Raiders and Knights Set for Volleyball Playoffs, Three Local Schools Eye Deep Runs in Soccer Playoffs
by Phil Stuart
The Volleyball playoffs are here and two Washington County Schools – Washington Academy of East Machias and Narraguagus of Harrington – could be crowned state champions in the very near future if their regular season records hold to form.
Washington Academy won the school’s sixth state title a year ago and lost just two sets going undefeated. This year, due to a lack of competition in Class C, the Raiders elected to move up a class even though their enrollment was right on the cut-line. It meant a little more traveling, but skillswise, they had outgrown Class C and needed more of a challenge.
When you thought things couldn’t get any better, they did. WA breezed through Class B going undefeated at 14-0 and losing just one set to grab the top seed. They are playing in a class with much larger schools like Gardiner, Brewer, York, Yarmouth, Kennebunk, MDI, Ellsworth, and Cony, but still managed to earn a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
Narraguagus heads up the Class C field, and it is theirs to lose based on a 13-1 regular season record. The Knights lost just five sets, with three of those being to Washington Academy.
Turning to soccer, three Downeast schools have a chance to go deep into the playoffs if they bring their A games. The Shead girls played the 8-person ranks this season and are 10-3-1. Penguis Valley is the favorite, but it is not out of the question to see the Tigers in the regional championship game.
The Narraguagus boys dropped down to Class D and are in fourth place with an 8-3-1 mark. Class D is wide open with about 6 teams in the mix including Fort Fairfield, Penobscot Valley, Easton, Bangor Christian, and Madawaska.
In Class C, Washington Academy girls are in the top five with an 8-5-1 mark. This class is wide open as well. Fort Kent, WA, Foxcroft, and George Stevens Academy have all played well at times, and it will be interesting to see how things pan out.
Cross country has been pretty much a wash out, which has nothing to do with the amount of rain that has fallen. To be successful at any sport requires training in the off season and that does not happen in cross country unless individual runners do so on their own. Our Downeast teams have not been competitive in two decades. We do have a handful of individual runners who have excelled in meets, and should qualify to run in the state meet. Mia Mills of Jonesport-Beals, Dakoda Davis of Washington Academy, and three from Narraguagus: Alexa Johnson, Lukas Pounder, and Robert Berry, should all qualify.