Seven members of the Orono High School girls soccer team wanted to do something special to cheer on their football team when the Red Riots hosted Foxcroft Academy for their Homecoming game on Sept. 30.
The girls, wearing sports bras and sweat pants, braved the chilly temperatures to have “Riots” spelled out in body paint on their stomachs.
The adventurous girls had their picture taken and one of the girls, junior Kayla Marquis, entered the picture in a national team spirit contest run by Finish Line, a national chain that specializes in athletic shoes.
“I sign up for their emails because they’ll sometimes send coupons,” explained Marquis, who thus found out about the contest.
“I saw that there were only 12 entries at that time so I figured we might as well give it a shot,” said Marquis, who entered the picture. “You can’t win if you don’t try.”
Last Thursday, they learned that they had won and the $10,000 prize was being sent to Orono High School in their names.
“(Orono High School principal Jim Chasse) called all the girls on the soccer team down to the office,” said Marquis. “I thought we did something wrong.”
She was stunned to learned they had won.
“I didn’t know how to react,” said Marquis.
“It was a surprise. It was crazy. It was exciting. I didn’t think we had a chance of winning. I figured thousands of people would enter the contest and some bigger school with more people would win,” said junior Analies Ross-Dyjak, another of the seven players.
Ross-Dyjak and Marquis were joined by Caleigh Paul, Hannah Francis, Leah Bryant, Chloe Douglass and Laura Triandafillou. Teammate Taylor Gray took the picture.
Marquis and Ross-Dyjak admitted being clad in only a sports bra and sweat pants on a cool evening was challenging.
“We were really cold but we were troopers,” said Ross-Dyjak. We were on an adrenaline rush from yelling and winning.”
“We had to keep jumping around and scream our cheers to warm up. But it was worth it,” said Marquis.
Orono won the game 58-14.
Ross-Dyjak explained they had made special T-shirts for previous Homecoming games, “but this was the first year we really wanted to go all-out because we knew our football team was going to be really good and we wanted to help them out.
“Caleigh gave us the idea because one of her friends is a cheerleader in New Hampshire and they paint their stomachs for their football games,” said Ross-Dyjak.
Ross-Dyjak said they received a lot of comments about their stunt during and after the game.
“Most of the people really liked it. Some thought we were numb and silly for doing it. I think it was a good idea,” said Ross-Dyjak.
Orono High School athletic director Mike Archer commended the girls.
“They’re a great group of kids who love their school and this was another way of showing it,” said Archer. “This gave us a tremendous shot in the arm.”
He said the money will be used to fix up their outdoor track.
“The track is deteriorating,” said Archer. “It is getting to the point where we won’t be able to host meets because it isn’t safe.
“The track was put in back in 1983 and we have resurfaced it only once since then,” explained Archer. “It gets used a lot, not just by our track program but by the community, the Special Olympics and our recreation department’s summer track program.”
He said he is hoping an alum will match the $10,000 so they can patch and resurface it.
“We’d need to have $20,000-$25,000 to do that,” said Archer.
RAMS SHOULD RETURN STRONG
The Bangor High School girls soccer team hasn’t lost to an Eastern Maine team in more than two years and they should be formidable again next year.
The Class A state champion Rams have gone 32-0-2 against Eastern Maine competition the last two years. They lost to Western Maine champ Scarborough 3-0 in the 2010 state final but avenged that loss with a 4-0 triumph over Scarborough last Saturday.
The Rams lose six starters including leading goal scorer Ashley Robinson, who had 28 goals this season.
But they will return players in the back, the midfield and up front but coach Joe Johnson will have to find a goalkeeper as starter Mia Smith and backups Meri Wicks and Kristen Henigan will graduate.
The five returning starters will be 26-goal scorer Grace Maclean up front, Libby Huber and Jordan Seekins in the midfield and Denae Johnson and Tiffany Gray in the back.
They will also return several key substitutes who logged plenty of minutes.
“I think we’ll be real good next year,” said Johnson. “The returnees learned from a great group of seniors and they’ll be real hungry next year.”