A World of Unique Character and Natural Beauty

Island Rivalry!

March 20, 2012      Author : Maine Island Living    Category: Community      0 Comment(s)

Vinalhaven Islander Dreyenn picks up the basketball lost by her opponent and politely hands it to Jasmine from the North Haven Island team.  Not until the highly supportive fans filling the gym bleachers collectively chuckle does this adorable student-athlete realize her little “mistake.” “It’s okay!” reassures Hannah to her slightly worried-looking younger teammate, and then again, “It’s okay!”

Viking Hannah (farthest left in red shirt) and teammate Corey (farthest right) are all smiles after scoring two points during one of many well-executed plays.

Dreyenn, Hannah, and Jasmine symbolize the feeling between two Maine islands separated only by the Fox Island Thoroughfare - a strip of water busy with ferry traffic to and from the mainland, lobster fishing and seasonal recreational boating.  So close – yet different - the two island communities are natural, long standing

Pee Wee player Justice’s younger brother, Kyle, jumps off Centerfold, the lobster boat bringing athletes across Fox Island Thoroughfare to meet the school bus taking them to the game. There are so many additional traveling fans Captain Foy Brown makes two trips.

friendly competitors on and off the court.  Yet when it comes right down to it, residents of both towns jump at the opportunity to support the other.  And there is constant inter-connectedness:  Examples include two teachers and a postmistress who commute between North Haven and Vinalhaven by outboard 5-6 days a week, returning in late afternoon winter darkness in all but life-threatening weather conditions.

Hawk Justice breaks with the ball, eyed by Viking Dreyenn looking to defend her court.

For every shot made cheers erupt from the stands, while supportive comments and claps encourage players who may have missed the basket.  The only (again, friendly, with laughter) “booooooo” occurs when teenage referee Brian Stanley calls a foul on one of the young players.  Stanley sets up the free throw, and a Pee Wee player gains precious experience shooting under pressure.

With only five girls on each team of this Vinalhaven-based game, every athlete plays 32 full minutes with a break at half time.  That’s full court, just like the high school kids.  Even so, the girls’ game finishes all too soon given the smiles and fun exhibited throughout the event.  Fans cheer the joy beaming from their faces--a spirited reward for the girls' outstanding sportsmanship and hard playing.

North Haven Hawk Jasmine leads her team to the basket.

Viking Tim breaks, while Vincent positions himself to defend the Hawk’s court.

Viking Tim focuses on his foul shot.
The boys’ event is a “whole new ballgame” with – again - only a five players from North Haven, and a whopping seven from the much bigger island of Vinalhaven.  While outnumbered, the Vinalhaven players are severely outsized (3rd and 4th graders versus mostly 5th, 6th and 7th graders).  In an attempt to fair it up, refs Stanley and Steven Osgood raise North Haven’s basket.  As usual, the boys enjoy every play of the game.  Asked what he likes about basketball, 3rd grader Vincent, North Haven’s youngest male player, responds, “Nothing.  I just like it.”

Hawk Tristan shoots one of his many scoring shots. Next year this tall Hawk will be on North Haven’s varsity team.

With one win and one loss – not that the score matters - North Haven Pee Wee coach Andrea Adams says, “They did good,” adding with a chuckle, “Maybe next time I should bribe them.”

Of his Pee Wees Vinalhaven Coach Alan Lazara observes, “It is fun to watch them get better and stuff like making their first basket in a game! One thing we try to teach them is that you are not always going to make the shot or win the game but you have to try your best!”

The Vinalhaven high school girls’ team and North Haven boys’ team recently received sportsmanship awards for their behavior during the state tournament in Augusta.  With Pee Wee players like these in the queue handing the ball nicely to one another, reassuring their teammates when mishaps occur, and smiling throughout the game, it all makes sense:  These kids are winners on and off the court.  They play for the love of the game and their friends, the skill, and experience.  With all that grounding, gumption, and support from cheering islanders, these student-athletes are complete winners.

Hawk Peyton drives down the court chased by Viking Richard.

Adam (black pants) and MJ “high five” their teammate Hunter while North Haven’s David Cooper announces the players' names before the game.

North Haven Coach Andrea “Andi” Adams has trouble competing with the boys for the attention of her players during a timeout. "They did good!" Adams says with pride of both teams.

Vinalhaven Coach Alan Lazaro encourages his team during half-time. Says Lazaro, “The reason I coach is to hopefully teach them the basics of basketball and most importantly teamwork. Some of them are afraid of playing in front of people so we work on their confidence. They are fun to watch when they are all excited about playing!”

Left to right: Hawks Fiona, Jasmine, Kaylee, Justice, and Kathryn, with North Haven Coach Andrea Adams.

Assistant Viking Coach Kayla Conway with (left to right) Corey, Dreyenn, Autumn, Hannah, and Molly.

Left to right: Assistant Coach Kayla Conway, Tim, Breklen, Jack, Richard, Hunter, MJ and Adam.

Standing, left to right: Hawks Tristan, Brandon, Grayson, Michael, and Coach Andi Adams

Kneeling left to right: Vincent, Peyton

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