March 22, 2019
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Narraguagus softball players balance sports, school and lobster fishing

Courtesy photo | BDN
Courtesy photo | BDN
Lanie Perry (left) of Cherryfield poses with her father, Scott Perry, on one of the family's lobster boats. Lanie Perry, who is one of the top pitchers in Class C North softball at Narraguagus High School, also is a working lobster fisherman in addition to playing four sports for the Knights.

Lanie Perry is a busy young woman.

The junior plays four sports at Narraguagus High School in Harrington, including two in the fall, and is one of the best pitchers in Class C North.

Like all high school athletes, Perry has to balance her sports and academics. But her real busy season comes after school gets out.

Perry, who lives in Cherryfield, is a lobster fisherman who owns her own boat.

Once the softball season is over, she will go lobster fishing four days a week through November.

One of her teammates, sophomore second baseman Emma Redimarker, accompanies her. And Perry said Redimarker has her own boat so she also will work her boat, too.

Now that she has turned 17, Perry has procured her commercial license, which means she can now put out 300 traps instead of the 150 she was allowed to use before.

Perry was born into the industry.

Her father, Scott, and her older brother, Travis, are lobster fishermen. Another older brother, Chris, is a merchant marine who also fishes in the summer. Perry’s mother, Rena, keeps the books for the family business, Perry’s Wharf.

“I fell in love with it when I went for the first time with my dad when I was 8 years old,” said Lanie.

Her first time on the boat was a memorable one.

“I was wearing these oily pants and my dad looked at me and said, ‘Are you ready?’ I said yeah. He picked me up and put me in the bait box,” chuckled Perry.

She started going fishing on her own when she was 13.

“There is something about it.” said Perry, who usually fishes from 5:30 a.m. until noon. “No matter how crappy the weather is or how the lobstering is, if you love it, you love it. Even if you’re out there on a foggy day, you still enjoy it.

“I have seen some of the most beautiful sights you could ever get to see when I’m out there. You see a lot of creatures people love to see, like porpoises and seals. They’ll come right up to you,” Perry said.

Perry is only 5-foot-2, but the grueling demands of the lobstering don’t bother her and have benefited her athletically.

“You find a lot of muscles you didn’t know you had when to take on a job like that,” said Perry. “I’m pretty muscular. It has helped me very much with the physical aspect of softball.”

She said her body has adapted to the physical demands of being a lobster fisherman and an athlete.

“Lanie is very strong,” said Narraguagus coach Tracie Martin, who has a lot of respect for Perry and Redimarker.

“They are great kids. They’re good students, they’re involved in a lot of activities. They’re very dependable and very motivated,” said Martin.

Perry said she and Redimarker have been fishing together for two years and said it has “brought us closer together.”

“We get to spend our summer days doing what we both enjoy,” Perry said.

She has earned enough money to buy herself a Ford F-150 Lariat pickup truck.

Her 25- to 26-foot boat, the River Rodent, has family history.

“It was one of my brothers’ first boats, too. It has made the rounds,” she said.

Sports also is an important part of her life.

“Sports keep me motivated to keep getting good grades so I can play what I want to,” said Perry.

She and Redimarker played golf for the first time last fall and thus had to balance soccer, golf and fishing.

“We would go lobster fishing on the weekends. The coaches were pretty willing to work around our schedules. I would fish in the morning and then go to practice,” said Perry. “It is a double workout.”

Perry is having another terrific season in the circle, averaging over 10 strikeouts per game. She fits time into her busy schedule to work with pitching coach Rick Roberts in Ellsworth.

“I feel a lot stronger this year. I have a lot more spin on the ball,” said Perry, who also is one of Narraguagus’ top hitters.

Martin said both Perry and Redimarker have improved this season.

“Lanie has more velocity and more movement on her ball, and Emma has started to put her bat on the ball and has been pretty steady and heads-up at second base,” Martin said.

On Saturday, Perry will face one of Class C North’s best pitchers, Haley McLaughlin of Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln. Last year, the two met in a semifinal and Perry pitched a no-hitter — only to lose 1-0 on an unearned run.

“(McLaughlin) is a good pitcher. Hopefully, we can make some contact early and get things going,” said Perry.

Perry said after she graduates, she would love to just become a full-time lobster fisherman, “but I’ve been told I should take some business classes so I’ll be able to help run the family business.”

Her boat is ready and she has 100 traps ready to be dropped into the water, but she is in no hurry because she would love to win a state championship.

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