Dragon’s Nest Revival

By Emilee Eustis Staff Reporter

Students from UMF, along with the Farmington Recreation Department are hoping to bring back what was once a functional skate park for the town through a long-term community project.

   On July 4th, 1991 a brand-new skate park called the “Dragon’s Nest” opened in Farmington. Steve Shible, the Parks and Recreation Director at the time, worked hard in the opening, finalizing and designing of the park to make a safe place for those who were skateboarding on the street to enjoy themselves.

   Since then, the park has been covered and contains one standing hoop and a mini track to run on, taking away opportunities for avid skaters in town.

   “I don’t remember the last time I drove through Farmington without seeing someone on a skateboard or longboard,” said Assistant Director of the Farmington Rec. Department, Jaycee Jenckes. “Having a SAFE and designated spot for people who love skateboarding would be excellent for the town and its residents.”

   Along with efforts from the Rec. Department, students from the UMF campus have shown an interest in the potential rebuild of the park. Cody Denning, a Junior Business Psychology major at UMF said, “Farmington doesn’t have anything that really brings the alternative sports community together anymore.”

   Denning and a few others have chosen the park as their point of interest for a semester long assignment in their Projects in Business/Economics class.

   Denning and his group would like to include students from the University and members of the community to help in the planning of the park, and if it continues, the potential building of the structures. “I know that a lot of students that I have told about the potential project are delighted to help,” said Denning. “I feel this park reopening can help the Farmington community in many ways.”

   The goal of the park reopening is to benefit both skateboarders and residents of the town by creating a place to enjoy the sport, while not interfering with traffic or causing potential harm to themselves. It also aims to introduce the younger generation to the alternative sport.

   “It can act as a kind of experimental place for younger kids to try it out,” said Denning. “The park can also give parents peace of mind knowing their kids are at the skate park and not at an unknown location.”

   Though the planning is still in the early stages, the Rec. Department is experiencing the benefits of collaborating with University students on community issues. “It’s nice to include college students on big projects because they bring lots of energy and enthusiasm for things that they are passionate about,” said Jenckes. “So if reviving the skate park is what they’re passionate about, then I have high hopes for the project.”

   Denning and the UMF students will continue to work with the Rec. Department, as well as the community, in planning potential outcomes for the park as the semester moves forward. They will present results in December to see the progress made and what they need to do for the project to continue.

UMF Men’s Soccer Falls to the Mariners of Maine Maritime Academy

UMF Men’s Soccer Falls to the Mariners of Maine Maritime Academy

By Emilee Eustis Staff Reporter

The crowd was buzzing with excitement under the beaming sun while waiting for the UMF men’s soccer team to take the field last Saturday morning.

UMF men’s soccer team huddled up and planing their next move on the field. (Photo courtesy of UMF Athletics)

    It was the season opener, or first conference game, for the Beavers and they were facing one of their rivals, the Mariners of Maine Maritime Academy (MMA). “We knew it was going to be a fight for 90 minutes and that this game goes a long way towards playoff standings at the end of the season,” said Tristan Price, a senior athlete at UMF. “Everyone was really excited and looking forward to the game.”

   The Beavers spent two practices preparing for the challenge and focused on capitalizing on every chance they had. “We always talk about coming out of the kickoff strong and putting the other team under pressure immediately and we were able to do that,” said Price. After scoring their first goal within minutes of the game, the team was focused on not letting the Mariners offensive push take away their quick lead.

   The Beavers showed a strong defensive effort, keeping the Mariners at one goal until the last seven minutes of the half when Matt Caron of MMA scored on a penalty goal. The momentum swung in the Mariners favor, and with a tied score at halftime, the Beavers were prepared for an intense start of the second half.

    “[At halftime] we talked about getting the ball more wide to create more chances,” said Michael Pingree, another captain and senior athlete at UMF. “We wanted to work smarter off the ball.”

   The second half started out at a fast pace with both teams focused on an offensive push. At the 25-minute mark, the Mariners used that energy to get another goal, again by Caron, putting them ahead 2 to 1.

    “I think their goal in the second half kind of changed everything,” said Price. “We started throwing guys forward trying to score and we abandoned our game plan towards the end.”

   In an effort to get the game back in their hands, the Beavers worked extremely hard to keep the ball on our end of the field. “With about 15 minutes left, we missed a good opportunity on net that helped shift momentum our way,” said Pingree. “From that point on we got some dangerous balls in and created many good opportunities to even the score.”

   With seconds left, they had one last chance to tie the game. “Time was running down and the urgency to score was full throttle,” said Pingree. The ball reached Jake Heimlich, a Junior at UMF, and flew into the back of the net as the time ran out. The team “plead” for a penalty as one of their players was on the ground, but the referee did not agree.

   The final score was 2 to 1 in favor of the Mariners, but the outcome did not discourage the Beavers. “We work extremely hard every day,” said Pingree. “We’re just looking to stay disciplined in our overall game plan, and that will make us really hard to beat.”