Dexter teams enjoy memorable start to season
DEXTER — Legendary Dexter Regional High School field hockey coach Margaret Veazie is having the time of her life.
Not only did the Tigers enter a Monday game against Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln undefeated, two of Veazie’s assistant coaches are daughters Kristy (Staples) and Brittany (McAllister).
The Dexter girls soccer team also took a 5-0 record into a Monday game against defending state Class C champ Orono, while the boys soccer team is 3-1-1 and the football team is 2-1.
Dexter (10-0), Class A South team Scarborough (11-0) and Class B North Winslow (8-0) are the only schools in the state whose field hockey and girls soccer teams were both undefeated and untied entering Monday’s games.
“It’s awesome. It’s great for the school,” said Veazie, talking about Dexter’s overall success so far. “Everyone’s talking about it up here.”
The Dexter field hockey team is always in the hunt for a state championship.
This is Veazie’s third stint as the head coach and she has led the Tigers to seven Eastern Maine titles and six state championships.
The Tigers were the top seed for the Class C North playoffs a year ago but got upset by Winthrop 2-1 in the semis.
Veazie said her team’s 5-0 start has been a pleasant surprise.
“We’ve lost 15 outstanding field hockey players the last two years. Everyone thought it was going to be a building year,” said Veazie, whose team returned only four starters.
“We have five seniors this year and their leadership has amazed me. This has been one of my favorite years coaching because of those seniors. We have brought some young kids into the lineup and we have been able to bring them along because of the seniors’ leadership. They have made them feel comfortable.”
The seniors are central midfielder Becca Batron, left midfielder Aubrey Godin, left wing Hayley Rossman, right wing Kaitlyn Webber and center back Olivia Webber.
The group has been integral to the team’s on-field success.
Batron has been the team’s assists leader and is their top playmaker.
“I’m so impressed with her unselfishness,” said Veazie.
Rossman has been one of the primary beneficiaries as she has scored at least 13 goals.
Kaitlyn Webber has taken her graduated sister Abby’s place at the right wing and has scored four or five goals. Abby Webber is playing at UMaine.
Godin is a resourceful outside mid who has also been a regular contributor on the scoresheet and Olivia Webber has helped to anchor the defense at center back.
Two of the players who have really stepped up and embraced their new roles have been sweeper Autumn Irwin and goalkeeper Amanda Haskell, a converted midfielder.
“You can’t get past Autumn and Amanda is quick as lightning in goal. She had never played goalie before but she’s very athletic so I thought it would work,” said Veazie.
Haskell replaced the departed Megan Peach, who is at Husson University in Bangor.
The other starters are freshmen Cheyenne Beem and Makayla Bignell and juniors Tory Asbury and Bella Adam. Beem is the center forward and already has a handful of goals. Bignell is a tenacious right back, Asbury is an effective attacking mid and Adam has been solid at left back.
The Tigers had outscored their opponents 34-2.
In addition to being assisted by her daughters, Veazie is also assisted by Jennifer Batron, Peyton Watson and Devyn Bell.
“It’s a real nice group of people. We’re having fun together. We all talk the same language,” said Veazie.
The girls soccer team, under head coach Jody Grant, has already matched last year’s win total.
Dexter went 5-9 last season and finished as the 10th seed for the Class C North playoffs.
As of Saturday, Dexter had outscored its opponents 27-7.