Thornton Academy is a member of the Southwestern Maine Activities Association (SMAA) and participates in Class A athletics. To view events, visit the Teams and Schedules page or go the Athletics Calendar.
Director of Athletics: Gary Stevens
After waiting 24 years for Thornton Academy football to return to the state championship after a 1988 title run, Trojan fans didn't have to wait long for two trips in three years. Behind stout defense and an explosive offense, Kevin Kezal's dynamic team defeated defending state champion Bonny Eagle, 30-14, to advance to the Class A state championship game.
"It's unbelievable, it's the biggest win I've ever been apart of," junior quarterback Austin McCrum said. "It's really surreal. I can't believe we're going to states."
"It was great being at home," coach Kevin Kezal said. "You get into your normal routine. We haven't lost many games here. It's a piece and you still have to come out and play hard and execute and we did that today."
The Trojans, winners of the gold ball in 2012, will take on Windham High School at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. TA will be the home team, and goes against an opponent that moved to Class A East during re-alignment two years ago. Many TA fans will remember some epic playoff clashes between the two programs during the late 2000s. The Eagles have some championship pedigree themselves, as they lifted the gold ball in 2009.
"You saw them a few weeks back against Cheverus, they are a physical football team," Kezal said. "They have talented kids all over the place. It's going to be a tough task."
Advanced ticket sales will be available on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the athletic office in the gym. If it's between 10:45 and 12:30, the ticket sales will be in the cafeteria. Adults are $8, students and seniors $5. Those fans who cannot make it can watch the game locally on WPXT-TV.
Hashilla Rivai is bringing home to Saco the biggest solo honor that can be bestowed on a high school golfer. On Saturday, October 18, the junior won the schoolgirl individual state championship at Natanis Golf Club in Vassalboro. After a highly successful first year on the team, Rivai is happy to end the season with the prestigious award.
"It feels awesome! It's like a dream come true and I have finally achieved my goal for the season," Rivai said. "I am very grateful for the result."
"Her performance on Saturday was no surprise to me," golf coach Jeff Camire said. "She's very meticulous about the little things in golf and her mental game is one of the best I've seen in the last 10 years. Nothing bothers her out there. She gets nervous just like everyone else, but she's put the time into her game and is able to trust her swing when it matters most. I'm very happy for her."
Rivai took home the title with a round of 70, and then had to wait until all the golfers finished. When they did, Rivai's low round held and she was announced as the winner. She is the first Thornton Academy golfer to win the individual schoolgirl title since Megan Angis in 2001.
"It's very special to have someone win the individual title because it's such a tough event to compete in," Camire said. "We have a great golf tradition at TA, and girls have had a significant impact over the past 20+ years.
Hashilla is just adding to this. Aside from Hashilla winning, we had five girls compete in the state championship this year, which is a record for us. In addition, freshman Jordan Laplume finished tied for 5th, making it the first time TA has ever had two girls finish in the top 5. I am very proud of all of them and I believe that their best golf is ahead of them."
Rivai is not only part of the golf team but part of Thornton Academy's international boarding program. Hailing from Indonesia, Rivai has adapted to playing the sport in temperatures that are not routinely in the 90s or 100s, as is the normal around her home near the equator. She says her experience as a first year student at Thornton Academy has been positive. Her first year at TA has already yielded a prestigious title.
"I did my best and I couldn't have asked for anything better," Rivai said. "I have been enjoying it people here are nice."
You can watch the golf team's return to campus and the traditional ringing of the Victory Bell here:
For the past few years, the TA Field Hockey team has selected a local entity to fundraise for. It usually was part of a pink, breast cancer awareness game during October. However in 2014, the team took up another cause that hit close to home. Former captain Dana Tripp ('10) is suffering from Aplastic Anemia, and like other groups at Thornton Academy, coach Lori Smith saw an opportunity to give her any support she could.
"As soon as Dana told me she was sick, I knew I wanted to do something for her," Smith said. "Since she is a former captain of the field hockey team, I thought it was fitting that our current team honor her fight by dedicating a game and our fundraising efforts to her."
Smith met with Tripp and proposed the idea, saying Tripp was taken aback and honored. Smith said it also gave Tripp a nice distraction, as they were asking for her feedback on ideas for the T-shirt design and to educate the team about Aplastic Anemia. Tripp went to a practice and spoke to the team. She explained what it has been like to be so young with a serious illness, and having to put plans on hold and live differently than other 22 year olds.
On September 24, the team took the field against Sanford in the Battle for Blood, and many in the crowd sported red t-shirts, with the hopes of raising money and awareness for the rare disease. Tripp was there an honorary captain and took part in the pre-game meeting and coin toss. Not only did the team score a 4-0 victory over the Spartans, but scored big in the fundraising category. All told, the field hockey team raised $2,271, with the players raising the funds with the help of Saco Rec. Youth Field Hockey, H.A. Mapes, Little Footsteps Childcare, LLC and The UPS Store - Saco, along with many people in the community supporting the cause.
On Wednesday, the TA varsity golf team won the SMAA championship with a score of 196 at Sable Oaks golf course. Led by junior Hashilla Rivai, the Trojans won by 16 strokes over Scarborough. Coach Jeff Camire had nothing but positive things to say about his team's performance.
"It was a great team win and validated our regular season, after winning one of the toughest divisions in the state this year," Camire said. "I was very proud of their focus and execution today."
"Knowing that we are a young team, it feels great," said junior Greg Kalagias. "We can come back next year and set more team goals. I wasn't too surprised because I know our team has the capability to put up low scores."
Rivai shot the lowest total on the nine holes, a 37. Kalagias and Noah Jacques had 39s, Jordan Laplume scored 40, Logan Picard shot a 41 and Lauren Wells 43. This is the Trojans first SMAA championship since 2008.
The Trojans next play on Saturday, October 11, in the team state championship at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro at 10 a.m.
"If we can all play well during the state tournament we have an excellent chance at winning," Kalagias said. "There usually isn't much room for error in this tournament."
"Three of the six teams representing Western Maine in the state championship this year our from our division," Camire said of Greely and Gorham. "It should be a competitive weekend."