Offensive Line Mowrers Carry Orono To Impressive Win Over Foxcroft

As he got closer, the Lions’ football coach began to take notice of what the fuss was about.

“I could see the football going end over end through the middle of the uprights with a high trajectory,” he said. “And when I got up there so I could peek over the fence to see the field I could see it was Ashley kicking from about 35 yards out.”

Ashley Littlefield was at Photo Day strictly for soccer purposes a year ago. This fall, she’s in two team pictures, for what began as a jovial back-and-forth in the aftermath of her impromptu kicking display has evolved into a role for the senior not only as a center midfielder on Belfast’s girls soccer team, but as the placekicker for the Lions’ varsity football team.

“The coach saw me kicking and asked how I felt about kicking for him,” recalled Littlefield. “It was kind of a joke at first, but it got more serious and then I went to the football lifting sessions during the summer and it went from there.”

Littlefield has made 12 of her 15 extra-point attempts so far this season, and while her role with the Lions so far has been limited to that specific task, it has been an unexpected opportunity to contribute to a team she watched from the bleachers before this fall.

“I really enjoy it, it’s a lot of fun,” said Littlefield, who also plays basketball and softball. “The boys have become like a second family to me, they treat me like their little sister and make sure nothing bad happens to me.”

Girls playing high school football in Maine is not without precedent, but it has been infrequent.

According to a sports participation survey conducted annually by the National Federation of State High School Associations, Maine has averaged eight girls competing in 11-player football during a given year over the last decade.

No numbers are available yet for the 2013 season, but girls playing football in Eastern Maine this fall include Kaitlyn Cota and Chassidy Orn of Orono High School, Lillian Wakeman of Washington Academy in East Machias and Shaina Nalley of Messalonskee High School in Oakland.

Cota and Orn are both former soccer players in their first year of organized football.

“I’ve always wanted to play since my sophomore year, but I never had the courage to do it by myself,” said Cota, a senior wide receiver and cornerback. “Since Chassidy started doing it, it encouraged me to do it.”

Orn, a sophomore whose brother Chad is Orono’s starting quarterback, plays offensive guard and nose guard.

“I’m not much of a physical person so it was kind of tough at first,” she said. “It’s different. We didn’t have to run as much as soccer, but it was more drills and contact and just getting you prepped for hitting.

“In soccer I liked having contact, but now I know I’m going to get hit so I know what to do and it just happens.”

The level of contact in football is what separates it from many other sports, and for Cota the acclimation process was enlightening.

“I was really surprised at how hard they actually hit people, and how hard it is to focus on the plays and catch the ball,” she said. “I didn’t think it was as hard as it is.

“The first time I made a tackle was in the first game I played. I was really scared, but after a while I got used to it, figured out how to hit and got the courage to go out and do it.”

Orn has the added advantage of an older brother to lean on, not necessarily during practices but when they’re away from the field.

“I told her before she signed up that there’s going to be battles with other guys who were going to be bigger than her, and that it was going to be tough but she was going to have to deal with it,” said Chad Orn, a senior. “She’s handling it perfectly. She’s struggling with the big dudes, but she’s handling it.

“I see her improve every single day.”

Also noticing Cota and Chassidy Orn’s gradual improvement is Orono head coach Bob Sinclair.

Cota and Orn are the first two girls Sinclair has coached during more than three decades on the sidelines.

“These two girls have done everything all the other kids on the team have done,” he said. “We don’t make an issue of gender here at Orono, they’re just two more members of our 43-player roster. That’s the way we’ve approached it, and that’s the way they approach it.

“In 32 years of coaching football, these are the first two females I’ve ever coached, and I think if you were going to have two girls playing football these are two great kids to do it,” Sinclair said. “They’re doing it for all the right reasons. They’re not trying to make a political statement or a gender statement, they just want to play football.”

Cota and Orn see game action primarily on the Red Riots’ subvarsity team because of their inexperience playing the sport, but both did see varsity duty during a game at Ellsworth last weekend.

“It was nerve-wracking, but you just have to play it out,” said Cota. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by on October 14, 2013 in Sports News

ORONO, Maine — It was a flash in time that took Bob Sinclair by surprise one Friday night last fall.

The Orono High School football coach watched as one of his strongest, most physical players made what looked to be merely glancing helmet-to-helmet contact with an opponent from Stearns of Millinocket during the final play of the first half.

