DEXTER — For Dexter High School’s varsity field hockey team, Saturday’s Class C state championship game at Hampden Academy is uncharted territory.
For head coach Margaret Veazie, it’s like a homecoming or reunion.
This is Dexter’s first appearance in a state title game since 2003, but it wasn’t too long ago that state finals were as common as pennies for the Tigers.
Dexter won a state championship during Veazie’s second season in 1998 and then four straight from 2000 through 2003, but the Tigers didn’t even make it back to a regional final until last year, the second season for Veazie since her return after a two-year retirement.
“I’ve only been back for three years. When my daughter Brittany graduated, I stopped,” Veazie explained. “Then I was asked to come back and help a year later, but I can’t just kind of half do something like that.”
“They offered to have me take over, which was really nice. I mean, I really wanted to go away, but they just wouldn’t let me, pretty much,” she said with a hearty laugh.
The 17-0 Tigers will take on 15-2 North Yarmouth in a 10 a.m. game, the first of a state final tripleheader Saturday at Hampden. The second game will pit 16-1 Skowhegan against 16-1 Scarborough in Class A at noon, and 14-1-2 Nokomis of Newport against 13-3-1 York at 2 p.m.
Veazie has received contributions from up and down the roster — freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors alike — as the Tigers have roared through their season.
“My daughter Kristy worked with these juniors that whole first year when they were freshmen and it’s really paid off,” Veazie said. “It’s funny to watch them now because in the past, our girls had things down pat as far as celebrating. They had this whole routine.
“Now they don’t really know what to do. It’s amusing for me to watch them.”
Senior Sam Conway has helped the Tigers notch 10 shutouts this season. Not bad considering she had never even played goalie before her sophomore season.
“We had a sudden vacancy and I asked if anyone wanted to do it, and she immediately volunteered,” Veazie recalled. “I can’t believe she’s only played the position two years. She has such good instincts.”