WATERVILLE — Kelci Faulkingham, a 2015 alumna of Belfast Area High School, concluded a remarkable four years as a member of the Thomas College field hockey program this fall, and even dabbled for a little more than a season as a member of the women’s basketball team.
Faulkingham, who lists one of favorite sports memories as scoring her first varsity goal in Belfast, developed ties at a young age to the collegiate field hockey team for which she would eventually play.
“When I was younger, I went to overnight summer field hockey camps at Thomas College,” Faulkingham, a Belfast native, recalled. “Field hockey has always been my passion since kindergarten, continuing that at Thomas while building a career has always been a dream of mine.”
Throughout high school, Faulkingham continued to identify the benefits of playing at Thomas.
“I really liked the size of the campus, the community, and how close it was to my hometown,” she said. “I thought Thomas college would be a perfect fit for me both academically and as a college athlete.”
Having desired to play for Thomas head coach Andrea Thebarge for, essentially, as long as she can remember, Faulkingham noted her journey to officially becoming a Terrier began at the conclusion of a field hockey camp prior to her senior year in Belfast when she had the opportunity to relay her desire to Thebarge.
In her collegiate field hockey career, Faulkingham amassed quite the collection of accolades: NAC rookie of the week, NAC player of the week, New England Collegiate Conference player of the week, NAC player of the year, NAC all-conference, Longstreth/NFHCA Division III all-New England eastern second team, ZAG Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad (three times) and 2019 Victory Sports Tours/NFHCA Division III senior game selectee.
Though she became the first Terrier to be selected to the Victory Sports Tours/NFHCA Division III senior field hockey game, Faulkingham was unable to participate due to a season ending injury.
Nonetheless, she felt the selection vindicated her work ethic.
“It was an honor to be recognized and selected to participate in the NFHCA Division III Senior Game,” she said. “It made me feel like all of my hard work, dedication, and success had been noticed and I was rewarded.”
Faulkingham, impressively, started all 68 field hockey games the Terriers participated in, a feat not many accomplish.
By the end of her field hockey career at Thomas, the midfielder tallied 19 goals, 18 assists and 56 points for the Terriers.
To complement her success as a member of the field hockey team, Faulkingham decided during her junior year at Thomas to start playing basketball for the Terriers.
“I decided to play basketball because I missed it and I wanted to play for Thomas College’s Head Coach Emily Cummins and be part of the program she’s successfully building,” she said.
On the basketball court, Faulkingham participated in 25 games during her junior season, in 2018, and only game in 2019 before a season ending injury.
Her greatest accomplishment, thus far, in life, was the four years of success she experienced at Thomas, both on the field and in the classroom, she said. The success she achieved at Thomas, she noted, is partially credited to her coaches and professors who pushed her, supported her and led her towards success.
In sharing her experience of success at Thomas, Faulkingham also provided some words of wisdom for area high school athletes as they work through their high school seasons and, perhaps, contemplate continuing their athletic endeavors at the collegiate level.
“Believe in your abilities and know you can succeed,” she said. “Whenever you step on the field, play with your heart and play for the name on front of your jersey. I wouldn’t have been successful without my coaches and teammates. Don’t take advantage of being a college athlete, it goes by in a blink of an eye and you never know when could be your last.”
With success comes motivation. For Faulkingham, that motivation came from believing in herself and striving to prove doubters wrong, she said.
Fittingly, Faulkingham’s favorite quote comes from George Bernard Shaw: “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will.”
Reach George Harvey and the sports department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.