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
With the fall sports season officially complete as the Thornton Academy football team lifted the 2014 Class A State Championship gold ball over their heads, the awards season began in earnest. Several TA athletes have been honored with different awards for their athletic and academic achievements for the fall season. Here is a list of the athletes making All-State from the Maine Sunday Telegram:
Rivai, a junior, was also named as the Maine Sunday Telegram Girls Golfer of the Year. Senior girls soccer player Tori Daigle was named Journal Tribune Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Other All-SMAA and academic team awards have been handed out over the past few weeks. Congratulations to all of the athletes recognized for their on-the-field and off-the-field achievements for the fall 2014 sports season!
The Thornton Academy community understands that, especially in times of adversity, families need support. So when Saco resident Hayley Desjardins began a battle with a rare bone marrow failure disease called Aplastic Anemia in 2008 when she was just five years old, the fundraising efforts also began. Hayley received several treatments for her illness, including numerous blood and platelet transfusions, and was repeatedly hospitalized. Hayley is the daughter of Michael (TA alumnus ‘90) and Allison Desjardins and has a younger sister Maddison, who are all active members of the greater Saco community. In 2009 Hayley’s family, with sponsorship from the Biddeford/Saco Elks Lodge, established an annual road race called “Hugs From Hayley 5K Run and Fun Walk” to support children with chronic illnesses, by raising funds for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program (MCCP).
Despite going into remission, unfortunately, this disease has returned and Hayley and her family will face more financial strain with regular trips to the Dana Farber clinic in Boston, as well as many other various expenses related to her care. After hearing this news, the international students at Thornton Academy, who live in dorms on campus, raised money to purchase Hayley an iPad. Director of Residential Life & Dorm Head Catherine Paradis explained, “For the past two years the Thornton Academy Residential Life Program has taken part in ‘Hugs From Hayley.’ Since it takes place early in the fall it is a great way to get our students involved in our local community. Our students have run, walked, and volunteered for the event, so many of them feel connected to Hayley. When we heard she was sick again, we decided we wanted to do something for her. The kids chose an iPad since her hospital stays might be long. They wanted to give her a way to keep in touch with family and friends.”
Additionally, this Friday, December 5, at the opening game of the season vs. Catherine McAuley High School at 7 p.m. at Linnell Gym, the Thornton Academy Girls Basketball program will be kicking off a fundraiser for Hayley and her family. $1 for every paid admission ticket for Friday night's game will be donated to this cause. The TA Girls Basketball Program will also be donating $1 for every point they score throughout the entire season and they will be selling “Hoops For Hayley” t-shirts throughout the season and accepting ongoing donations. They are challenging families, friends, and supporters to contribute in any way possible, as Hayley has been a part of the TA Girls Youth Basketball program since third grade. Pledge sheets will be available at the game for anyone interested in contributing. To donate money online, visit http://www.gofundme.com/HoopsForHayley. To learn more about the Girls Basketball program, visit their blog: http://tagirlsbb.blogspot.com/ or follow them on Twitter: @TAGirlsBB.
Questions about the Girls Basketball fundraiser can be directed to Athletic Director Gary Stevens at 207-602-4406 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Residential Life’s fundraising efforts, contact Director of Residential Life Catherine Paradis at email@example.com or 207-282-3361 ext. 4418.
The Thornton Academy Golden Trojans, 2014 Maine Class A Football State Champions, announced sixteen players have been named to the Class A West All-Conference teams. In addition, six players were named to the All-Academic Team, and senior D’Andre Morgan was honored with the Gerry Raymond Lineman of the Year award. Along with the players, Kevin Kezal was named the 2014 SMAA Coach of the Year recipient.
The following players were named to the All-Conference First Team (position listed):
- Elijah Ayotte – Defensive Tackle
- Kevin Barrett – Tight End
- Cam Cadorette – Place Kicker
- Tyler Fleurant – Linebacker
- Corey Hart – Wide Receiver
- Michael Laverriere – Offensive Utility Player
- Austin McCrum – Quarterback
- D’Andre Morgan – Offensive Lineman
- Rome Pura – Punter
- Jimmy Remmes – Defensive End
- Demel Ruff – Running Back
- Greg Ruff – Defensive Back
The following players were named to the All-Conference Second Team (position listed):
- Owen Elliott – Linebacker
- Ben Lambert – Defensive Back
- Ashton Lord – Offensive Lineman
- Ben Zuke – Defensive Tackle and Offensive Lineman
In addition, the following seniors were named to the All-Conference Academic Team:
- Kevin Barrett
- Derek Boissonnault
- Tyler Fleurant
- Chris Kowash
- Dylan Smith
- Ben Zuke
Thornton Academy won the 2014 Maine Class A Football State Championship over Windham High School, 35-14. Thornton Academy, the #1 Seed, represented Class A West after defeating Bonny Eagle High School in the Regional Final, and Scarborough High School in the Semifinals. The Trojans finished the year with a 10-1 record, including playoffs.
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: