In recent years, some high school sports fans have thought kids went to high schools in different towns for strictly athletic purposes.
At the Eastern Maine Class D tournament Monday morning there was one player who went to a different high school than her middle school class mates.
But this one was for strictly academic purposes.
“She applied to the math and science school in Limestone and got in for her Freshman year, and has been going there now for two years and she is enjoying her time,” said Graham Williams of Fort Kent. “She’s getting a great education right now, so we moved up to Fort Kent because I wanted to be a part of her life still for the four years and we’re liking life up in the north.”
“She” is his daughter, Madeline Williams, a sophomore at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, who is the only female student from MSSM playing at Limestone Community School. “I appreciate that they followed me. I didn’t expect that they would, but they told me yeah we’re looking for houses and we’re looking for new communities so that we can get closer to you and I really appreciated that. They’ve been my support.”
As a 6th grader in Hermon, Maddie made her first trip to Limestone for a science camp. She loved the school and thought it would offer her the academic challenge she needed. But it meant she had to leave her parents, her three siblings, and her friends behind. “It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I’ve done the transitional stuff before. I’ve met new people before and I find that for the most part, I can make friends fairly easily, so it was nice to go up there.”
Maddie not only plays basketball for Limestone, she also plays softball. She says sports helped her transition.
The cooperation is a positive for the students at both schools according to the Athletic Director at LCS, Travis Barnes. “I think it is a great opportunity for our kids. We’re a smaller school and a lot of these kids are coming from you know bigger Class C, Class B schools and they bring some athletic rigor to our program and so experiences that our kids wouldn’t get in northern Maine.”
MSSM does not operate on the same calendar as Maine high schools, theirs is similar to college. So is their daily class structure, it’s all done to prepare the approximately 130 students at the school for the future. Which is one of the reasons Maddie made the decision not to go to Hermon High School but to head North to Limestone.
“She saw the bigger picture and said you know education is going to be what’s going to get me through life” said her father Graham. “And she was very mature for her age at 13, 14 years old to say hey I really want to go to this school because I know I can make something of myself.”
“I am getting such a good education with such good quality teachers it is going to be so worth it when I get out into college,” Maddie said. “I’m not going to be hit by tuition and bills and classes all at once when I get to college I am going to have that down.”
Due to her commitments academically and athletically, Maddie only makes it home once every three weeks or so, but there is no question her Dad believes she made the right choice for now and in the future. “She loves it, she wouldn’t be any other place. This is where she wants to be, is at the math and science school. Now she loves the girls at Limestone, loves playing ball with them.”
As for the game the season ended Monday for the Limestone Eagles with a Quarter-final loss to Van Buren by a final of 70-to-46.