By Tony Blasi, Sports Editor
JAY — Spruce Mountain coaches were already in the holiday spirit when they started giving out awards like “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas” during the recent Fall Sports Awards Banquet.
The postseason was good to the Phoenix and there were numerous, outstanding individual performances in golf and cross country that bolstered school pride.
The Spruce Mountain field hockey team muscled its way into the playoffs, but fell to St. Dom’s.
Alexis Beardsley’s exploits in field hockey earned her Mountain Valley Conference Field Hockey Player of the Year.
Phoenix field hockey coach Jane DiPompo wasn’t taken aback when she learned about Beardsley’s accolade, but she was a bit surprised.
“Yes and know, because there was some huge talent this year,” DiPompo said. “We knew she could be a contender but whether she would win it or not, would be up to the votes. It is a big deal.”
But wait, there’s more.
There were other players who won accolades in the MVC.
The first-team all-stars featured Spruce’s Morgan Dalton and Beardsley. Emily Castonguay was named to the second team. Beardsley was also named all-state and Riley Saunders received academic all-state.
Boys’ soccer snapped a three-year losing streak, winning three games under the direction of first-year coach Kyle Sawyer.
“I am thrilled that the players were able to come out and turn the game around,” Sawyer said. “Those three games that we won were the three that we played for the ball and played clean.
“They had sportsmanship, so when you play like that, you are going to win games.”
Bill Acritelli steered the girls’ soccer team to the postseason for the first time in years.
“Being a first year coach of the girls I could not be more proud of how they competed this year,” Acritelli said. “They set goals at the beginning of the year and worked hard to meet them all.
“Making the playoffs was the biggest one on the list. They were able to accomplish that finishing ninth in Class B South Heal points. That was a very special moment for all. It is something these girls have never got to do. Now the seniors can check it off the list.
“We had three players on the MVC All star list. Allison Acritelli made second team and Hanna St. Pierre and Calley Baker were both Honorable Mention. Allison was also selected to the Regional All-Star team and will be playing in the senior bowl soccer game on Nov. 12.
“The best part of the season was seeing the girls come together as a team and most important a family. They worked hard to be competitive this year. I had set a goal for the team to score 40 goals and they scored 36. We had two shut outs. We also won a game in OT. They truly had a fun year and made some great friendships on and off of the field. I could not be more proud of what they achieved.”
The Spruce Mountain football team’s trip to the playoffs didn’t go unnoticed. Brett Frey and Trent Tibbetts were named to the Mountain Valley All-Star team.
“I think we started out well. I think we peaked too early and faded at the end,” Spruce Mountain coach David Frey said.
The cross country turned in a number of outstanding performances.
“(It was) historical because there was a scoring boys’ and girls’ team and it was also the first season to have a runner that competed all four years — Anneka Dubord,” Spruce cross country coach Jessica Ellingwood said. “It was a successful season. I enjoyed all the newcomers and the veteran runners.”
Bailey Coates was named MVC All-Conference and other runners received coach’s awards.
“Her (Coates) competitiveness pushed all the athletes on the team, including the boys team,” Ellingwood said. “Special Awards given to Caitlin Chaousis and Joel Soper — my “SteadFAST” award — because of their dedication and commitment to the sport and the team.
The Spruce golf team also featured a several individual outstanding performances.
Haley Turcotte earned a number of accolades including: Co-player of the year, first-team all-star, New England Golf Tournament qualifier and Most Valuable Player at Spruce Mountain.
Due to Spruce’s fine finish, other golfers received awards including: Shane Pelletier, second-team all-star; Hailee Perkins, honorable mention; Dylan Gordon, Coaches Award and Scott Jackson, most improved.