Athletic directors, field hockey coaches and field hockey officials will be paying close attention to weather forecasts the rest of the season. October normally brings rain. And postponements are going to cause scheduling headaches.

That’s because field hockey officials are in short supply this fall. According to Sue Weatherbie, the game official assigner for Western Maine Conference and SMAA games, the list of available field hockey officials is low.

She draws from a pool of 50 officials used for middle school, freshman, junior varsity and varsity games. She should have 70.

They can get by with 50, said Weatherbie, but on days when there are 24 games scheduled, that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room. “On busy days, we might have only one official on middle school games,” said Weatherbie, who ends up officiating games a few days a week. “It’s not ideal, but they can handle it.”

Three longtime officials who worked every day in the past retired after last season. Injuries have limited others. Pam Gee, considered by many to be one of the best in the state, was injured in a car accident and is recovering well but out for the season.

“She had a big game every day,” said Weatherbie, of Gee. “That was about 57 voids that I started the season with.”

When York and Greely postponed their Western Class B showdown on Sept. 15 because of rain, school officials had a hard time finding a new date.

They finally settled on last Thursday at Yarmouth High’s turf field — but had to play at 7 p.m. That allowed two officials to work two games that day.

The schools also canceled the junior varsity game.

“It’s a real concern for the sport,” said Ted Welch, the athletic director at York and WMC field hockey liaison. “People just aren’t getting into officiating.”

Weatherbie hopes that will change. She conducted a free officiating course last summer — and brought in four new officials. She plans on doing the same next summer.

SACOPEE VALLEY’S 4-3 win over North Yarmouth Academy on Friday was huge for the Hawks, who are ranked first in Class C entering Monday’s games.

The Hawks have lost at North Yarmouth Academy to open the season the last three years.

“I need to talk to the (Maine Principle’s Association) about that,” Coach Terry Barnes said.

But after falling to the Panthers in the first game, Barnes said the Hawks talked about the need to shut down Katherine Millett.

With that done in the first quarter Friday, they jumped to a 2-0 lead off Ally Allard’s quick stick work.

That was all the momentum the Hawks needed.

Despite losing — and having a goal they felt certain cross the end line not called — they scored the winner in the final two minutes when Maya Richmond flicked in a rebound.

“The girls were jumping up and down. So I told them they’d just have to score twice, and this time around make sure it hits off the backboard,” Barnes said.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: FlemingPph

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH