By Alicia Davis – Contributing Writer
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the UMF softball team had a game against alumni at the softball field. UMF softball beat the alumni team 3-2.
Coach Kat McKay, who will be entering her second year as the softball coach at UMF, felt that the game went well. “For the first year in many years without an alumni game, this
year was fantastic. I believe [the alumni] had an absolute blast,” said McKay. “They showed they still have all the skills to get the job done.”
Kailyn Hill, a junior at UMF and member of the softball team for the past two years, felt that the alumni game was very competitive. “We had a lot of fun. We had a back and forth game, so it was very competitive,” said Hill. “I pitched the first three innings, and then I played first base after.” This upcoming spring will be her third year playing softball for Farmington.
Alison Hamilton, a UMF alum, returned to play for the alumni team. She reclaimed her spot
in right field, where she played all four years during her time on the team at UMF. Hamilton’s favorite part about the game was getting to see her friends she met from softball.
“It was nice to see some former beavs, and reminisce about our time at UMF,” said Hamilton.
Eight alumni showed up to play in the game. “Because the alumni were down a player, the
UMF softball team leant us a player until Coach Pratt came in during the 5th inning to play for us,” said Hamilton.
The game was close to being tied in the end. The alumni and the UMF softball team felt both teams played well. “Our skills were equally matched,” said Hamilton. “We kept scoring back to back until we finally pulled through near the end of the game.”
McKay is looking forward to the spring season. “ I’m truly excited about this spring. We lost a handful of good athletes from our roster last year, but were able to replace and refocus with a large freshman class.”
Alyssa Dillan, a sophomore at UMF who will be playing her second year for the softball team this spring, is looking forward to what the season will bring for the team.
“I have high hopes for the spring season,” said Dillan. “I think that we have a lot of potential right now and I trust coach McKay will help us reach that potential.”
“We are selling pies to support our team to go to Florida in the spring,” said Hill. The softball team has an annual trip during the March spring break to Florida, where they will practice against other teams in preparation for the upcoming season.
People can support the UMF softball team by purchasing pies for their fundraiser. If anyone wants to purchase a pie, they can contact Coach Kat McKay for more details.
By Gavin Elliott – Contributing Writer
UMF’s softball team recently completed their fall ball season with a tight-knit scrimmage that pitted Beaver against Beaver.
The 2017-2018 Softball Team (L to R)
Top row: Coach Kat McKay, Justice Merrill, Alyssa Dillan, Tasha DeRoche, Kailyn Hill, Brianna McGrath, Kayleigh Oberg, Brittany Dugal, and Kalyn Grover.
Bottom row: Melissa Veitch, Amber Grady, Callie Hammer, Margaret Fogarty, Erika Whitman, Taylor Burke, Amber Raymond, and Abby Shields.
Not shown: Kylee Atwood and Hope Faulkingham
(Photo courtesy of Kiana Thompson)
After the scrimmage, UMF sophomore Alyssa Dillian said, “it was a great way to end the [fall ball] season because it was competitive, but also really fun.”
This scrimmage was just one of several ways to help the team bond. According to second-year Head Coach Kat McKay, “the purpose of fall ball is to bring together a group of people, some who have never met or played together, put them on the same page, and start to build unity in what everyone already has knowledge of.”
This especially benefits freshmen who have never had a chance to play with the softball team before. “I felt like a part of the team…I got to understand my new team’s personality,” said Callie Hammer, a UMF freshman.
UMF sophomore Amber Grady echoed her team’s sentiments. “It was definitely a learning experience for all of us.” Along with building skill and communication with the team, the players also learned about one another on a personal level.
Beginning last year, the softball team went on its second annual team bonding trip. This year, the Beavers went camping in Avon, Maine for one night.
“Last year we went canoeing,” said McKay. “It’s about getting the girls out of their comfort zones because they finally start to laugh together and let their guard down.”
Reiterating Coach McKay’s comment, Grady said, “[the camping trip] went really well, we all got to know everyone and see each other come out of our shells.”
Reminiscing about the trip, Erika Whitman, a UMF sophomore, looked at her teammates and laughed, saying she “loved when we sat around the campfire and bonded over pizza and embarrassing stories.”
