By Page Brown, contributing writer
Nathan Carson speaks to his players during a free throw against Bates College on Nov. 16. Courtesy of Jacqui Hamilton.
UMF’s women’s basketball team is off to a strong start under the guidance of newly hired interim basketball head coach Nathan Carson. The squad, who is sitting at 5-2, saw key wins including winning the Castleton Invitational Tip-Off Tournament and the UMF Tip-Off Tournament in their opening two weekends of play.
Carson came into the program familiar with the players and program as he served as an assistant coach for the men’s program since the 2014-2015 season. Carson himself is a UMF graduate, graduating in 2014 with a degree in community health and playing for legendary UMF coach Dick Meader. While playing for the Beavers, Carson saw immense success, starting for three years and scoring 536 points, while maintaining a 77.6% free throw percentage and 36.5% three-point field goal shooting percentage. During his senior season, the team reached the North Atlantic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship.
The new coach hopes to bring his success to the team as the squad looks for a deep tournament run.
“The team is off to a strong start, we have had some gritty wins in the first half of our season. We love to get out and run and have fun, and I know that when we do that, we can be a dangerous team in NAC play.”
The desire to reach the playoffs comes to no surprise as the team returns 13 players, including all five starters from the 2019-2020 season that saw the team reach the championship game. The veteran led group is headed by a large senior class, thanks in part to the pandemic granting two players an additional year of eligibility within the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Since the 2019-2020 season, the team has lost only four players: 2020 graduate Sara Lamb, 2021 graduates Halee Ramsdell, Kasey Talerico, and Chelsea Crockett. UMF forward McKenna Brodeur, a two-time first team all-star, looks to lead this year’s squad to a North Atlantic Conference Championship. She is joined by senior guard Alex Bessey, a second-team all star, and senior guards Makayla Wilson, Tia Day and senior forward Page Brown. Other key returning players for the Beavers this year include senior guard/forward Molly Folsom, junior guard Courtney Brent, and senior forward Cassidy Delano.
Yet the experienced group is also joined by a group of new players and coaches. Six players, Emily Small, Maddie Forgues, Kiely Renyolds, Jalyn Stacy, Jaycie Stevens, and Grace Woodman join the team. The group looks to make an immediate impact on the team, highlighting the talent on this years’ squad.
The squad was able to compete in only two scrimmages in the 2020-2021 season. However the 2019-2020 year saw the team going 14-14, culminating into a huge 70-63 win against conference foe Maine Maritime Academy in the NAC semi-final before falling to five time champion Husson University 70-60.
By Cassidy Delano, Contributing Writer
Photo courtesy of Cassidy Delano
Kittery is the perfect place for a calm Sunday drive. It is a small town in southern Maine that sits on the Atlantic Coast.
I have lived in the same house in Kittery my entire life, and my Sunday drive route has never changed. It gives me a chance to visit all my favorite places in town while preparing myself for the week that lies ahead.
This seems to be a right of passage for me; growing up my dad used to take me on Sunday drives. He grew up in Kittery and was no stranger to the many secret spots that my friends and I call our own. Dad would tell me, “Just wait till you can do this on your own. Sunday drives can save a person.”
I was home for Thanksgiving and figured that a Sunday drive was just what I needed before heading back to Farmington. I started my car, and played a song that best fits today’s journey, “Sunday Best” by Surfaces. I pulled out of my driveway and turned right down the street, one stop before we truly started. I pick up my best friend who lives seconds down the road from me, Mia. Off we go to explore the best places in Kittery.
With “Sunday Best” still blaring, we pull into a local breakfast gem, Bagel Caboose, built to look like a caboose of a train. When you walk through the door, an aroma mixed with bagels and coffee fills your nose. It’s a breath of fresh air for us. “They have the best coffee in town, and their breakfast sandwiches are even better,” Mia said. Bagel Caboose is the place to go when you’re not looking for a sit-down breakfast. Grab a coffee, bagel, breakfast sandwich, or bakery item of your choice and you can be on your way.
“Today I ordered a North Ender on an english muffin, and a hot hazelnut coffee,” Mia said. “A classic Sunday drive meal.” The North Ender is filled with spinach, cheese, egg, tomato, and tons of pesto.
I ordered my usual bacon egg and cheese on a wheat everything bagel with hollandaise sauce, accompanied by a hazelnut iced coffee.
We hop back in the car and are on our way to our next destination, Seapoint Beach, a fan favorite, as it’s a small sandy beach in what’s known as Kittery Point.
Seapoint is about a ten-minute drive from Bagel Caboose, giving us plenty of time to jam to music and enjoy the seaside view.
As we approach Gerrish Island bridge on the right, we stay straight and pass it, this road leads right to Seapoint. The road feels long, as Mia turns up the volume to another classic Sunday drive tune, “Where Is The Love” by the Black Eyed Peas.
Finally, the beach comes into view as you turn on the sharp corner of the road. Only three cars are parked down here, we pull up to the front row, with a perfect view of the water. We turn down the music, roll down the windows, and enjoy the fresh ocean breeze.
“This is what home smells like,” Mia said, as she took a deep breath in. Seapoint beach is where we live during our summer vacation.
Seapoint Beach feels like a perfect place any time of the year. In the spring and summer season it’s the perfect place to swim, have fires on the beach, and watch the sunset. In the fall it’s overtaken by dogs trying to get in the last bits of the warm weather, with friends and family soaking up the last fireside warmth the beach will see. Once winter hits, Seapoint is the perfect place to watch the waves from the recent storm.
“If you come to Kittery and don’t visit Bagel Caboose or Seapoint Beach, you’re not doing it right,” Mia said.
We sit here peacefully with the soft tunes of music and crashing of waves surrounding us. The Sunday drive feels complete, and the only path left is back home. Neither of us want to leave, but know Seapoint will be waiting for us when we come home again.
“Till the next Sunday drive,” Mia said.