When the player didn’t rise immediately, Sinclair urged him to join his fellow Red Riots in leaving the field, which he did.

But by the time the player reached the locker room and sat down, slumped over and facing the opposite direction from his teammates, Sinclair knew something was wrong.

A trip to the hospital provided confirmation — the player suffered a concussion that sidelined him for the rest of the season.

Longtime coaches like Sinclair and Joel Sankey of Bucksport are optimistic about football’s continued prominence within the American sports spectrum. But they’re also cognizant of the need to be steadfast in everything from teaching proper techniques to recognizing signs that a player might have suffered a concussion no matter how hard or slight the contact.

“You need to know your stuff so as best as you can you can account for every scenario,” said Sinclair after a concussion management seminar for Little Ten Conference coaches held Saturday at Orono Middle School.

“Not every athlete is going to show the classic signs of a concussion, so as we learned today you need to know your kids and you need to do the best you can to be prepared for any situation. In our case we couldn’t quite believe what we were seeing, and it turned out to be very serious. It ended well, but you never want to be in that situation.”

Topics addressed during the two-hour seminar included the evolution and proper fitting of football helmets, tackling techniques, the role of certified athletic trainers and school nurses in head injury management, and determining when a concussed athlete is ready to return to the team and classroom.

“It’s all about education and awareness and being proactive with regard to this issue,” said Mike Archer, athletic administrator at Orono High School and secretary-treasurer of the LTC. “Concussion is the buzzword in athletics now, not just at the high school level but also at the collegiate and professional levels. We need to do everything we can as administrators and coaches to make these kids who are playing football know that we want to put them in the safest position possible, but in doing that knowing we can’t guarantee anything. There are still going to be players who are going to be concussed.”

Bill Rice, regional sales manager for football helmet manufacturer Schutt Sports, acknowledged that “concussions have mushroomed into a public health issue.” He added that rule changes, new helmet materials, attention to tackling techniques, lighter and better-performing equipment and practice contact limits at some levels of the sport all have enhanced player safety.

“The irony is the game has never been safer from a technological and protective perspective,” he said.

Chris Sementelli, director of sports medicine at Maine General Medical Center in Augusta and Waterville, outlined elements of Maine’s recently adopted law that directs schools to develop a team of medical professionals to deal with head-injury cases. He also emphasized the need for school medical personnel and coaches to work closely with each other and with their student-athletes in order to recognize concussion signs and symptoms more effectively.

“Knowing your athlete is critical with this point,” Sementelli said. “Know their bents, and know their attitudes toward adversity.”

Dr. Cameron Truby, a primary care sports medicine physician at the Bangor-based Downeast Orthopedics, discussed the various stages of concussion assessment and recovery a student-athlete must pass before returning to school and practice, and said one of the related challenges is that no two concussions are alike.

“Every kid is different, every concussion is different and every concussion within a kid is different,” he said.

Veteran and newer coaches alike agree that in part due to advances in sports medicine and the attention now placed on such injuries as concussions, their jobs have grown into something far more complex than teaching football fundamentals.

“It’s interesting to hear all the different points of view and all the new material that’s coming down,” said Sankey. “In a sense it’s kind of frightening. I’ve been doing this for a long time, 40 years or so, and you look at it now with the threat of lawsuits and wonder why people would want to get into this. With budget cuts, we went from having a doctor on the sidelines with a trainer to now where we don’t have a team doctor and we don’t have a team trainer. The ambulance crew is always there, but it puts a lot of responsibilities on the heads of the coaches.”

Those same coaches expect their sport will continue to thrive, particularly if health concerns such as concussions can be alleviated.

“I think football will survive as a sport and as a game,” said Sinclair. “It might look different, but in the time I’ve been involved with it, and Joel, too, the types of offenses you’re seeing, the types of strategies that are employed, the types of fields you’re playing on, it’s evolved quite a bit. You’ll probably see more of that, and safety probably will be what drives that, but I think football will survive as an institution.

“It’s a pretty good American game.”

Posted by on May 4, 2013 in Health and safety, Sports News

PORTLAND, Maine — Spencer Carey, who led Lawrence High School of Fairfield to its second straight Class A state championship game appearance, and standout two-way tackle Jack Lucy of Orono are among 12 semifinalists for the 42nd James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy announced Wednesday.

