Her Southern Aroostook girls soccer teammates would be the first to tell you that Lauren McGary is the epitome of a warrior.
McGary, a senior fullback for the Warriors from Dyer Brook, showed that heart and fight this postseason, as she played four games on a broken left foot in helping lead Southern Aroostook to its second straight Class D state championship.
Even though her foot was sore during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Greenville, there was no question that McGary was going to suit up.
“It was a struggle, but I’ve been doing it the entire tournament and I just said today, I don’t care, I’m putting the pain behind me and I’m playing today,” McGary said.
McGary originally suffered the injury in the regular season, and missed five weeks of game and practice time but was able to return in time for the postseason, coach Holly Vining said.
“She came to everything we had [but] just wasn’t able to practice,” the coach said. “She was there for everything but physically wasn’t able to do it.”
The injury was sustained in the top of McGary’s foot, and the rest and recovery was another thing that enabled her suit up in the playoffs.
McGary, a vital cog to a Southern Aroostook defense which allowed only one goal in its four playoff games and posted three consecutive shutouts, earned a lot of respect among teammates and coaches.
“She said she did not care [about the injury] and she was going to play in her senior state championship game,” said classmate Rochelle Nadeau.
“There was no way we were keeping her from playing, broken foot or not, I don’t think,” added Vining.
McGary, Shelby Hartin and Kaitlyn Sommers, along with goalkeeper Emily Cummings, paced the Warriors’ defense during the postseason.
McGary ignored whatever pain she was in and focused on the tasks at hand.
“It hurts every single day, but I think when you’re out there, especially when you’re winning, you don’t think about anything but winning,” she said.
McGary, who also plays basketball and softball for the Warriors, won’t miss any significant time on the hardwood this winter, but plans to take some downtime between now and the tip-off of basketball season on Dec. 4.
“I’m going to take a little break after this but the doctor said I’ll be able to play sports,” she said.
Basketball tryouts get under way next Monday, and McGary doesn’t plan on having any type of surgery.
McGary’s doctor originally suggested she take the rest of the season off, but with the Warriors driving toward a second state championship, that was never an option.
“I was supposed to wait longer than I did, but I was like, you know what, it’s my senior year, this is never going to come again,” she said.
It was a memorable senior year, as the Warriors not only defended their title, but completed the first perfect season (18-0) in the history of the girls’ soccer program.
“Without Lauren, we’re not whole and she’s got so much dedication,” junior forward Janel Rockwell said. “She’s got a broken foot, she was supposed to be out for six weeks and she’s extremely dedicated.”
All McGary could think about was providing leadership and being there for her teammates.
“I was just telling myself I’m going to play, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it for my team, my team needs me,” McGary said. “I’m so happy.”
Collins to coach Witches
A familiar face will be guiding the fortunes of the Brewer indoor track and field teams this winter.
Matt Collins, who has been either an assistant or a head coach at the school since the 2002-03 season, will go on his second go-around of head coaching this winter.
He takes over for Jamerson Crowley, now the cross country and track coach at Lewiston High.
Crowley had coached the Witches for the last three seasons.
Collins’ promotion was announced at a Brewer school board meeting last week.
Collins was the team’s head coach for two years, starting in 2003-04, after longtime coach Dave Jeffrey stepped down, and guided the Brewer boys to an Eastern Maine Indoor Track League title and a third-place finish in Class A that season.
Collins is a former throwing standout at Brewer who was on the school’s only Class A state championship indoor team in 1996.
He had served as a throwing coach under Crowley the last three seasons.
Assisting Collins this winter will be Dan Juilli and Ian Fraser, both former Brewer athletes.
Juilli was a former hurdle standout who was also the place-kicker on Brewer’s 2005 Class B state champion football team while Fraser excelled in the distance events and holds the school record in the 800 meters indoors.