By Kaitlyn York Contributing Writer
Head Coach Jamie Beaudoin shares his enthusiasm about a new year and new challenges. Beaudoin has always enjoyed the aspect of teaching the game of basketball to his players, with the ultimate goal of seeing their growth throughout the season.
Beaudoin recognizes that every year is different, though, and this year there are some major changes to the North Atlantic Conference (NAC).
“Our conference will be a little bit different,” said Beaudoin. “We lost four schools from a year ago, but we gained two others so our schedule will be much different, both conference and non-conference, because we’ve had to find some additional games.” He believes that the changes will make the team face unexpected, but exciting experiences.
“I think this season will be a lot better than last year. Last year we won 7 games,” said Sara Lamb, a junior on the team. “Overall I’m excited and I am hopeful to have a good season.”
Paige Carter, a senior at UMF and fourth year member of the team, believes that the new additions to the conference will be interesting, but she is excited to see what the future holds. “I am most looking forward to playing against and traveling to several different schools that we have never faced before, in my four years here,” said Carter.
This year, Carter also has the unique experience of balancing student teaching and playing basketball. It can be a struggle at times because of late night practices and early school days.
“Both are major time commitments but being a student-athlete at UMF has been a very rewarding experience that I wouldn’t ever change,” said Carter. “I have a lot of support from my coach, team, mentor and my students.”
Carter began playing for the Women’s Basketball team her freshman year at UMF, and though she is excited for her future career as a teacher, she will miss playing for the Lady Beavers.
“It sounds very cliche but these past four years have really flown by. I am so excited to see what the future holds for me, but will be sad to be leaving UMF and the family I have made here,” said Carter, “Being a part of the women’s basketball team has allowed me to be a part of something greater than myself.”
The Women’s Basketball team is also focuses on helping outside organizations through fundraisers during season. They will be participating in games for breast cancer awareness, as well as participating in We Back Pat, which is in memory of Pat Summitt, the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team head coach, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. The Lady Beavers also participate in Go Red for Women, which raises awareness about heart disease in women.
As well as fundraising for outside organizations, they will be selling their Finals Survival Kits and Beaver Socks. The money from these fundraisers will go towards for the teams t-shirts, for 3-point give ways, practice gear, equipment and the software to break down game film.
The teams first home game of the season will be Nov. 13th at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Men’s Basketball team at 7:30 p.m. against the University of Maine at Machias in Dearborn Gymnasium.