Ty Henke of Mt. Ararat, right, looks to pass over Kameron Douin of Cony, left, during a boys basketball game on Jan. 11 in Topsham. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

While Brunswick and Freeport are beginning athletics, another Midcoast school is temporarily closing them down.

Mt. Ararat moved to remote learning on Wednesday because of a COVID-19 outbreak at the school.

The school hopes to resume in-person learning and athletics on Feb. 8, according to an announcement by athletic director Geoff Godo.

The suspension of athletics will postpone several Mt. Ararat games, including three Nordic ski meets, two boys hockey games, two virtual swim meets, two boys and girls basketball games, and a girls hockey game.

Boys basketball coach Dave Dubreuil is already devising a plan to keep in contact and work with his team virtually over the next 11 days.

“I will be speaking with my other coaches today (Wednesday) to schedule meetings and virtual workouts with the team,” said Dubreuil. “Fingers crossed we are good to go on Feb. 8.”

The girls team has been quarantined since last week, and will continue to do so during the pause.

Mt. Ararat’s Eliza Libby, left, and Elsa Daulerio play defense during the season opener on Jan. 11 at Cony High School. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Head coach Julie Petrie says the team has been meeting “roughly every other day” via Zoom, and are doing what it can to keep the mood up.

“We’ve been trying to do fun things, keep it light and relaxed,” said Petrie. “We had a ‘team scavenger hunt’ (Tuesday) night and have been trying to do similar activities like that, but have also been going over our workouts and plans.”

The Eagles are 1-1, after earning a 47-43 win over Gardiner on Jan. 15. The Eagles dropped their season opener to Cony, 46-44.

 

WHICH MASKS TO USE: Before the stoppage, some Mt. Ararat athletes tried different kinds of masks before finding the right one.

“I tested out several different types of masks before deciding on which one to go with right before our first game against Cony,” said Mt. Ararat basketball standout Ty Henke.

Henke added that he ended up deciding on wearing a surgical disposable mask during competition.

The Eagles (1-1) fell to Cony  78-62 on Jan. 11, but responded with a victory at Gardiner, 49-37, four days later.

The Mt. Ararat swim team held its first virtual swim meet of the season on Jan. 14 at the Wiscasset Community Center in Wiscasset. The eagles swam against Cony in a virtual meet. Eli Canfied/The Times Record

 

START AND STOP: The Mt. Ararat/Morse/Lisbon ice hockey team dropped the puck on its season Tuesday night at The Colisee in Lewiston, before athletics were paused. The Eagles edged Gardiner 5-4 behind two goals from Johnny Hole, including the game winner with nine seconds remaining in regulation.

The Eagles are a little shorthanded behind the bench after assistant coach Paul Raymond stepped aside from in-person coaching because of job requirements.

“Coach Raymond has been an assistant with me since I became the coach six years ago,” said Eagles head coach AJ Kavanaugh. “He will still be involved in helping us in a remote capacity.”

Kavanaugh added that he and assistant coach Ryan Atwood will be behind the bench for the time being during games this season.

 

GETTING GOING: Brunswick High School teams are ramping up their practices in preparation for games to begin during the first week of February, according to athletic director Jeff Ramich.

Hannah Fortier, the lone senior on the Brunswick girls basketball team, was starting to worry if she’d ever get back in the gym with her teammates, and was somewhat surprised to hear the news regarding competition between schools.

“I’ve never been more ready to play a game of basketball, whenever that opportunity may come,” she said.

Fortier turned to Alpine skiing in her free time to keep her in shape for the season, which resumed last Friday with the team’s first practice. Athletics were paused at Brunswick all winter before the Maine Principals’ Association announced schools in yellow counties could resume athletics.

“Skiing was sort of a back burner in my life with basketball taking place in the winter, so it was a nice change of pace to get out there more,” said Fortier. “With that being said, I am definitely ready to get back on the court.”

 

FREEPORT BEGINS ACTIVITIES: While Brunswick is ramping up its practices, nearby Freeport High is slowly resuming athletics.

Rachel Wall and the girls basketball team were able to get back in the gym for the first time this week.

John Martin of Mt. Ararat looks to make a pass during a Jan. 11 game against Cony. Eli Canfield/Times Record

“We are going through skills and drills sessions to fine tune our conditioning before we get back to 5 on 5 practice,” said Wall. “We have a lot of talent on our roster and need to mesh on the court together.”

Wall recently committed to further her education at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

 

SHIPBUILDERS GET GOING:  Morse High School is coming off a two-week pause in which the school switched to remote learning. All teams are now back to practice, athletic director Nathan Priest said.

Morse senior basketball player Mary LaRochelle says the team is back up to speed after having some time away from in-person practices.

“The break from having no practice didn’t shake us up, and I can speak for the rest of us when I say we are all very excited for Thursday,” said LaRochelle.

The Shipbuilders open their season Thursday against Lincoln Academy, with the boys on the road and the girls at home.

Morse also held its first virtual swim meet of the season on Friday night vs. Camden Hills at the Bath YMCA. Both squads earned victories.

Morse will face Medomak Valley in basketball on Friday, with the boys in Warren and the girls in Bath. The Shipbuilders will hold their second virtual swim meet of the year on Friday as well, when they take on Messalonskee virtually at the Bath YMCA.

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