Friday, December 13, 2013
By DALE DUFF Special to the Telegram
WASHBURN - A Friday filled with typical math and science classes. An afternoon semifinal playoff soccer game. A 4½-hour bus trip from Washburn to Belfast. An overnight stay. A state championship cross country meet Saturday. Another 4½-hour bus trip home.
Welcome to Carmen Bragg and Mackenzie Worcester's version of "48 Hours."
Bragg, Worcester and five teammates compete on Washburn's soccer and cross country teams, and things are just fine.
Their soccer team beat Central Aroostook 2-1 in overtime Friday, putting the Washburn girls in an Eastern Class D final for the first time.
Saturday, the cross country team won its first Class C state championship.
Worcester, a sophomore, placed sixth in 21 minutes, 6.42 seconds, and Bragg, a junior, was ninth in 21:13.88. Their former soccer teammate, Carsyn Koch, placed first for the third straight year (19:30.56). She chose not to play soccer this fall.
"I don't think you can do it everywhere. It takes special kids," said Athletic Director Ron Ericson. "It's been a fun thing and the kids have made it fun."
That fun generally means a 3 p.m. soccer practice, followed by a cross country training session. Then supper and homework.
"It's a lot but it's something we want to do," said Bragg, a midfielder, "and we've had some success in the past and we want more."
Worcester agrees. "It takes a lot of energy out of you, but I don't mind a bit."
Less than half the 117 students at Washburn are girls. That, plus school officials encouraging kids to play multiple sports, means communication and cooperation among coaches are a must.
It's no problem for cross country coach Mike Waugh and soccer coach Marcy Barbarula.
"It is a balancing act. Coach Marcy and I work well together," said Waugh, a history teacher. "The kids are full time at both sports. If (the seven soccer players) have a hard practice we'll make adjustments, depending on whether it's a tempo day or interval or long run day."
"I think it's great. We have a lot of hard-working kids and they like to win," said Barbarula, the town recreation director.
Both coaches believe their sport helps the kids compete in the other sport. Waugh sees a Washburn soccer player beating an opponent on a sprint to a ball in the corner because of cross country training. Barbarula sees a Washburn runner handle a soggy trail with strength because soccer games often are played on that type of field.
Worcester, who set school record for goals this week (31 this season, 58 career) sums it up: "We don't have to do all this, it's just something we enjoy."
THE BANGOR CHRISTIAN boys' soccer team, the two-time defending Class D state champion, enters the Eastern Maine final with 13 consecutive shutouts.
HERMON LINEBACKER Garrett McIntyre led Eastern Class C with 95 solo tackles and 16 assists. That's 47 more than the second-leader tackler in the league.