Smiling and chuckling at Whitman’s comment, UMF sophomore Kalyn Grover added, “my favorite part was definitely watching the sunrise with my teammates,” said Grover.
After a two month break, the team will resume their hard work and practice at the start of the new year, followed by a trip to Clermont, Florida to compete in the 2018 Spring Games in March. Here, the Beavers will play a variety of teams from all over the U.S..
At the Spring Games, the team will not only be together on the field, but also staying together for an entire week. “I’m looking forward to [the Spring Games], being with my team again and hanging out,” said Dillian. “[We] really bond in Florida when [we] get to live together and get our first chance to play against others with our new team.”
Last year in regular season, the team’s only goal was to beat the previous year’s number of wins. However, the team “found so much success, it opened some of the other team’s eyes to UMF being a contender,” said McKay.
Looking forward to the upcoming season, Dillian said, “it will take some work to get to where we left off last season, but I think we are capable of repeating what we did last year, even with our young team.”
Although there is uncertainty about how this year’s team will perform in the spring season, one thing is clear: the team is looking forward to picking up their gloves and bats to prove themselves on the field once again.
By Andrew Devine – Editor-in-Chief
The UMF Aspiring Educators of Maine (AEM) hosted a panel of teachers to discuss horror stories, life lessons, and experiences that came from working in the classroom.
The panel consisted of teachers of all levels: Dan Ryder and Andrea Palmer, who have been teaching for about twenty years, high school and first grade respectively, Chelsey Oliver, a first-year teacher and recent graduate from UMF, and Elaine Grant, a retired teacher that taught for nearly 40 years.
The program started with a potluck style dinner to which all attendees were invited. Following the meal, the panel began with a light-hearted question that led to some serious answers: “What is your favorite story to tell about teaching?”
Most responses from the panelists resulted in profound lessons that the group had gathered over what amounted to over 80 collective years of teaching. Dan Ryder, an English teacher at Mt. Blue High School for nearly 20 years, included some of these important responses.
“You can be friendly without being a friend,” and “You have to be authentic, and figure out what that means exactly,” were some of the lessons Ryder shared with the club.
Students in attendance seem to have taken in important lessons pertaining to their future careers from the event.
Bradley Howes, a sophomore Secondary Education student who worked with Ryder during his practicum, said, “What I took away from it is, you’re going to screw up many times in your first, second, and third years; the point is you have to go with it and own it.”
On the horror theme of the event, Bryan Eldridge, a member of AEM, said: “Kids aren’t scary; kids are only scary if you make them scary.”
Stephen Riitano, President of UMF Aspiring Educators of Maine.
(Photo courtesy of Andrew Devine)
Stephen Riitano, President of UMF Aspiring Educators of Maine, helped organize the event and led the panel on stage in the Landing. Riitano said, despite the title of the event, which is a spin on the 1980s television program: ‘Tales From the Crypt’, it was not meant to be a scare.
“I think the big thing was a balance between horror stories and what is rewarding and informative about teaching.” Riitano said, “If we had just done an hour full of the worst that can happen, it might come as turning some people off.”
AEM has held similar events in the past, under former name Student Maine Educators Association, and hopes to continue work in aiding students in their advancement towards work in the education field.
“It’s usually an annual event that Aspiring Educators does,” said Riitano. “Last year it really wasn’t that big, there were only five or six people in the Ed Center lobby, so it was great to have 65 people show up.”
This event, and the high attendance, shows the progress the club has shown since the start of the school year.
The club will be hosting an event focusing on Special Education in November.
By Samuel Carignan – Contributing Writer
In partnership with UMF Health Promotion students, the Franklin County Children’s Task Force held the Make Tracks for Kids event to raise money to end child abuse and neglect.
On Saturday, October 14th, community members got together to participate in the Make Tracks for Kids event. The program supports children who need help in learning or school activities and works to get them the resources they need. The day featured a 2-mile walk, 5K run, and 1-mile kids run. Through registration fees and donations, the group was able to donate the proceeds to 21st Century Kids of F.R.A.N.K.L.I.N. After School Program.
