GORHAM, Maine – Less than 24 hours after the University of Southern Maine Huskies' thrilling come-from-behind 4-1 win over the Westfield State University Owls in a Little East Conference field hockey game, Coach Bonny-Brown Denico her team hosted 45 youth teams (nine for grades K-2, 18 for grades 3-4, and 18 for grades 5-6) for their seventh annual Husky Youth Play Day at Hannaford Field on the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine. This event is free and open to youth field hockey teams and clubs across Maine.
"This is a great way for our student-athletes to connect with youth players, share their experience and joy of the game, while giving back to the community and growing the sport of field hockey," said veteran field hockey coach Bonny Brown-Denico, a 1991 graduate of the University of Southern Maine. "It's a fun event, and it is always great to see the excitement on the faces of the youth players."
Hosted consecutively since 2012, teams from towns and schools across southern Maine participated in this year's event: Lake Region, Windham, Scarborough, Falmouth, South Portland, Saco, Yarmouth, Gorham, Lewiston/Auburn, Poland, Bonny Eagle, SSYAA, Hall Dale, Biddeford, Mt. Ararat, Augusta, and Noble. With USM player and staff organizing and running the event, teams compete in three to five small-sided games with six games occurring at the same time on Hannaford Field (USM's artificial turf field). In addition to officiating games and helping with game play, Husky student-athletes also sell clothing and concessions during the event.
"We try to keep it a fun and festive environment," said Brown-Denico. "We play music in between games, and spend time speaking with youth players, demonstrating skills, and enjoying a day of field hockey."
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