January 2020 - Bean's Bearings
The Huskies have not yet returned for the second semester of school but that doesn't mean things are quiet on the hill in Gorham. USM teams have returned to action following the holiday break and are back in the thick of it, turning in excellent individual and team performances. Three individuals have stood out on the national level in the early going. Sophomore Mykayla Hoggard of Bangor is currently ranked number one in the nation in the long jump. Hoggard's jump of 5.73m (18-9 3/4) is tops in the nation and eclipsed the school record of teammate and All-American Adela Kalilwa of Lewiston. All-American wrestling standout Peter Del Gallo of Gardiner is back for his senior year after a third place finish a year ago in the NCAA National Championship at 125 lbs. Del Gallo is currently 21-0 and ranked second in the nation in his weight class; he recorded his 100thcareer victory earlier this year. Sophomore Jacobe Thomas has been lighting it up for the Huskies on the hardwood. The Houston, Texas native is averaging 23.4 points per game and is tied for 19th among Division III scoring leaders; look for good things from these three outstanding student-athletes this season.
USM student-athletes are focused on striking a balance in their lives while getting it done in the classroom, in competition and in the community. The Little East Conference recently announced that 32 members of USM fall sports teams have achieved All-Academic honors from the conference. Honorees must be at least sophomores and have a minimum of a 3.3 cumulative GPA to qualify. Last year, the Huskies had 17 of their 22 intercollegiate teams over 3.0 and honored 223 student-athletes as William B. Wise Scholar-Athletes.
There's great action on the court, the ice, the track and the mat ahead and some very special events as we prepare for the stretch run of the winter season. Men's ice hockey will hold their annual alumni game on January 11th prior to the Huskies game vs. St. Anselm College. The annual Gorham Night event takes center stage on January 29th wrapped around the Huskies basketball double header with UMASS Boston. University and Town of Gorham leadership will gather along with members of the business community to discuss and celebrate the many collaborations that make the community successful. The Gorham High School Chamber Singers will perform the national anthem and 3rd and 4th grade girls and boys will play exhibition games during halftime and between games that night. The first 100 people in attendance will receive a special gift and there will be free raffles during the night.
Girl Scout Day will take place on February 1st and will serve as the Huskies commitment to help celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports. The Huskies host a home double header in basketball that day vs. Keene State College and a home double header in ice hockey vs. Suffolk University. On February 15th, the Huskies will host Castleton University in a basketball double header and will also honor its senior athletes. That day, the Athletic Department will honor the life and many contributions of former teacher and coach, Joey Bouchard, who passed away in late 2019. Bouchard had a long and distinguished career at USM, teaching in the College of Education and coaching soccer, basketball and baseball. He was best known for his many years on the bench with the Huskies basketball team; the fiery mentor took several teams to NAIA National Championship tournaments in Kansas City. There will be a formal halftime program followed by a postgame reception for all current and former men's basketball players.
On February 17th the Huskies continue their commitment to the Maine track community when they will once again serve as host to the MPA State Track Championship. Approximately 3,000 people will gather to support the state's best indoor track athletes in action at the USM Field House in the Costello Sports Complex. As we move toward the end of February, it signals the end of the winter regular season and the beginning of postseason play and major championship meets for track and wrestling. It also means that spring sports will begin very soon even as we see snow still on the ground and survive rough temperatures. Let's hope for strong finishes by the Huskies and good reason to deal with the overlap of the seasons. Go Huskies!