Girls Junior Varsity Softball
Now in its seventh decade, Thornton Academy’s softball program is one of the finest in the state of Maine. It traces its routes to the mid-1950’s when girls physical education teacher Caroline Strong coached the very first team. The Golden Trojans were highly competitive in the 1990’s under Coach Joseph Bernier, who led the team to an impressive 13-3 record and a berth in the Western Maine Class A semifinals in 2000. Throughout its history, Thornton softball has competed in both the Telegram League and the Southwestern Maine Activities Association (SMAA).
Under the leadership of veteran coach John Provost, the Golden Trojans have won over 140 games and have made thirteen consecutive postseason appearances in the last eleven seasons. Thornton Academy has played in three Western Maine/Class A South championship games during that period, and in 2015 won the school’s first ever regional title with a victory over rival Scarborough. Thornton’s 101 victories in the past seven seasons are among the top totals in the state of Maine for any softball program during that stretch.
Many of the finest female athletes in school history have stepped up to the plate or stood on the mound for Thornton Academy softball. Katie Bernier was a three-time SMAA All-Star whose performance as a pitcher helped vitalize the Thornton program. One of the most accomplished power hitters in program history, Shannon Provost was a three-time all-conference player at second base and a two-time Maine Sunday Telegram all-state player. The Golden Trojans have also boasted some of the top pitchers in southern Maine, including 2012 Maine Gatorade Player of the Year, Julia Geaumont, and two-time all-state hurler, Bailey Tremblay. Both Geaumont (2012) and Tremblay (2015) were recipients of the prestigious Miss Maine Softball Award given to the state’s top senior player.
The typical Thornton Academy softball season consists of sixteen regular season games and five non-countable exhibition dates. Thornton Academy participates in the historically strong Southwestern Maine Activities Association against traditional York County foes such as Biddeford, Sanford, and many other conference affiliates, including neighboring school and rival Scarborough High School. For regional post-season purposes, the Golden Trojans are grouped in the Class A South region.
Most practices and all home contests take place at one of the two softball fields found on Thornton Academy’s campus. The varsity squad, on occasion, works out at one of the area’s many indoor facilities. During the annual April vacation break, Thornton Academy softball has taken periodic trips to Florida to participate in the Disney Spring Training Program. At Thornton Academy, being part of a softball team is a five-day per week commitment. The high school teams typically play games on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and hold practices on the remaining weekdays.
Tryouts for Thornton Academy’s softball teams take place at the end of March. The varsity level is reserved for the school’s most highly skilled players while the first team and junior varsity squad are designed primarily for player development. At all levels, there is an emphasis on skill improvement, teamwork, and sportsmanship.