Version No. 142 of the Cony-Gardiner soccer contention is on faucet Friday, and in keeping with Cony trainer B.L. Lippert, there’s nonetheless one thing particular about gearing as much as play that staff down the Kennebec.
“It’s a amusing strategy to finish the yr annually, irrespective of the data,” he mentioned. “There’s such a lot historical past and custom on this recreation that our children look ahead to it, and the communities are so shut that we see other folks throughout the year, or I see other folks on the grocery store which might be from Gardiner, I see other folks throughout that both performed within the recreation or have a vested pastime within the recreation.
“This week then turns into extra heightened, and it’s a amusing week to be part of.”
Oftentime, Cony and Gardiner have met when each groups have had a identical tale to their seasons. That’s now not the case this time. The Rams are 7-0, have trailed at just one time in a recreation all season, and are in pursuit of a top-two seed, and probably No. 1, within the Pine Tree Convention Magnificence B. The Tigers, hit by way of accidents in the midst of the yr, are 2-Five and short of a win Friday to place their playoff hopes in their very own fingers.
Nonetheless, upsets aren’t unprecedented on this contention. Two years in the past, a 2-Five Gardiner staff beat a 5-2 Cony staff in time beyond regulation. Tigers trainer Joe White mentioned his staff is thinking about the problem of pulling off every other one.
“Numerous the ones children which might be seniors now have been sophomores (for) that 2017 win. A.J. Chadwick and Blaise Tripp, guys like that have been in the market for that recreation,” he mentioned. “And so they know. You’re 2-5, the hopes of playoffs looming within the steadiness, and you return out and also you simply play your highest recreation that you simply’ve performed all yr and also you reap the advantages.”
Lippert has observed sufficient bizarre stuff occur when those groups have met to understand he can’t take the win with no consideration.
“They’ve performed us tricky in years the place we have been higher than them, and we’ve performed them tricky in years the place they have been higher than us,” he mentioned. “That’s all the time one thing to think about. They’re very motivated. Cony-Gardiner by myself will have to inspire you, however a playoff spot at the line will heighten that as effectively.”
White mentioned getting his staff impressed gained’t be an issue.
“It doesn’t take a complete lot at the a part of the training group of workers to inspire the youngsters for the Cony-Gardiner recreation,” he mentioned. “Their oldsters and members of the family have performed within the recreation. They’re conscious about it. It’s a lifelong reminiscence to have performed in it and to inform tales about it.”
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Cony intercepted 3 passes in its win remaining week over Falmouth/Greely, and every one showcased the ball-hawking abilities of the Rams secondary.
Riley Geyer were given the primary one, operating up and creating a sliding pick out on Nick Mancini’s rollout move early in the second one quarter. Later within the length, the Yachtsmen have been riding into Cony territory and had reached the 39-yard line when Adrian Larrabee had the pick out, studying the quarterback from just about 10 yards in the back of the receiver and operating as much as step in entrance, intercept the move and go back it 23 yards to the Falmouth/Greely 47 with 46.nine seconds left within the part.
“He’s were given super instincts within the move recreation,” Lippert mentioned. “Every now and then we’ll watch him and he roughly baits quarterbacks into throws. He used to be hoping he used to be going to throw that out minimize, and he drove on it, picked it off and gave us an opportunity to attain sooner than the part.”
The 3rd got here with underneath 9 mins to move within the recreation and all however sealed the victory. Yachtsmen quarterback Cooper Bush attempted to overcome Colten Manning deep down the proper sideline, however protection Dakota Andow used to be taking part in centerfield and raced over to make a jumping seize of the ball.
“Dakota has in point of fact excellent vary,” Lippert mentioned. “He simply does a pleasing task of studying the quarterback’s eyes, and naturally, (he and Geyer) each play quarterback, so they have got an concept of direction ideas and they have got an concept of the place the ball could be going.”
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Headed for home-field merit for the primary spherical of the PTC B playoffs, Lawrence will have gotten an early postseason preview. The Bulldogs prevailed in a tricky fight with Windham, profitable 25-18 at Keyes Box Friday.
“That’s precisely what we have been speaking about as coaches after,” trainer John Hersom mentioned. “(It’s) roughly lucky that we had that form of a recreation, the place we have been challenged all through. We needed to be undoubtedly taking part in our highest to overcome them.”
Certainly, the Eagles didn’t make it simple. Lawrence scored the go-ahead landing past due within the 3rd quarter on a 53-yard move from Dylan Coombs to Zach Nickerson, however needed to buckle down for a defensive prevent deep in its personal territory within the remaining mins as Windham regarded to even the rating. The Bulldogs pressured an incompletion from the 8-yard line on fourth down with 1:46 to play.
“Surely, for our protection, the place we’ve been roughly a piece in growth … we confirmed some development,” Hersom mentioned. “We’re getting higher, forcing groups to earn the entirety. We simply wish to proceed to play that form of protection.”
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Kents Hill is 3-1. The Huskies, on the other hand, aren’t extremely joyful with that mark.
“I feel we will have to be 4-0,” trainer Steve Shukie mentioned. “My children really feel like we will have to be 4-0, however we gave one away.”
Then again you slice it, it’s been a quick get started for the Huskies within the NEPSAC eight-man league. Shukie had a sense this may well be the case; Kents Hill had numerous avid gamers to exchange, however various skill with which to do it.
The problem, because it continuously is, used to be intensity. Kents Hill has most effective 15 avid gamers at the roster.
“I felt lovely excellent, if we stayed wholesome, we’d be the staff to overcome. And I nonetheless really feel that approach,” Shukie mentioned. “Our margins are razor-thin, however the children we’ve got out at the subject are extremely tricky, extremely well-conditioned, and so they’re excellent avid gamers too.”
The Huskies have had good fortune on all sides of the ball, however they’ve been most powerful at the line of defense. Hans Dres, Hunter Beriault and LJ Jefferson had been disruptive up entrance, and linebacker Alec Saklad has been one of the most staff’s highest pass-rushers.
“Our 3 defensive linemen are one thing nobody else has,” Shukie mentioned. “Now we have in point of fact excellent dimension and athleticism up entrance, and after they’re all taking part in wholesome, it’s very, very exhausting to run on us, and it’s additionally very exhausting to get a move off.”
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