Vinalhaven girls enjoy April 11 visit to Maine State House
Augusta — The Vinalhaven High School girls basketball team was the toast of the town — make that the island — after recently hoisting the first state athletic championship in school history.
But on Tuesday, April 11, the Vikings were guests of the state as the squad visited the Maine State House to tour the building and see firsthand how the state is largely operated.
Of course, the Vikings are all too familiar with the 75-minute ferry boat ride across Penobscot Bay and the 50-minute bus trek to the Pine Tree State’s capitol city.
Watch video below.
Vinalhaven went 3-0 in the Class D South tournament in February at the Augusta Civic Center, a run that earned the islanders the right to compete for the state Class D title — which they won by virtue of a 55-44 victory over Shead of Eastport on Saturday, March 4 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
The Vikings brought a gift of lobsters to Governor Paul LePage, who was in a meeting and could not meet with the team. The lobsters were donated by assistant coach Nikki Osgood and accepted on LePage’s behalf by one of his assistants.
“We were a little disappointed not to get to meet the governor, but that’s alright,” said Viking coach Sandy Nelson. “He’ll have lunch on us.”
Team members include Ashlyn Littlefield, Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes, Déja Doughty, Cheyenne Bickford, Paige Dennison, Amber Shane, Hannah Newton, Rosanna Morel, Corey Lazaro and Justice Grant, along with head coach Nelson, assistant coach Sam Bickford, team assistants Kelsey Barker and Osgood and managers Carolyn Hopkins and Tekla Webster.
Team members were given a tour of the state house and peeked in on a meeting in the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee room and took photos in The House Chamber, while later sitting in the gallery and taking in nearly an hour of business in an official session.
Doughty said “It was really cool just to come here and see the meetings and stuff like that happening,” while Davis-Oakes added the visit was “really an eye-opener” and “inspiring.”
The Vikings were a guest of state representative Walter A. Kumiega III, who represents Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Frenchboro, Isle au Haut, North Haven, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Swan's Island, Tremont and Vinalhaven, plus the unorganized territory of Marshall Island Township.
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