Carey starred at both quarterback and safety for coach Jack Hersom’s Lawrence club this fall, while the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Lucy has been the backbone of an Orono line that fueled one of Eastern Maine’s top rushing attacks in recent years under veteran coach Bob Sinclair.

“It’s no secret that we’ve run behind Jack for four years,” said Sinclair of Lucy, a four-year starter and two-year captain for the Red Riots, who played in the LTC Class C championship game in 2011 and advanced to the semifinals this fall.

“I’d call him the force behind Orono football for the last four years. He’s been a fierce competitor.”

Lucy, who was named first-team All-LTC Class C on both offense and defense in 2011, also is the top-ranked student in Orono’s current senior class.

The Fitzy has been presented since 1971 to the state’s top senior high school football player each year, with school and community involvement and academic factors also part of the criteria.

The Portland-based award originally was reserved for Class A players, but players from all classes statewide became eligible for the award during the 1990s.

Other semifinalists are Brian Bedard of Leavitt of Turner Center, Bobby Begin of Thornton Academy of Saco, Cale Bollig of Westbrook, Tate Gale of Portland, Donald Goodrich of Cheverus of Portland, Nick Leblond of Biddeford, Dillon Russo of Scarborough, Alex Shain of Sanford, Chandler Shostak of Cony of Augusta and Kenny Sweet of Deering of Portland.

The slate of semifinalists will be narrowed to three finalists shortly before Christmas by a vote of the state’s coaches and media.

The annual Fitzpatrick Trophy banquet will be held at noon on Jan. 20, 2013, at the Holiday Inn By The Bay in Portland.

Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Sports News

Blog coverage of Orono Football

ORONO — Mention Orono High School to any Eastern Maine football fan with a sense of history and the word juggernaut might come to mind.

It’s a fitting adjective, albeit a generation removed.

Jack Lucy knows that better than most. Even his role as a starting two-way tackle on this year’s 9-1 Orono team that will play at Bucksport for the LTC Class C title Saturday doesn’t give him bragging rights when he goes home after practice.

His dad, John Lucy, played for Orono in the late 1970s and early 1980s and never experienced defeat — not once — as the Red Riots ran off 48 consecutive victories between 1977 and 1982.

“Even in this great season we’re having,” said Lucy, “we’ve lost more games than my dad did his entire career.”

This year’s Orono team, however, has taken significant strides in restoring this program to contending status by qualifying for the LTC final for the first time in 15 years.

Many of the veterans on the roster endured a 1-7 campaign in 2009, then went 3-6 last fall.

“We had some tough years,” said senior tight end/defensive back Tyler Higgins. “But we built on that because we wanted to bring the Orono football program back. We were a really young team with a varsity schedule back then. We just took the beatings and learned from them and grew up.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Sports News

ORONO — The offense didn’t come easy Friday night for the Orono Red Riots.

Orono averaged an LTC-record 52.9 points per game this season, but it was its stout defense that was the difference in the biggest game of the season.

Second-seeded Orono held John Bapst of Bangor team scoreless in the second half and rallied for 16 fourth-quarter points to pull out a 24-14 LTC Class C football semifinal victory at the University of Maine’s Alfond Stadium.

“We all got a little bit worried, but we knew we had to come back,” said Orono senior quarterback Bryce Mehnert. “We’re a second-half team. It’s always tough to beat a team the second time around.”

Coach Bob Sinclair’s Red Riots (9-1), who had beaten the No. 3 Crusaders 46-21 on Oct. 14, earned a spot in the LTC championship game for the first time since 1996. Orono will travel to Bucksport next Saturday to play the Bucks in the final.

Orono held John Bapst to 171 total yards.

“People have talked so much about our offense and the points that we’ve put up over the course of the season, they tend to forget we’ve got a pretty good defense, too,” Sinclair said. “Our defense hung tough.”

Dan O’Connell’s John Bapst squad wound up 7-3 and had its streak of consecutive title-game appearances halted at four.

Orono spent the evening chasing around Bapst’s receivers and trying to get to John Bapst quarterback Deven Romain. Defensive backs Dominic Mowrer, Tyler Higgins and Nick Spaulding, along with tackles Jack Lucy and Zach Landean and end Christian Mowrer, led that effort.

Trailing 14-8, Orono held the Crusaders in check in the second half. A couple of partially blocked punts by Christian Mowrer and Lucy aided the Riots in the field-position battle.

