By Sara Lamb Contributing Writer
The University of Maine at Farmington Men’s basketball team boasts a nine game winning streak as their season comes to a close. The men’s team came into th
Billy Ruby returned to compete in the conference semifinals. (Photos Courtesy of UMF Athletics)
e North Atlantic Conference (NAC) in 5th place as they headed into the semifinal round of playoffs at New England college after Defeating the Thomas Terriers 92-83 at the quarterfinals.
Although the team fell short of the final match with a score of 71-56, they had a season for the record books, winning 14 of their 26 games and beating the top two teams in the conference. Alan Young, a Junior forward, called their nine game winning streak “a great confidence booster for us.”
Prior to the game, Eric Berry, a Senior captain of the team, said in an email interview, “We’re peaking at the perfect time. We have high confidence, and now we just have to win three more.” Berry said the team was hopeful that they could win it all because they had beaten the top two teams.
Berry said that it felt good to be the captain of a tight-knit group of guys who all got along and shared a unifying goal. Berry took it upon himself to personally prepare for the first playoff game.
“I [was] watching film of the opposing team, getting treatment from the athletic trainers, and getting shots and practicing,” Berry said.
Young expressed that the sport will always be important to him no matter what.
“I have played my whole life and I’ve worked very hard to get to where I’m at,” Young said. “Basketball is a sport that has made me a more competitive and successful person and I owe that to the sport.”
Dick Meader is the head coach of the men’s basketball team and has achieved success with the team over seasons.
Dick Meader is the head coach of the Men’s Basketball team and has coached at UMF for 25 seasons. In that time, Meader has brought close to 20 of his teams to the playoffs and has won the North Atlantic Conference championship once in 2010. When asked about the game plan for the first playoff game, Meader said, “nothing really different except we got a couple guys back.” Meader is referring to the return of players Billy Ruby and Amir Moss, who were in better shape than when they played the Thomas Terriers.
Meader added that the Men’s Basketball team is “a group of guys that are very unselfish, and it’s fun to watch them play. They work hard in practice trying to get better, they do what you ask them to do, and it’s just a good group of guys, good students. It’s always fun.”
By Sarah Lamb Contributing Writer
UMF Dance Team. (Photo courtesy of Sara Lamb)
The UMF Dance Team recently went to the TD Garden to perform right before the Boston Celtics took the floor for their game against the Atlanta Hawks. The Dance Team, led by Co-Captains Charity LaFrance and Vanessa Schaeffer, has been performing at the Garden the past three years. LaFrance and Schaeffer collaborated on the choreography for this year’s dance routine. They danced to “Love on Me” by Galantis & Hook, and were on stage for three and a half minutes.
“Last year [the performance] was pretty nerve-wracking,” said LaFrance. “I was pretty fine about [this year’s performance] until we were standing on the floor about to go on the court and seeing people 360° all around you. There is no other experience like it.”
The team has practiced the routine for the past 6-8 weeks. Schaeffer said it was “thrilling knowing you’ve created all this choreography,” and that it’s “exciting and full of relief to be able to watch the film of the performance afterward.” During every performance, they film themselves so they can critique and find more points of emphasis to work on during the next practice.
LaFrance added that “as a co-captain, it’s a pretty emotional experience watching your creation come alive, just knowing that you created this move and the counts. It’s a different experience than just dancing it. I think it’s pretty awesome that you get to let that happen in front of all these people and it’s really nice to share that experience with the other girls on the team.”
Both LaFrance and Schaeffer said that dance was a huge part of their life growing up. When asked what dance meant to them, LaFrance said, “Dancing gave me that thrill” through life, and it is her “happy place.” Schaeffer said, “Dance is a very strong passion, it keeps me very grounded, knowing I can express who I am through movement. It’s something that keeps you more alive.”
The opportunity to perform at the TD Garden arose three years ago from a student had a connection to the Celtics event staff who happened to want a pre-game performance. The UMF Dance Team was asked if they were interested in performing, and they have been going ever since.
If you are interested in performing on the same floor as the Celtics or perform here at UMF during halftime at the Men’s and Women’s home basketball games, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the UMF Dance Team.