Julie Bradstreet and Rick Sinclair have each participated in Maine high school basketball tournaments in three different capacities.
Bradstreet, a Bridgewater native, played in the Eastern Maine [now North] tournament for Central Aroostook High School in Mars Hill. She coached girls tourney teams from Central Aroostook and Waterville and she is now a referee with several tourney games under her belt during her 11 years on the Central Maine board of officials.
Sinclair’s tournament experiences came as a player at Hermon, then as a coach at Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln and Hermon and most recently as the athletic director at Hermon.
The 49-year-old Bradstreet, the first Miss Maine Basketball in 1988, said the three experiences are different.
“Playing and officiating are more similar than coaching,” Bradstreet said. “When you’re a player and an official, you have some control [over your actions]. As a player, you can go out and make a layup or grab a rebound, those types of things.
“[As an official] you have days you feel sharp, you feel on [top of your game]. On other days, you feel you’re a second late or you’re late seeing things.”
Bradstreet said that as a coach, there is minimal control.
“You tell the kids what to do but whether they do it or not, you never know what’s going to happen,” Bradstreet said. “You don’t know who’s going to play well, who’s going to compete, who broke up with their boyfriend. There’s a million factors you have no control over.”
Sinclair shared similar observations, saying a player can exert the most influence on a game.
“As a player, you can go out and have an impact on a game,” he said.
Sinclair said coaching in the tournament is a thrill unto itself.
“It’s an exciting time of year because if your team is going to the tournament, it has been successful,” he said.
“But with all the preparation and work you do, it ultimately comes down to the players,” he said.