Ice Climbing

By Calvin Grover ’22

To me, ice climbing has always been an “extreme” sport. Relegated to bucket lists, pipe dreams and watching youtube videos, it always seemed like something I would enjoy, but not something I would be able to do for awhile, without extensive research and preparation. This assumption was turned on its head when Mr. Tholen announced in a school meeting that there would be an ice climbing trip coming up on a weekend. I immediately turned to my friend Jacob and told him; “Oh yeah. We’re gonna do that.” Luckily, he was just as enthusiastic as I was, because we both share a passion for trying new things, and especially filming ourselves trying those new things. His face lit up, and his response was immediate; “It’s going to be an epic video.” 

A week and a half later, we stood in deep snow, with crampons strapped to our feet and sharp ice tools in our hands, in front of a looming ice slab. Jacob and I looked foolish, two buffoons with GoPro cameras gorilla taped to our helmets. We felt cool as we repeatedly completed the beginner climb, only stopping for lunch or to let someone else have a turn. Ice chips flew as we dug into the slanted face with sharpened steel, as our hands and toes went numb. Over the course of the day, we improved significantly, each climb making us more precise when we swung the ice tools, or kicked in our crampon front points. Our group was of a large range of climbing backgrounds, from experienced mountaineers to beginners who didn’t wear snowpants. We all had fun climbing, even though we were not able to progress onto any of the vertical challenging faces that surrounded us, because it was a crowded spot. I think we all went home tired, pushing ourselves in a sport that most of us, myself included, have never had the opportunity to try. For those of us who wanted to try more difficult stuff, there has been discussions of another, more advanced trip, likely next year!

Jaw Dropping Excitement

By Joe Godomsky ’20

Incredible experiences come with hard work. Over the summer my Babe Ruth league all-star team won states. We knew we had a talented team, but winning states is a feat that we have failed to achieve for the last six years, making this extremely special. We went into the state tournament as a strong contender for the state title. Since Augusta was hosting the regional tournament, their team automatically made it past states. Two teams get to go to the regional tournament, this made our chances of making regionals very good. We won our first game against Lisbon and played our rival Augusta next. They were by far the best team in the tournament besides us, making this game very competitive. Through a hard fought battle, we ended up on the losing side. This did not kick us out of the tournament due to the tournament being double elimination. Afterward, we proceeded to win two other times to reach the championship game. We had to beat Augusta twice considering we were in the losing bracket, making our feat of winning states very unlikely. After an extremely exciting game, we proceeded to secure our first win; this caused Augusta to become very frustrated and our team to become extremely excited. We had the momentum for the second game, and we had our ace on the mound.

The result of winning states after being down two games was extremely exciting but it was not nearly as exciting as the email we received from the commissioner of the league a couple weeks after states. He informed us that every single year the state winners from all age groups get to go to Fenway Park and walk on the field in front of thousands of people. My jaw dropped! I’ve gone to Fenway Park many times but never have I ever thought that I would be walking on the field. I was ecstatic and could not wait until the day we left for Boston.

I took the train into the Red Sox stadium and was greeted by all my friends. We got together and walked over to the gate where we would prepare to walk onto the field. All the state winners clustered together prior to the gate opening in joyous fashion. They began calling people up towards the gate, closer and closer to Fenway Park. I reached the gate and I could see the field where almost every MLB player from 1912 and beyond has stepped foot. Not only do I see it but when they call my team out to walk onto the field, it was one of the most special moments I have ever experienced. We continued to walk down right next to the Green Monster and then we stopped. I stood there and took one very slow turn. I looked at the field, and I looked at the crowd; I could not believe that I was standing on the field at Fenway Park. I couldn’t take in the importance of this until I saw myself on the Jumbotron. I was filled with so much happiness that I couldn’t take it in all at once. Right before we walked off the field, I bent down and grabbed a handful of dirt from right in front of the Green Monster. I needed something to truly remember this experience.    

We stood there for approximately ten minutes before being asked to walk back off the field. While walking off, I looked slightly to my right. Out of the corner of my eye Noah Syndergaard, the New York Mets ace was standing right there doing his warmups. The 6 foot 6 inch, 240-pound man that they call “Thor” was standing right next to me. He is by far one of the hardest pitchers to face in the MLB and he was standing right next to me. I could not have had a more special experience.

The Failure of One, The Fall of Many.

