High school basketball

Vinalhaven girls enjoy April 11 visit to Maine State House

By Mark Haskell | Apr 11, 2017
Photo by: Mark Haskell Vinalhaven High School girls basketball team members, with their gold ball and state Class D championship net, at the state house on April 11 in Augusta.

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.

Click for photos from this event.

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.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

Vinalhaven girls basketball team members
Vinalhaven girls basketball team members on April 11 at the state house in Augusta. (Video by: Zack Miller of VStv.)
Vinalhaven girls basketball team members. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
The Vinalhaven bus and state house. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
One of the items on the walls. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Touring the house of representatives. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Vinalhaven team members. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Vinalhaven coach Sandy Nelson, back left, bangs the gavel, as Vikings Amber Shane, front left, Ashlyn Littlefield, front right, and Justice Grant look on. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Vinalhaven coach Sandy Nelson, top, pretends to give an inspired speech at the lectern. In front is Paige Dennison. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Vinalhaven coach Sandy Nelson is interviewed by the television media, while players Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes, middle, Déja Doughty, Cheyenne Bickford and Justice Grant look on. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Vinalhaven assistant coach Sam Bickford holds the gold ball and takes a photo of the state capital dome. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Vinalhaven players, from left, include Amber Shane, Cheyenne Bickford, Déja Doughty, Paige Dennison, Corey Lazaro and Hannah Newton. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Vinalhaven players and coaches, with Rep. Walter A. Kumiega III, right. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
The Vinalhaven contingent sits in the audience during a session. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
The Vinalhaven contingent sits in the audience during a session. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Comments (1)
Posted by: BERNARD COX | Apr 12, 2017 12:23

Sir Governor LaPage, I know that days get busy and there is always an agenda but I also believe that there is always time for recognition of A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT! I believe that during any meeting there is time for a break, weather it be for the bathroom or a glass of water or to meet and greet some great students of our state. So please Governor Lapage do the right thing and meet and greet with those young ladies and acknowledge there historic accomplishment. Thank You, from a Dishearten life time Maine Coast resident!

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