It was a pass play that finally jump-started the run-oriented Riots early in the fourth quarter.

After a John Bapst punt, Orono took over on its own 44-yard line. On first down, Mehnert (3-for-11, 60 yards) lofted a pass down the right sideline to senior tight end Higgins, who caught it and was knocked out of bounds after a 39-yard gain to the JB 17.

“It definitely fueled that drive, which was crucial to the whole game,” said Mehnert, who got decked on the play. “It got us the momentum from then on.”

Three plays later, Christian Mowrer (14 carries, 83 yards) slashed up the middle on an 11-yard run that tied the game. He added the conversion rush, putting Orono ahead for good.

Higgins intercepted Romain (13-for-27, 141 yards, 2 TDs, 2 interceptions) on the ensuing possession, then a high punt snap through the end zone on John Bapst’s subsequent series made it 18-14.

The Riots put the game out of reach with a 10-play, 47-yard drive that culminated in Cameron Mowrer’s 5-yard scoring run with 1:16 to play.

John Bapst played much of the fourth quarter without linebacker Nick Jordan, who was in on at least 12 tackles. End Max Andrews also was a defensive standout.

Orono’s balanced ground game netted 208 rushing yards on 54 attempts, including 71 yards on 18 carries from Dominic Mowrer and 61 yards on 18 tries from Cameron Mowrer.

Orono opened the game by marching 70 yards on eight plays. It included a 34-yard pass from Mehnert to Higgins and a 20-yard run by Dominic Mowrer. Mehnert punched it in from a yard out and Dominic Mowrer added the PAT rush.

John Bapst equalized on its second possession, going 81 yards in eight plays. Romain completed five passes, including a 13-yard scoring toss to Max Andrews. David Dieuveuil’s kick cut the deficit to 8-7 with 1:47 left in the first quarter.

The Crusaders took the lead in the second quarter when Romain hit a wide-open Jake Moore on a 44-yard TD pass. The PAT made it 14-8 at the 4:34 mark.

“They can strike deep at any time,” Sinclair said. “They’ve got lots of weapons and they’re good at it. We knew coming in this was going to be a dogfight and it was.”

Tyler Eddy made an interception later in the half to keep Orono within striking distance.

Bapst, which didn’t run the ball effectively out of its spread scheme, didn’t have much success throwing the ball after halftime. The Crusaders managed only three first downs in the second half.

Andrews made four catches for 55 yards, Andrew Catlin had four receptions for 49 yards and Moore finished with three grabs for 64 yards. John Bapst rushed for only 30 yards on 14 attempts.

“We had to stick to our man, play heads up,” Higgins said of the defense. “We won our one-on-one battles and we stuck it out.”

Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Sports News

ORONO — The Orono High School football team proved two points Friday night in their Homecoming game against the Foxcroft Academy Ponies.

First, they proved that they are a legitimate LTC contender. Second, they showed

that they have good memories.

Motivated by a 70-6 shellacking handed to them by FA in Orono two years ago, the Riots avenged that loss with a convincing 58-14 triumph over the previously undefeated Ponies, who are now 4-1.

It is Orono’s first win over Foxcroft since the 1990s.

The 4-1 Riots made short work of the Ponies, building a 36-0 halftime lead and never looking back.

Orono’s split-T offense racked up 578 total yards, including 492 on the ground on 60 carries.

The offensive line comprised of center Caleb Church, guards Andrew Kelley and Mac Seavey, tackles Tyler Pinkham and Jack Lucy and ends Sam Chase, Tyler Higgins and Tyler Eddy created nice holes for running backs Dominic Mowrer (214 yards on 19 carries), younger brothers Christian (149/18) and Cameron Mowrer (67/6) and Cony High of Augusta transfer Norton Revell (60/5).

“We were able to get a good push and our backs did a great job executing their fakes which makes it easier for us to make our blocks,” said Lucy.

“Our line was blowing them back,” said the speedy and elusive Dominic Mowrer. “All I had was green grass and pylons (at the corners of the end zone).”

The Riots were much quicker than the Ponies.

“We didn’t have an answer for them. They’re a good football team,” said Foxcroft coach Danny White. “Their line was incredible. And when you face a team with two or three backs who can break (a long run) off at any time (it makes things difficult). And the thing I admired was their backs didn’t try to run away from you. They ran at you.”

“We weren’t backing down, “said Dominic Mowrer. “This was our homecoming, not theirs.”