By Aarti Singh ‘20

Unity is strength. Ever since I started playing soccer, I was always taught to trust my team and stand together no matter what. I was lucky and blessed to have a wonderful soccer team for my first year as a lumberjack. From the first practice session, we all had a dream, a common aspiration: to win New England’s. Every day as we stepped onto the soccer field, we knew what we needed to work on. Being the goalkeeper of the team, I could see the efforts that my team made to not let any balls come near my zone. As each of the ten players on the field and seven on the bench did their job, my job was to stop the balls from entering the net. I was always scared to not let my team down, but at the same time, I wanted them to trust me enough to not to worry about losing the game because of me.

The start of the soccer season was difficult for some of us. As there were many returning players, there were also many new players, just like me. It was hard to rely on someone we didn’t know. As Mr. Griggs and Ms. Milan gave their best in coaching the players , the seniors took the lead for prompting the team’s spirit and confidence. The hurdle of success started to seem a little less daunting when we won MAISADS. We were happy; we started to feel our dreams were coming true. The only thing now mattered was to play Vermont this quarterfinals, make our place in Semis and then bring the trophy home.

I still remember the last practice. We were happy to reach New England’s.  Each one of us had the hunger of winning, because losing was not an option for us.

As we walked down the pathway of St Paul’s, I still remember the vibes and chills that I got from their huge turf field. Everyone was positive, trying to hide the fear of losing. When the whistle blew, the first two minutes of the game broke all of my dreams into millions of pieces. Soccer games usually go for 80 minutes, the first 40 minutes felt like a lifetime to me. As the Jacks were 2 down, we were shocked. We knew we didn’t come as a strong team at the start, but we still had plenty of time to come back. Being a goalkeeper is not easy, but the only thing my team expected from me was to be confident and fight back. During the half time, we all tried to pump each other up. We started having positive talks and were ready to play the best soccer of this season, even if it was our last. Our passes were accurate and so was everyone’s confidence. The ball was now rolling as per the green’s command. As each minute passed by, we started to create more chances. Everything was perfect; the only thing that didn’t happen was the ball going in the net. As the team started to communicate, it helped me gain my confidence back. I made seven total saves in that half but could not stop their third goal.. The last five minutes of the game was the best each individual could have ever played. We played with  all our energy and full of heart. As the final whistle blew, we all knew that this was the end. End of the game, end of the soccer season, and most importantly, the end of our dreams. That day was the toughest day of my entire Hebron journey so far. I felt weak. I had no idea about what just happened. We were all helpless That day we lost New England quarterfinals by 3-1. That was the moment when I realized, if only I hadn’t given up in the first two minutes of the game, the results might have been a little different.

Every day since then, I miss soccer and my soccer family. Each day is a new beginning, so is the next year. We will work hard and will win the trophy.

New Year Same Place

 

Written by Joe Godomsky ’20

As I begin the start of a new ski season, I have a little preparation to do. I grew out of almost all my ski equipment, so it was time replenish my lacking supply. As a skier you need a lot of equipment, and I had to get skis, ski boots, ski pants, jacket, helmet, gloves, goggles, poles, and a GS (ski racing) suit. Once I had my equipment, I was almost ready for the season. In order to ski, I needed a pass, so my parents and I head up to Sunday River to get my ski pass. With all my equipment set in place, I was finally ready to head up to the slopes.

Sunday River has been my main ski hill since I was five years old. I’ve done everything from learning to ski on the beginner hill to going down one of the steepest trails on the east coast, all at Sunday River. I began to learn how to ski when my dad taught me. He would put me in between his legs and slowly begin to let me learn to stand/ski on my own. When I was seven years old, I joined the Sunday River racing program, and to this day I am still involved with the racing program.

As I entered this Thanksgiving break, I was informed that I had a lot of time to ski. As a matter of fact I was able to ski seven out of eleven days of break. The first three days I was accompanied by both my brothers. We normally ski until either we feel hungry or don’t have any more energy. But something I started to realize in the midst of all this was how special the moments are when I ski. Whether it is riding up the chairlift and being able to look behind and see the crazy view, or whether it is skiing down the trail and feeling like I’m skiing on air, skiing allows me to experience things that not many other people are allowed to see or feel. I’m allowed to go down a mountain at whatever speed or pace I want. Being able to possibly go as fast as a car is exhilarating. Skiing is unique and fun in many different ways, and I can’t wait to take in the views as a new ski season begins.

