Ezzy, Hunter garner special conference honors

6 years ago

CARIBOU, Maine — It was a season featuring some impressive milestones for the Caribou boys’ varsity soccer team. The Vikings posted the best record in school history and finished No. 1 in the standings for the first time ever. 

Although the Vikings were eliminated in the semifinal round of the Class B playoffs, one of the players and the team’s coach received some special individual recognition recently.

Senior midfielder Alex Ezzy was named Class B Player of the Year, while his coach, Scott Hunter, collected Coach of the Year honors in the Penobscot Valley Conference.

Ezzy was a four-year varsity player and started and was a captain the past three seasons. In addition to making the PVC all-conference team three years in a row, he is a three-time Aroostook League all-star and was recently named the recipient of this year’s Butch Shaw Award, presented by the Northern Maine Board of Approved Soccer Officials. He was his team’s MVP in each of the past two seasons.

Ezzy has been a Maine Soccer Coaches All-Region choice all three years, making the All-State team this year and last year. He concluded his career with 40 goals and 26 assists.

“I didn’t expect it, so when my coach told me that I had received the award, I was very surprised and even asked him if he was serious,” Ezzy said. “The award is really a team award as without them, I wouldn’t have had the success I had. I have played with many since sixth grade and most even before that, so being able to make a memory of our first-place season is unforgettable.”

He delivered a brilliant senior campaign, scoring 25 goals to fall just two short of matching the single-season record at Caribou, held by current assistant coach Kyle Corrigan. He did pass Guy Cousins, who played in the 1970s, for second all-time. Ezzy netted a career-high five goals against Mount Desert Island during the regular season and provided at least one goal in 12 of the 16 matches. He finished with nine assists.

“Alex was a dominant player this season,” Hunter said. “His soccer skills and footwork, speed and explosiveness, and ability to see the field and make the right play were phenomenal and the best I’ve seen.

“He is a leader on and off the field, organizing soccer workouts throughout the summer and during the season and getting other dedicated players to join him,” Hunter added. “In the offseason, he worked hard at conditioning and set an example for our other players. And as great a player as he is, he is an even better young man who is in the top four of his class academically and is respected by coaches and referees throughout the state.”

Joe Greaves, coach of the Presque Isle Wildcats, said Ezzy was a major matchup problem during the rivals’ two meetings this season. Caribou handed PI its only loss, while the teams played to a draw in the first matchup.

“I know he caused me to lose a lot of sleep this year,” Greaves said. “He was an awesome player who is not only a great talent, but a class act and someone any coach would want on their team.”

Hunter began his varsity soccer coaching career in 2011, but this year was by far his best one since taking over. Caribou went 12-1-1 during the regular season to earn the top seed in the division entering the playoffs. Following a 4-2 quarterfinal victory over MDI, the Vikings fell to Washington Academy in the semifinals 3-2.

“It meant a lot to be recognized by the other coaches in the conference,” Hunter said. “It really is an honor because so much goes into coaching, much more than just showing up on the sidelines for games. I am passionate about it and put my heart and soul into it, so it’s rewarding.

“But make no mistake, great players make good coaches and I had some tremendously talented players and any recognition I receive is a direct reflection of the talent of our team and my assistant coach [Corrigan], who contributed so much to our success,” he added.

Greaves said he has great respect for Hunter and that the PVC honor was well deserved.

“His team earning the No. 1 seed this year is a testament to his coaching,” Greaves said. “His teams always play hard, are well organized and you can tell he is always prepared for his opponents.”