The Riot players said in the loss two years ago, the Ponies went for a two-point conversion after scoring a touchdown to make it 68-6 in the final minutes.

The Riots turned two fumble recoveries into touchdowns in the first half.

Justin Szeker recovered an FA fumble at the FA-15 yard line and Cameron Mower scampered 14 yards for a touchdown on the second play.

Orono marched 55 yards on six plays capped by Dominic Mowrer’s two-yard run to make it 16-0 and Revell made it 22-0 with a dazzling 34-yard run in which he cut back and weaved his way into the end zone.

Cameron Mowrer stripped the ball from a Pony runner resulting in the second fumble and Orono cashed in as senior quarterback threw a seven-yard TD pass to Higgins on the sixth play of the drive.

“It was just a little pop pass (across the middle). (Higgins) was wide open,” said quarterback Bryce Mehnert.

Mehnert threw another TD pass 2:37 later, with just 1:22 left in the half, when fired a perfect 47-yard strike to Eddy at the left pylon just before he absorbed a blind-side hit from a Pony pass rusher.

“Tyler broke open and made a great play,” said Mehnert, who was a perfect five-for-five for 86 yards.

Hard-running Pony halfback Don Boyer, who rushed for 158 yards on 18 carries, ran 63 yards to open the scoring in the second half but Cameron Mowrer answered with a one-yard run.

asnw’s one-yard run and Revell’s 12-yarder expanded the lead.

Ethan Preble fell on a Boyer fumble in the end zone to make it 44-14 before Revell dashed 12 yards for a TD.

Dominic Mowrer returned to the field with the first offensive unit and he capped the scoring with a 38-yard run with just 2:43 remaining.

Mowrer and brother Cameron were among the many standouts on defense for the Red Riots.

“It was important for us to get a win against a good team,” said Orono coach Bob Sinclair who was extremely pleased with his team’s performance.

Boyer, Hunter Law and Alex Stevens were in on a lot of tackles for FA and White praised the play of defensive ends Brent Thomas, Zac Smith and Matt Lacasce.

Posted by on October 1, 2011 in Sports News


[Electronic], Dj Jai Ho.

All settled? Ok. Press play and get ready to listen to what will populate your headphones, speakers and lives for the next few months. Dj Jai Ho from U.S.A is back with another groovy tune that has warm-weather vibes written all over it.

More info, Dj Jai Ho Facebook

Hope you liked it,

Dj Cotton Here Event Gucci Mane Live In Chatt



Brrr!!!! I got plenty more volumes dropping this week. Continue reading




Many of those dope Bad Boy R&B remixes were in fact done by Stevie J. Take a trip down memory lane with a few in this latest volume of Stevie J’s production discography. Plenty volumes more coming…and we haven’t even gotten to the slow jams yet!!!



I went to Lil Boosie’s “Welcome Home” concert in Nashville on last night and MAN he put on a show (like he always have every time I’ve seen him)! So much that it inspired me to do a “Best Of” mix as soon as I got home.    Boosie is worth every singe dollar  and is a must see! I’ve seen him 5 times over the years and still want to see him perform again. He’s that good and that dedicated to giving his fans everything he has. People outside of the South don’t even understand how big Boosie is down here.  Glad he’s back.  Enjoy!

I’ll be there live in the mix


I think it’s been a really good year for trance, despite what some people will tell you about it “being dead”. So it’s been a challenge narrowing it down to just 20 tunes. And impossible to try and rank those 20 – so, like last year, I’ve just listed them in alphabetical order. Please use the comments facility to let me know which tunes I’ve left out that you think I shouldn’t have!

SuncatcherAre We There Yet? (Always Alive Recordings)

This features on Solarstone’s Pure Trance V2 mix and is simply beautiful. Suncatcher is from Romania and a name to watch out for, if you like your trance pure.

Solarstone & Betsie LarkinBreathe You In (Solarstone Pure Mix) (Premier)

The original mix of this song is on Betsie Larkin’s 2011 album, All We Have Is Now, but Solarstone has weaved his pure magic over it and I just love this version. The Sneijder remix is also very good, but I couldn’t put both in this list and eventually plumped for this one.

Aly & Fila with Giuseppe OttavianiBrilliant People (Sneijder Remix) (Black Hole)

Aly & Fila and Giuseppe Ottaviani … with these brilliant people working on a track, you just know it will be fantastic. I love the original, but Sneijder has made it even better. Tune!