Varsity Golf 2017

Written by Daniel Halloran ’18

After the first three matches, Hebron Academy’s 2017 golf team was off to an 0-3 start. After falling to Gould, Kents Hill, and Brewster, our team needed to shake thing up. As players we had the pleasure of Mr. Horne coaching golf for the first time in many years. Mr. Horne was the golf coach at Bridgton Academy years ago, where he actually started the MAISAD golf league. This gave us an advantage because our coach knew every rule since he was the one who wrote the rulebook for the league.

After a change in the lineup and vast improvement among the players after the first three matches, we responded by beating Gould, Bridgton, and tying our second match against Bridgton. This put our overall record at two wins, one tie, and three losses. Four year veterans, Trevor Sours and Daniel Halloran, played a big role in leading the team through practices with a new coach and a handful of new players. The Bisson brothers, Joe and Nick, have made an immediate impact on the course during their first year playing for Hebron. Last year we unexpectedly won the MAISAD championship, and our record this year is very similar to what it was last year heading in. This year the championship will be played at Lake Winnipesaukee Golf Course, which in the past has proved to be very tough for the Lumberjacks. However, given last year’s victory, all we can do is hope for the best and that our scores will go in our favor.

Mountain Biking

Written by Guangyuan Xue ’18

“Blaze your own trails, make them rideable, and have fun,” said headmaster Mr. Marchetti, a former varsity biker, at the beginning of this mountain bike season. With the great attentions from every Hebron lumberjack, our new mountain bike team debuts under the spotlight on the stage of New England mountain bike race, ready to bring our school glory and honor. Our head coach Mr. Jennings and the bikers have all devoted ourselves into MTB with enthusiasm and passion.

Similar to the strain  when we start pedaling and accelerate our bikes, everything is difficult at the beginning.  As a team, we had  two tough weeks before we broke the ice. Originally, four students signed up for this activity; three of us had bikes; two were new to this sport, and the only skilled rider got a concussion on the second day of practice. Fortunately, the special charm of biking enchanted students in the next week and four more were recruited. With a total number of seven people, the team was officially established.

Our daily practice is made up of trail works and riding. In the woods, we have an advanced trial system based on the work of the former generations, but most of them need development. We spent one week on improving the inner loop, clipping roots and branches, sweeping leaves, and removing rocks. In these trail works, the team members cooperate with each other and build a strong team spirit. There was one time we encountered a boulder in the middle of the trial. The team spent half an hour digging this half-ton rock out of the dirt with shovels and hands, which was now placed next to the trail as a monument to commemorate our team work. We also take on a steep downhill trail as a challenge to our skills. It’s an enjoyable feeling to ride on the trials that were blazed by ourselves as a team.

Biking is more difficult than people usually think. It is a tactical and physical challenge for bikers. People are usually comfortable riding on flat ground, but trials are combined with lots of uphills and downhills; shifting gears is essential to maintain a continuous ride. When we are climbing, the bike has to be on low gear, otherwise we will lose the momentum and fall down. Learning how and when to shift the gear is a skill that can only be developed from experience. I myself cannot remember how many times I have fallen off the bike, now having only scars as reminders. Nevertheless, no pain, no gain. Everyone on our team is highly motivated and dare to challenge ourselves. Our biking skills have been gradually developing from the setbacks, and we have made some accomplishments in the New England biking races. We are looking forward to achieving more goals and contributing more for the MTB team. Go Jacks!

 

Varsity Soccer

Written by Michael Tahiru ’18

A new year, new season, new team, same coaches and same goals and the fierce competition for starting spots has began. It is quite amazing what we were able to accomplish last season. We made it clear during our first meeting that winning the New England Championship was our sole aim, and we weren’t going to settle for less. Lo and behold, we followed through with teamwork, hard work, and persistence, and we reaped the benefits anyone who exhibits these values enjoy. Not only was our goal of winning the championship accomplished, but we were undefeated en route to the title.

The team this year understands that this is a new year and a new page. We cannot simply rest on past laurels.The charge is upon us to do better and keep the light shining. We will face tougher challenges in opponents because we are no longer a surprise. That foundation has already been lain, and it is our job this year to keep building on it. 

Even though it is a much younger team, the attitude and moral of the team is second to none. Everyone understands what we stand for as a school and a team. We know the only potential pitfall to achieving our goals this year can only be ourselves and this team is ready to sacrifice anything just to make sure the road to two stays clear.

Girls JV Soccer – “Soccer Fam”

Written by Sara Younk’19

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to sit down with Mrs. Hanby and Mrs. Paul to talk about our wonderful girls JV soccer team and ask them a few questions about the coming year.

What are your expectations for the team for this season?

