12-team region. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

Belfast at Erskine Academy field hockey
Erskine Academy hosts Belfast on Oct. 10 in high school field hockey in South China. (Video by: Mark Haskell and Zack Miller)
Belfast's Chelsea Gaiero, left, and Kiara Doolan, middle, as well as Erskine Academy's Paige Leary, front, and Ashley Clavette, back, and Lucy Allen, right. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Kayci Faulkingham, left, and Reilly Nickerson, middle, as well as Erskine Academy's Summer Curran. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Reilly Nickerson, back, and Kiara Doolan, middle. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Kiara Doolan, left, and Erskine Academy's Paige Leary. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Kayci Faulkingham, left, Reilly Nickerson, middle, and Kiara Doolan, front, as well as Erskine Academy's Ashley Clavette. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Kiara Doolan, left, and Erskine Academy's Ashley Clavette. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Emily Woods. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Kayci Faulkingham, left, and Erskine Academy's Serena Sepulvado. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Kayci Faulkingham, left, and Erskine Academy's Serena Sepulvado. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Kiara Doolan. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Kiara Doolan, front. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Kiara Doolan, (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Chelsea Gaiero, front, and Mallory Tibbetts. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Sarah Woods. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Chelsea Gaiero. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Mallory Tibbetts. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Hailee Lindelof, front, and Erskine Academy's Tiffany Doyle, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Sadie Wheeler, left, and Erskine Academy's Olivia Kunesh. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Sarah Woods, left, and Erskine Academy's Olivia Kunesh. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Sadie Wheeler, left, and Erskine Academy's Olivia Kunesh. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast coach Jan Holmes-Jackson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Belfast's Reilly Nickerson, Hannah Banks, Brooke Richards, Emily Woods and Grace Hall. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Belfast's Reilly Nickerson, Hannah Banks, Brooke Richards, Emily Woods and Grace Hall, as well as Erskine Academy's Mya Maxim. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Erskine Academy's Paige Leary, front, and Belfast's Reilly Nickerson, middle, and Emily Woods. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Erskine Academy's Summer Curran, left, and Belfast's Brooke Richards. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Erskine Academy's Summer Curran, left, and Belfast's Brooke Richards, middle, and Grace Hall. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Chelsea Gaiero, left, and Erskine Academy's Ashley Clavette. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast coach Jan Holmes-Jackson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast coach Jan Holmes-Jackson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Brooke Richards, left, Kayci Faulkingham, middle, and Hannah Banks. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Brooke Richards, front, and Hannah Banks, right, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Brooke Richards, front, and Hannah Banks, right, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Brooke Richards, front, and Hannah Banks, right, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Brooke Richards, front, and Hannah Banks, right, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Mallory Tibbetts, middle, and coach Jan Holmes-Jackson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Hailee Lindelof, left, and coach Jan Holmes-Jackson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Hailee Lindelof, middle, and coach Jan Holmes-Jackson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Hailee Lindelof, left, and coach Jan Holmes-Jackson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Hailee Lindelof, left, and coach Jan Holmes-Jackson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Hailee Lindelof, left, and coach Jan Holmes-Jackson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast coach Jan Holmes-Jackson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Belfast's Hailee Lindelof, middle, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
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