JAY — Recently, Spruce Mountain Middle School Field Hockey Team won The Capital Area League Championship. After finishing the regular season undefeated, they walked away from the playoff game with a 4-1 win over a tough team from Gardiner.
“This team not only was successful in the win and loss columns, it was successful in the scoring column,” said coach Racheal Mastine.
Sixteen players scored goals throughout the season. The team scored a total of 42 goals and only allowed six goals by opponents.
“Winning a championship is not a new concept to many of these athletes,” said Mastine. “Several of these players have competed in championship games in multiple sports. In the last few softball seasons, our local AYS teams have brought home 12U & 10U Championship trophies.”
Winning is not only a tradition to the athletes, it’s a family tradition as well.
“My father, Scott Mastine, has coached girls’ basketball on and off in this area for 30 years,” said Racheal. “When this particular group of athletes started travel basketball in the third and fourth grades, they were playing in championship games under the direction of my dad.”
That is when the competitiveness started.
“When they moved to the fifth and sixth-grade team, they played for my sister, Katie Mastine. The team had an undefeated season and brought home a championship trophy,” said Racheal.
Racheal has been the varsity middle school field hockey and basketball coach, and assistant coach to her dad and sister’s travel teams.
“These kids play because they love to play, they put in the time and work because they want to,” Racheal added. “They have the want and the will to win. I can only hope the determination they have stays with them all of their life. They are all competitors and can use that to their advantage.”
The Mastine coaches have developed tight relationships with the athletes and their families over the years, Racheal said.
“We have all become one family,” she said. “I started coaching many of these players in the third grade so this particular group will always hold a special place in my heart.”
This year Racheal accepted a position as assistant varsity basketball coach at Spruce Mountain High School to work with Zach Keene. “Not only will I be working with the current high school program, but I will also continue to be involved with our youth program,” she explained.
Keene recognized the hard work the Mastine family did to develop a successful program. He has worked with athletes in the off-season to continue their development by holding running clinics, and finding games and entering competitions.
Racheal added, “The future of Spruce Mountain Phoenix sports looks to be promising.”