Wednesday marked the last practice for the Aroostook Snowdogs basketball team, as another season comes to an end.
“Before we start every practice we have a cheer and I got in the middle of the huddle and I told them how proud I was with the way they represented themselves and their communit,” said Head Coach Brian Hamel. “They played a lot of high school teams, they played family and staff, they played the University last Saturday- they’ve just worked really hard.”
And that hard work will be on display one last time, as the team plays in the State Tournament this weekend at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. A tournament they’re very excited for.
“It’s great, I love it,” said player Paul Doucette. “I’m anxious and can’t wait for Friday to get up there.”
“It’s gonna be a lot of fun,” added teammate Tasha Flaherty. “We have a lot of fun every year. Last year was my first year and I really enjoyed it, so I’m really excited this year.”
The State Tournament has been pretty good to the Snowdogs; last year, the squads brought back a gold and a bronze medal. While standing on the podium would be a nice way to end this season, Coach Hamel says his players are more excited about participating than anything else.
“Winning is great but it’s not all about that for us, said Hamel. “It’s about for them to become better people and learn better life skills and I think they understand that.”
The Snowdogs are set to leave Friday morning before the Tournament starts on Saturday. They’re sending two teams in two separate divisions to play in the double-elimination format. The players are more than excited to compete, but want to say a few words to the one person who’s encouraged them the entire season: Coach Hamel.
“He does a good job and I’m glad he’s our coach,” said Flaherty.
The team will depart Friday morning at 7:30 from the OTC Parking Lot, where many fans and friends are expected to send them off.