Maria HealyChatterbox (nu-depth Recordings)

Maria Healy is from Dublin and if this tune is anything to go by, she’s one to look out for in the future. There’s so much great music coming out of Ireland at the moment.

The Thrillseekers with York & AsheniDaydream (Will Atkinson Dreamy Mix) (Adjusted Music)

I’ve seen The Thrillseekers twice this year and whether he’s dropping classics or contemporary tunes, Steve Helstrip always delivers the goods. And although he’ll always be best known for Synaethesia, he is still producing top quality uplifting trance.

ReOrder & Ian Standerwick pres. SkypatrolFolding Your Universe (Future Sound Of Egypt)

This is going to be a lot of people’s choice as tune of the year, I suspect. It has an old school feel to it and I hope there will be more from Skypatrol next year.

Armin van Buuren feat. Emma HewittForever Is Ours (Solarstone Pure Mix) (Armada)

Armin’s new album, Intense, was predictably commercially focussed, with only a couple of nods to true fans of trance (Who’s Afraid of 138?! and Last Stop Before Heaven) but Solarstone picked up on this tune and gave it a Pure mix, which I really like, even if it is slightly cheesy.

Driftmoon – Howl At The Moon (Solarstone Retouch) (Black Hole)

Yes, Solarstone again. I have to confess that I love what he does, as you have probably guessed by now. This is another tune from Pure Trance V2, which is definitely my album of the year!

Solarstone – Love Theme from Blade Runner (Pure Mix)

Another tune from Pure Trance V2, this is a remake of the Vangelis theme from Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic film. And as ever, when Rich Mowatt gets his hands on a tune, it turns to gold.

Adam Ellis – Napalm Poet (Angry Man Remix) (Kearnage Recordings)

Adam Ellis is a name to look out for and his first release is one of those tunes that almost everyone was playing in their sets this year. The original mix is really good, but I think Angry Man makes it even better.

Charles McThorn – Oxydizing (Original Anthem Mix) (Redux Recordings)

I’ve never heard anyone play this, but I think it’s brilliant. I’ve not come across Charles McThorn before and I can’t find out anything about him either. Let’s hope there are more tunes like this to discover!

Solarstone – Please (Bryan Kearney Remix) (Black Hole)

It’s not often that remixers improve on a Solarstone original, but Bryan Kearney does just that, taking the BPM up to 140 and giving the tune added bite. I love it!

Sneijder & Bryan KearneyProper Order (Subculture)

Two leading lights in the Irish branch of Team 140 coming together to create a proper trance track. I think this is going to get a lot of plays in the next few months, and deservedly so.

Agnelli & Nelson presents A&N ProjectQuest (Adam Ellis Remix) (Subculture)

Whenever I tell people that this is possibly my favourite tune of the year, they all profess not to know it. Well hopefully this will change now.

Liam Wilson – Restrictor (Thomas Datt Remix) (Critical State)

We were very lucky to have both these DJ producers play at Digital Therapy recently and I really like this track. I hope you do too!

Dart Rayne & Yura Moonlight and Sarah LynnSilhouette (Allen & Envy Remix) (Amsterdam Trance Records)

Well, this is going to be many people’s first choice for tune of the year and it’s easy to see why. I love it and my only reservation is that perhaps it’s overplayed? I can’t remember when I last went a whole evening without at least one DJ dropping it. While hunting for the You Tube video, I cam across the original, which is horrible beyond belief. So make sure you only listen to the Allen & Envy remix!

John O’Callaghan & Ronski SpeedSincerely JORS (Subculture)

I first heard this at Dream nightclub in Miami, when Aly & Fila dropped it. I love the way the way the melody rolls through the build up to the drop and then bounces you along with it through to the end. A very under-rated tune, in my opinion.

Paul Oakenfold – Southern Sun (Angry Man Remix) (Perfecto Fluoro)

To be honest, there were a number of remixes of classics that came out this year that I really like, but this was the only one I thought was good enough to make the cut as one of my tunes of the year. There’s a lot of mystery and speculation about who Angry Man is and he always appears hooded and masked, to add to the mystique. But with tunes like this and sets like he played at Luminosity Beach Festival this year, his identity is bound to become much better known in future.

