Franklin Countys First News

Alumni Spotlight with Mara Balboni

FARMINGTON - Mara Balboni graduated from UMaine-Farmington in 2016 after four successful years as a field hockey and lacrosse player. Balboni majored in elementary education where she is now a first-grade teacher at Minot Consolidated School. Balboni scored six goals with three assists for a total of 15 points during her senior year to help the Beavers have a 10-5 overall record with a 4-1 record in conference play. After Mara's senior year, she earned a spot on the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) All-Conference team and was a 4-year recipient of the ZAG Field Hockey Division III National Academic Team. During Mara's senior year on the lacrosse team, she led the team in scoring with 22 goals, five assists for a total of 27 points in 13 games. Balboni notched 24 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers.

Name: Mara Balboni

Hometown: Oakland, Maine

Years at Farmington: 2012-2016

Sport(s): Field Hockey / Lacrosse - Midfield

Current residence: New Gloucester, Maine

Current occupation: First Grade Teacher at Minot Consolidated School, Varsity Field Hockey Coach at Poland Regional, and middle school lacrosse coach at Oxford Hills High School

Why did you choose Farmington?

I chose Farmington for their outstanding education program. I knew that I would be getting one of the best educations while playing the two sports that I love. It wasn't too far from home and it's close to Sugarloaf with plenty of other outdoor opportunities.

What are your greatest memories at Farmington?

My greatest memories are anything to do with my teammates/coaches. Mostly bus rides and overnights. There was always a lot of competition for who had the best overnight room. I met some of my very best friends while being a part of UMF athletics. Even the professors would go to your games and bring it up in class the next day. I liked being part of such a close community.

How has Farmington helped you in your life after college?

Academically, I don't think I could have been more prepared for the teaching world. They can't teach you everything you need to know, but they taught me enough. I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best professors and mentors, many of who I'm still in touch with today. Athletically, I left Farmington mentally and physically stronger. Being part of a team teaches you how to be flexible, supportive, and adapt to any challenge or situation. Anyone who can survive four years of the beaver run/ gauntlet knows the feeling of hitting your limits and pushing past them.

What advice would you give to current student-athletes at Farmington?

I would tell current athletes to enjoy every part of their experience. Even when you have the worst days and don't feel like going to practice or putting in the effort. 4 years goes by quickly and you'll miss it when it's over. The relationships you make with your teammates is the best benefit of all as they will continue to be your support system long after you graduate.

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