Coach Paula Doughty’s Skowhegan High School Indians have won 14 Class A field hockey state championships the last 16 years and six over the last seven seasons.
And the Maine Sports Hall of Fame coach said the Indians will have “our best midfield in a real long time” this coming fall.
That’s because two of her midfielders, Maliea Kelso, who will be a junior, and incoming freshman Hannah McKenney, have been selected to compete in the Junior Olympics Games in Beverly Hills, Michigan, from July 31-Aug. 3.
The Junior Olympics are for Under-16 year-old players and Kelso and McKenney were chosen based on their performances at the National Futures Tournament. There will be 128 players from across the country at the Games.
McKenney will be one of the youngest players as she falls under the U-14 age bracket.
“It is a huge honor for them,” said Doughty. “It gives them an opportunity to build their portfolios and a lot of college coaches go to the Games because they know they’re going to see the best of the best.”
Even though McKenney hasn’t played for Doughty at the high school level yet, she has played for her this summer.
“We’ve played 30 or 40 games,” said Doughty who pointed out that Kelso and McKenney are similar types of players.
“They are both very fast and they have uncanny hand-eye coordination,” said Doughty. “They have remarkable stickwork. They can do things with their sticks regular kids can’t do. And they are really competitive.”
Kelso is coming off an exceptional season in which she scored in all four playoff games including the 2-1 victory over Massabesic of Waterboro in the state final.
She was one of three players in the state who earned All-Region honors from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association along with Skowhegan teammate Haley Carter and Marshwood of South Berwick’s Hannah Costin.
Doughty also said Kelso and McKenney are “excellent students” and come from field hockey backgrounds.
“Their mothers and aunts played field hockey,” she said.
Kelso and McKenney play for the Waterville-based Maine Majestix Field Hockey Club.