Matt Bowdidge – Still By Your Side (Adam Ellis Remix) (Mental Asylum)

I love this tune from our Aussie mate – especially the Adam Ellis remix. Don’t let it get to your head, Matt!

Aly & FilaTula (Future Sound Of Egypt)

Taken from my favourite artist album of the year, Quiet Storm, I just love this track. I could have picked several more tunes from the album in this list, such as Laily, Mysteries Unfold, Speed Of Sound, First Sun, Daydreaming, Fireisland (Chillout Mix), Brilliant People … but I’ll content myself with this one.

So there we have it … 20 amazing tunes. My draft list had 41 on it, so it was really hard to narrow it down. I’d love to pick a single winner, but if I did so today, it wouldn’t be the same as yesterday, or tomorrow, so they will stay in alphabetical order. Let’s hope 2014 is as good as this year!

Each day was dominated by one outstanding set and, particularly on day two, there were some very good others.

On the first day, we arrived during Jochen Miller’s set and also caught Tritonal before we saw Andrew Rayel. I enjoyed Rayel’s set the most of these.  Although there was a fairly commercial trance feel to lots of his set – think Dash Berlin – Waiting mashed with Above & Beyond – Sun & Moon, or MaRLo – Boom, he did create an interesting and enjoyable journey through tunes like Alex M.O.R.P.H. – For The Love Of An Angel, Omnia & Ira – The Fusion, an interesting reworking of Tiësto – Just Be and his hit track with Jano – How Do I Know? Ferry Corsten joined him for some brief back-to-back DJ’ing and dropped Ferry Corsten & Markus Schulz – Loops N Tings after which Andrew Rayel played his remix of Faithless – Insomnia.  Then it was time for the act I’d really come for!

Ferry Corsten back to back with Andrew Rayel, drops Markus Schulz & Ferry Corsten – Loops N Tings

The Saturday was all about Aly & Fila vs. John O’Callaghan. I’m a massive fan of both of these DJs. Fadi, of Aly & Fila, is without doubt my favourite DJ. I’ve been fortunate enough to see him play seven times in the last 12 months, including this set – in Sydney, Miami, Ibiza and Amsterdam. His brand of uplifting trance mixes very well with that of John O’Callaghan and I was really looking forward to this set, ever since it was first announced they’d be playing back to back at Stereosonic.

Sometimes when you have very high expectations, it can lead to a slight feeling of disappointment when the reality is very good, but still below the anticipated level. This was not one of those occasions! From the word go, Fadi and John were simply brilliant. I’ve heard a lot of great sets in 2013, but this was undoubtedly the best 90 minutes of pure, uplifting trance this year.

A list of the tunes they played barely does justice to the magic they weaved and they had a packed arena absolutely buzzing for the whole of the set. We heard Veracocha – Carte Blanche (Sneijder Remix), Paul van Dyk feat. Plumb – I Don’t Deserve You (John O’Callaghan Remix), Chakra – Love Shines Through, Aly & Fila – End Of The Road, Solarstone with Aly & Fila – Fireisland, Motorcycle – As The Rush Comes, RAM – RAMelia, Aly & Fila – We Control The Sunlight, John O’Callaghan & John Askew vs Nadia Ali – Stresstest Rapture (Shura Vlasov Mashup) and John O’Callaghan – Big Sky (Signum vs. RAM Remix). And when Ferry Corsten joined them on stage for the last fifteen minutes, he dropped his classic from 2008 – Radio Crash and Fadi dropped Binary Finary – 1998.

Ferry Corsten, back to back with Aly & Fila vs. John O’Callaghan, plays Radio Crash

I was utterly blown away by this amazing set. The highlight for me being when Fadi played Above & Beyond – Home … in fact, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it as I write this.

Aly & Fila, back to back with John O’Callaghan, plays Above & Beyond – Home

On Sunday we saw MaRLo and Heatbeat  as well as wandering into the next door arena to listen quickly to Mat Zo and then Gareth Emery (we beat a hasty retreat on both occasions as we didn’t like what we were hearing).

The best set of the Sunday was undoubtedly Solarstone’s, although Bryan Kearney gave him a good run for his money. No one does trance quite like Solarstone does – the Pure way.  A succession of great tunes from his past as well as present: Solarstone feat. Lemon – Lovers, Lemon – We Can’t Fly (Solarstone Pure Mix), Solarstone – Solarcoaster, Solarstone – Please, Armin van Buuren feat. Emma Hewitt – Forever Is Ours (Solarstone Pure Remix), Solarstone – Seven Cities, Solarstone – Love Theme From Bladerunner (Pure Mix) and Young Parisians – Jump The Next Train. He also dropped the tune of the moment: Reorder & Ian Standerwick present Skypatrol – Folding Your Universe.

