OLD TOWN – Basketball wasn’t the only competition happening this weekend. The University of Maine Woodsmen team held their home meet on Saturday.
Nineteen teams from all around New England chopped their way through the competition.
The annual home meet was held in Old Town at the J. Franklin Witter Teaching & Research Center. At the end of the all-day competition, Unity College won the men’s overall and UNH came out victorious for the women’s overall.
The traditional timber sports competition featured everything from standing block, log splitting, and any way you can saw or chop your way to a title.
“Basically you’re trying to use your legs more than your arms,” said Jason Henson, president of the UMaine Woodsmen Team. “You’re going to get tired out if you use your arms too much, so it’s really about form. Everyone thinks you need to be a big, tough guy but you really don’t.”
The UMaine team meets for a two hour practice every afternoon.
The team is made up of all year levels and majors, including civil engineering students, early childhood education, and of course, forestry students.
So how does someone realize they have the skills of a lumberjack?
“It was something me and my dad always watched on TV,” said Abigail Stevens of why she first started in timber sports at her school, Unity College, “so I came down one day and tried it out and I just fell in love with it.”
“My girlfriend started it first, and then she convinced me to do it,” said Sean Geary, a sophomore at UMaine.
The UMaine team members said they get along well with team members from other schools and cheer each other on.
But it is still a scored competition.
UMaine goes to about four meets a semester. And they end the season with a big competition that decides who goes to nationals.
So what’s the hardest part?
“It’s this home meet,” said Henson. “This home meet takes a lot of scheduling and a lot of paperwork to get this done.”
At least they have plenty of material to make that paperwork out of …