Bhreagh Kennedy played – and excelled – at nearly every position for the Skowhegan field hockey team during her four years. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

It’s not easy for defensive players to get noticed in field hockey. But Skowhegan High center back Bhreagh Kennedy was no ordinary defensive player.

“I can’t think of a player in Maine that compares to her,” said Skowhegan Coach Paula Doughty. “She’s the whole package. She can play offense, defense, she’s a fabulous leader.”

Kennedy played just about every position for Doughty in her four-year career. And she excelled at all of them. For her contributions to Skowhegan’s Class A state championship this fall, Kennedy is our selection as Varsity Maine Field Hockey Player of the Year.

She said playing at Skowhegan, and winning three state championships in her four years, was everything she hoped it would be.

“When I was growing up, I looked up to those girls and wanted to do what they were doing,” she said. “I’m so happy I could carry on the legacy.”

Kennedy, who has received a scholarship to play at the University of Maine, established a pretty good legacy of her own Last weekend she was named Miss Maine Field Hockey, given to the outstanding senior player in the state. She recorded 19 goals and 16 assists this season and finished her career with 35 goals and 31 assists.

In addition to Kennedy’s skills, she was an exceptional leader, according to Doughty. After Skowhegan lost 4-3 to Biddeford in the Class A state championship game in her junior year, Doughty said Kennedy looked at her on the bus ride home and said, “That will never happen again.”

“She led by example, was always positive,” said Doughty. “I was lucky to have her. A great player, a great leader, an outstanding kid.”

Skowhegan’s Bhreagh Kennedy get a hug from a teammate after being named the winner of the Miss Maine Field Hockey award. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Other coaches saw the same. “She controlled the backfield effortlessly and with poise,” said Mt. Ararat Coach Krista Chase. “She stymies even the most prolific attackers with her solid defensive positioning and skill.”

Kennedy was the shooter on Skowhegan’s offensive penalty corners and the flyer on its defensive penalty corners, which means she rushed the opponent’s shooter. “She was constantly coaching the younger kids,” said Doughty.

Kennedy, who also plays tennis for Skowhegan, began playing field hockey in the third grade. By the time she was in eighth grade, she knew how much she loved the sport and that she wanted to take it as far as she could.

“This sport takes a lot of skill and a lot of patience and a lot of practice,” she said. “But it’s a lot of fun.”

Kennedy said the biggest thing this year was to remain calm when it got frantic in the circle. She loved her defensive teammates, saying they helped her relax. “I put enough pressure on myself to strive to perform well,” she said. “But not so much pressure that it becomes stressful.”

She broke her left hand with five minutes remaining in Skowhegan’s 3-0 Class A state championship win over Biddeford this year. But Kennedy did not come out of the game.

“I definitely wasn’t going to leave the field,” she said. “That was the last five minutes I’d be playing for my team.”

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