Solarstone drops Armin van Buuren feat. Emma Hewitt – Forever Is Ours (Solarstone Pure Remix)

It was a wonderful set and though the room was not as full as it had been on Saturday, the crowd lapped it up and enjoyed it from start to finish.

Coming on next, Bryan Kearney dropped great tunes like Adam Ellis – Napalm Poet, Craig Connelly feat. Christina Novelli – Black Hole, Markus Schulz feat. Fiora – Deep In The Night, Paul van Dyk – For An Angel, John O’Callaghan – Find Yourself, Sneijder & Bryan Kearney – Proper Order, John O’Callaghan – Big Sky and Solarstone with Clare Stagg – Jewel. Kearney had to cope with a more sparsely filled room, as Above & Beyond were drawing many people towards the main stage, but he kept the energy level high and left everyone who stayed wanting more.

Bryan Kearney drops Paul van Dyk – For An Angel

After Bryan Kearney, Giuseppe Ottaviani wrapped up the evening in the trance arena (which metamorphosed into the hard dance arena for the last 75 minutes of the festival). I felt he took some time to get going, but the last three-quarters of an hour was pure Ottaviani brilliance. We heard his remix of Tiësto – Adagio For Strings, 4 Strings – Take Me Away, some of the songs from his new album, Magenta – Love Will Bring It All Around (feat. Eric Lumiere) and Brilliant People (with Aly & Fila) and he wrapped up with his remix of Paul van Dyk feat. Plumb – I Don’t Deserve You.

There was just time to head over to the main stage to see Armin van Buuren playing to tens of thousands of people. It was an awesome spectacle, but the music wasn’t doing it for us and we decided to head off before the rush. I discovered later that he dropped some great tunes at the end of his set, such as John O’Callaghan & John Askew vs Nadia Ali – Stresstest Rapture (Shura Vlasov Mashup) and Armin van Buuren vs. Photographer – Airport Shivers (Armin van Buuren Mashup), which would have sounded fantastic on the main stage sound system, which was as good as any I’ve ever heard at an arena of that size. But we were happy to be heading off for some well-earned rest after two days of great music and dancing.

All in all, it had been a fantastic festival – Aly & Fila vs. John O’Callaghan the undoubted highlight, but Solarstone, Bryan Kearney and Giuseppe Ottaviani all excelled too.

We’d seen Menno in Miami and more recently at the Ministry Of Sound and we’re big fans of his. So hearing him play yet another great set was the ideal way to set up this second day of Luminosity for us. But once he finished, we headed straight back to the Trance Classics stage to see Steve Helstrip, aka The Thrillseekers. Opening with Delerium – Silence (Tiësto’s In Search Of Sunrise Remix)he took us through a succession of cleverly chosen classics, perfectly mixed.

Next up was Sean Tyas and I have to confess that I wasn’t excited about seeing him play. He’d not been good at the Judgement event in Sydney in February, nor in Ibiza when we saw him at Es Paradis in 2012. But today he was a revelation. Wonderful uplifting trance that completely changed my opinion of him. It was only a pity that we’d missed the early part of his set, partly to have a break and partly to see what was happening elsewhere. But I was happy in the knowledge that he was going to play one of the after party sets and I resolved not to miss a beat of that.

The day was now nearing its end, with the sun sinking in the sky over the sea. Just two more sets before it was time to head to the after party and two that I’d been eagerly anticipating. Firstly it was Jorn van Deynhoven. My friends have heard me time and again say how unbelievably wonderful his 5 1/2 hour set at Nevermind in Sydney in 2012 was. I won’t go into the details here, but it was a truly memorable set, the work of a real trance genius. Jorn had only just over one hour at Luminosity, so this set couldn’t be the tour de force that he’d given us at Nevermind, but it was not a disappointment. Photographer – Airport, RAM – RAMsterdam (Jorn van Deynhoven Remix), Jorn van Deynhoven – Headliner were among the many great tunes he played as the sun set over the beach and it was dark by the time he finished with Daniel Kandi – Symphonica and handed over to Indecent Noise.