UMF students in Health 310 also added to the day’s events. The students were tasked with running multiple stations that provided information on nutrition and provided participants with healthy snacks.
Chantal Diamond, a Community Health and Anthropology major, was one of the UMF students involved at Make Tracks for Kids. “My job was to provide nutritional and health guidance and give out snacks. We provided information on how to make healthy snacks on a tight budget,” said Diamond.
Students of Health 310 at the Tracks for Kids event.
(Photo courtesy of Katie Callahan)
Information booths were located both at the Task Force Center and Mt. Blue Middle School. UMF students also set up obstacle courses for children to enjoy. “One was a hoop game, another hopscotch, and a bunch of other little activities to get the kids moving,” said Diamond.
The main events at Make Tracks for Kids were the three runs. Participants could choose between a 2-mile walk or a 5K run and children could race in the 1-mile kids run. The races started at the Task Force Center and went through both Bonny Woods and Flint Woods. Racers enjoyed the beautiful fall colors that the trees of New England are famous for. Although it was a race, as a charity run, the focus was on raising money and awareness for the programs as opposed to the winners of the race.
Bikers Against Child Abuse, a non-profit national organization of motorcyclists, was also in attendance. Their mission at Make Tracks for Kids was to raise awareness for child abuse prevention. Healthy Community Coalition, along with UMF students, helped provide families with health information and snacks.
Make Tracks for Kids has left a positive impact on the community. “I think it definitely [made an impact on] the children. It really gave them a chance to learn a little more about nutrition and health,” said Diamond. The money raised from this event will be used to better the lives of community members, especially children.
Work for the students of Health 310 did not end at the conclusion of the event. UMF students taking the course will use this experience to create a project, presentation, and paper on the process of going through an intervention.
“It teaches us on what we can do better and what we need to focus on in order to make sure an intervention goes smoothly,” said Diamond.
By Bryan Eldridge – Contributing Writer
Every residence hall at the UMF campus is preparing to open their doors for yet another Halloween, letting kids from the community come in and get candy from the students during the “Trick or Treat Through the Halls” event.
“Trick or Treat Through the Halls” is an event sponsored by the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) club on campus where kids and families from the community walk to each residence hall on campus, collecting candy from the festive Halloween spirited students in their halls. The event has been a UMF tradition for over 10 years, and always seems to keep the busy residence halls full of laughing children and happy students.
Mallett residents, Katie Franke and Becky Paradis decorate their dorm room in preparation for trick or treats through the halls.
(Photo courtesy of Bryan Eldridge)
Emily Hartford, a junior at UMF and current President of APO, finds the event to be a great connecting point for many students in the same school.
“They get to see kids they might not be able to hang out with outside of school.” said Hartford.
The event aims to provide a safe experience for the families in the surrounding community. “It’s a safer alternative because you’re not wandering through the streets.” Hartford said. “You know who’s passing out the candy [and] you know why they’re handing [it] out,” said Hartford with confidence.
Information regarding the event is sure to reach students and their parents. “We have flyers going out that have all the contact information on it that will be distributed to every school in the district,” Hartford said.
Stephen Riitano, second CA in Mallett Hall and a senior, finds the event engaging for the residents. “It gets people in the hall out of their room and engaged in a similar activity with other people in the Mallett community.” said Riitano. “They all have a similar goal.”
The event in recent years has been a hit, with many eager and busy feet flooding the halls. “The past two years have been a pretty good turn out,” Rittano said. “There’s a large number of kids that come through.”
Kierra Carmichael, a senior at UMF who has been a resident on campus for all four years, enjoys the variety of costumes and anxious kids that visit each year. “[The kids] seem so eager and excited and their costumes are adorable.” Carmichael said.
Carmichael feels the event is very important for connecting with others and brings UMF closer with its surrounding towns. “It connects us with the community so we’re not just a campus.” said Carmichael. “It made me feel like I was part of the community as a whole.”
There are other ways for the residents to be a part of the event besides handing out candy. “Just come down to the lounge and help people give out candy and interact with parents and kids.” said Carmichael. “I think it’s still important to try and be involved.”
The event is scheduled for Sunday, October 29th and will begin around 5:00 p.m.