ROCKPORT — The Camden Hills Regional High School junior varsity field hockey team stuck with it this fall as the Windjammer program — in size and talent — continues to grow.

Led by coach Linda Cowan, the Windjammers sailed to a 2-7 record on the campaign, which was “an excellent season of growth,” particularly given the fact that nine of the team’s 18 players “were completely new to field hockey this fall.”

Camden Hills junior varsity players before a game this fall. Photo courtesy of Rita Ackley

“[The] team development shown over the course of two months is quite remarkable,” said Cowan. “As their coach, I feel very fortunate to work with such a motivated and energized group of young student-athletes.”

Team members included Natalie Hall, Charlotte Thackeray, Isabella Anderson, Isabella Burke, Sally Vannini, Riley Whitman, Kelsey Clayton, Madison Hannan, Charlotte Milos, Matilda Marks, Jade Larrabee, Abigail Strout, Hayley Orne, Zoe Davis, Nataly Turner-Watts, Michaela Bixby, Abigail Butler and Ula Durow.

Camden Hills junior varsity after jamboree at The PITCH in Warren. Photo courtesy of Rita Ackley

Davis and Larrabee led the Windjammers in scoring, while Thackeray, Anderson, Burke and Hall swung up to varsity throughout the season and “were crucial in providing season-long stability and experience through the midfield.”

Whitman and Clayton, captains on this year’s squad, proved up to the task, the coach said, “ensuring our program’s culture and standards were never compromised,” while Strout emerged as the team’s goalie midway through the campaign and “stepped into the role with grit and a can-do attitude,” Cowan said.

Cowan said while numbers decline in high school field hockey programs statewide — Camden Hills had a handful of jayvee games canceled due to lack of teams — numbers within the Windjammer program continue to grow.

“Forty-four percent of games played [for us this season] were with less than the regulation 11 players due to the size of the other JV programs,” Cowan said. “One game was limited to 20 minutes long to accommodate the opponent’s roster. That means we only played four regulation JV games of the potential 14. Please consider getting involved with your local youth field hockey program. In almost all of our communities, there is a need for more coaches, more officials and field hockey suitable playing surfaces. It takes all of us to save the game we love for the next generation of players.”

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