Mrs. Paul pointed to our low num
bers saying that, though it will be challenging, she does see this season as promising. Paul reflected on our first game saying “if we take that work ethic and perseverance into the rest of our season, then we will have to work hard but will also be very successful.” Mrs. Hanby added that though she also recognized the small size of our team, she didn’t see it as something to really be harped on. She also added that she expects us to “maintain the level of teamwork and comradery” that she has seen in the team.

How do you think introducing the new players to the team is going?

“It’s been pretty seamless really,” said Hanby, “they fit in well with the team and have helped contribute to the dynamic.” The team is always encouraging and welcoming to new girls whether they are new to Hebron, new to high school, or have never played soccer before. There’s always a feeling of acceptance to the team and a lot of teammate to teammate coaching happening.

Are there any differences in strategies this year?

This year the formation during games has changed from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3. Paul says that even though we have a small team, the different skill sets will fit nicely into the formation. The goal is to work on improving the offensive strategy where attention in previous years was more centered on the defense.

What have you seen for improvements this year in comparison to past years?

Though this question was a bit difficult to answer due to how early in the season it is, Paul says that our defense was strong last year with help from Riley New and has further improved with newer members like Morgan Bussiere. She says she has also seen improvements within those who have stuck with the team with a shout out to Tess Gregory who, Paul says, “has made a lot of progress in her time with us”. While we do have some very skilled newcomers both Paul and Hanby agree that no matter what skill level you entered with, the vast majority of girls who have stuck by the team have made great improvements.

What do you want people to see in this article about our team?

Hanby followed up this question with an immediate response of “I think the coaches are pretty awesome” and, if you’ve ever met Mrs. Paul and Mrs. Hanby, you’d definitely have to agree. “The love that the coaches have for each other” was Paul’s first response which goes along well with the overall feeling of the team. The term “soccer fam” has been used many times during our practices and games, which I think accurately describes the family-like feeling of the team. We may have our quarrels and disagreements, but we always stick by each other when it counts. If there’s anything you as readers should see is that our team’s a team, and it is a bond like no other.

 

Football

Written by Ben English ’18

A new season is in full swing for the Hebron Academy Football team. With many new pieces, including a new head coach, there is a lot of adjusting and learning to do.  The team works hard every day building chemistry and mastering their craft.  Returning seniors Ben English (QB/FS), Quinn Woods (C/DT), Dylan Richmond (FB/LB), and Teemu Hukkanen (TE/LB) lead the way with help from new post graduates Jake Bieler (OG/LB), Christian Peete (SS/RB), and Justin Beckett (WR/DB).  The team is small in numbers but full of heart. Because of the small numbers, many kids have to play different positions and both sides of the ball. The boys in green and white have a challenging schedule this year including new opponents such as Pingree and Cushing. The ‘Jacks have home games on September 30th against Hyde, October 14th against Holderness, October 21st (Homecoming Weekend) against New Hampton, and on November 3rd against Portsmouth Abbey.  The Lumberjacks close out the season and play for the Headmaster’s Chair at Kents Hill School on November 11th. There is a lot of upside to this team, and if they reach their full potential, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the Evergreen League once again.

 

Field Hockey

Written by Emma Skelton’19

According to Coach Ashley Leblanc, this year’s field hockey team is focused on being “small but mighty.” The team consists of only twelve girls compared to last year’s group of eighteen, but they are definitely no less of a team. Almost every player has prior experience on the field, both at Hebron and in earlier schools and programs. This year’s single newcomer also plays ice hockey, so she is learning the sport quickly. In fact, on the first day of preseason, the team skipped over the normal tutorials and instructions and simply scrimmaged for an hour, something that rarely happens so early in the season. Since then, the team has been honing  skills such as stick work, dodging, and passing.

Coach Leblanc is also very focused on getting in shape and staying fit. Each week the girls take part in workouts affectionately dubbed “Monday, Run-day, Fun-day” and “Torture Thursday.”

The team has faced a few setbacks since the season started, however. A week before their first game they found themselves without a goalie, but Ainsley King saved the day by agreeing to step into goal herself. She has been training hard and has proven herself to be a great goalie in a short period of time. She achieved her first shutout against Kents Hill on September 20. Additionally, the team has only one sub, as eleven girls take the field at once, yet the team’s hard work training and getting fit has proved quite valuable to their stamina and energy levels during games. So far this season, they have won two out of their four games, and their spirits and morale are high. Overall, the defending MAISADS champions have a good chance of bringing home the title yet again. Their skill and perseverance have shown that they are truly small but mighty.