Top sports stories for Presque Isle area — Part II

2 years ago

The following is the second of two articles highlighting some of the top news stories from 2021. This article highlights events from July to December. The first half was published on Dec. 29.

Compiled by David DiMinno

July

The Maine Potato Blossom Festival 5-mile road race drew a field of 35 runners and 11 walkers Saturday as part of the week-long festivities. Luke Bailey of Trenton was the overall race winner, completing the course in 27 minutes and 38 seconds. Sarah Mulcahy of Fort Kent was the first female finisher at 32:46. 

August

The Northern Maine Community Recreation Association’s Major’s Baseball Tournament crowned a new champion last week as Presque Isle powered its way to the title. Presque Isle had to battle its way out of the loser’s bracket and did so in stunning fashion, beating the Valley Allstars twice — 17-2 and 17-3 — to win the title. The championship games were played in Caribou. 

What did former UMPI baseball player Ghazaleh “Oz” Sailors have in common with baseball legends Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron? Like those renowned players, Sailors was featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

The Presque Isle Middle School boys track team included, from left, front row: Silas Baser, Pruet Dionne, Bodey McPherson, Nate Tompkins, David Shaw and Blair Guerrette. Second row: Alex LeClair, Leo Stacey, Gavin Letourneau, Dylan Maple, Logan Wing and Van Brighham. Back row: Jack Lamoreau, Noah Parmalee, Dan White, Eli Mosher, Brent Greenlaw, Ben Willey, and Charlie Peers. Missing from photo: Coach Ron McAtee and Coach Mike Waugh.
(Courtesy of Presque Isle Middle School)

The Aroostook League Middle School Track and Field Championship took place June 2 at the Presque Isle Middle School. Both the boys and girls Wildcat teams won the championship. Three girls finished in the top 10 for individual scores. Keira Tompkins came in second place with 32.5 points, Jayden Harvell came in third place with 28 points, and Cassidy Carlisle was seventh with 16.5 points. 

The 2021 Aroostook County Crime Stoppers annual golf tournament was a huge success over the weekend of Aug. 7-8. As the event marked the 30th anniversary of the tournament, the three men who were instrumental in starting this tournament and keeping it going in its infancy — Tom York, Edgar Wheeler, and Alton McQuade — were honored during this year’s event. 

The 17th annual Under the Lights Alumni/Community Cross Country Race drew a solid group of runners to Caribou High School Friday, Aug. 20. A field of 70 runners participated in the event, held on the trails at the high school and run at night, under the lights. Thomas Beckum was the top finisher, completing the rugged 2.75-mile course in 14:48.20.

The Presque Isle Middle School girls track team included, from left, front row: Olivia Buster, Teagan Bryce, Hailey Bois, Nyah Langley, Mia Shaw, Davina Stevenson, Carrlyn Buck and Courtney Dockham. Second row: Presley Rideout, Lita Perkins, Bailey Davenport, Elizabeth Wing, Maddy Oakes, Kacie Marston, Hattie Cogswell and Cassidy Carlisle. Back row: Coach Brian Cronin, Kacie Fleming, Lucy Cheney, Raegan McCormick, Keira Tompkins, Maddy Wing, Charli Casavant, Neve Guerrette, Jayden Harvell, Hailey Himes and Coach Kim Wright.
(Courtesy of Presque Isle Middle School)

September

The cross country season was underway, but the number of students participating in the sport, at least for smaller schools, appeared to be down . Some schools were citing a decrease in the number of students interested in participating in the sport, while a lack of available coaches is also a reason for the decreased number of teams this season.

The Madawaska varsity boys soccer team shut out Fort Fairfield at home. The Owls strung together a decisive 10-0 victory following a loss to Fort Kent earlier in the week that broke their undefeated record. 

Noah Bernard had fond memories of his high school days as a golfer for the Fort Fairfield Tigers, especially with the success the team experienced. Now, the third-year coach of the Tigers is looking to bring those winning ways back.

The 19th Annual Alton McQuade Mars Hill Open was held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 14 and 15, at the Mars HillCountry Club. This event was sponsored by the Mars Hill Rotary Club. More than 100 players enjoyed the warm weather and beautiful scenery as they went around the course, renewing or making new friends even if they had to social distance. 

October

The Presque Isle High School boys and Houlton/Greater Houlton Christian Academy girls teams took top honors at the Aroostook League Championships at the Fort Kent Outdoor Center. The Presque Isle boys took home first place with a team score of 12 points, followed by Maine School of Science and Mathematics with 31. Houlton/Greater Houlton Christian Academy topped the girls teams with 13 points. The Fort Kent Community High School girls came in second with 35 points, followed by Presque Isle with 42.

The Washburn girls soccer team advanced to the next round of the playoffs following a 2-1 victory over East Grand in a Class D North “play-in” game. Both teams performed admirably, but No. 16 Washburn (2-12 overall) was able to break its string of losses, and came out on top with the victory. Washburn played No. 1 Wisdom (12- 2) in the preliminary playoffs with Wisdom winning 12-0.

The Easton boys varsity soccer team moved on in the Class D North playoffs following a 4-0 preliminary round victory against Fort Fairfield. No. 6 Easton (11-4 overall) traveled to No. 3 Van Buren (7-6-2) after the Crusaders defeated No. 14 Central Aroostook in a prelim contest.

The No. 5 Fort Fairfield girls advanced to the Class D North quarterfinals following a 7-0 victory over No. 12 Bangor Christian. The Tigers (11-3-1) advanced to the quarterfinals against No. 4 Madawaska (9-5).

Presque Isle’s Gavin Tawfall (left) passes to Quinn Demerchant (right) while defending against John Bapst’s Jack Derosier at a soccer game on Saturday. John Bapst won 2-1 (David DiMinno | The Star-Herald)

November

The Presque Isle boys varsity soccer team suffered its first and last defeat of the season after the No. 1 Wildcats fell 2-1 to the No. 4 John Bapst Crusaders in the Class B North semifinal. 

The third seed Ashland girls soccer moved on to the Class D semifinals with a victory over Southern Aroostook Wednesday. Ashland won 14-3. 

The Presque Isle Middle School girls’ cross country team won the Aroostook League Championship that took place at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Maggie Bell of Caribou was the Aroostook League girls champion and finished the 2-mile course with a time of 13:59. 

Emily Collins capped off a successful fall by capturing the U12 girls’ division at the Area I Elks Regional Soccer Shoot held at Fore Kicks Sports Complex Nov. 5.

The Maine Principals’ Association and several other state agencies released winter sports guidelines that strongly recommend that masks be worn by all students and staff –whether vaccinated or unvaccinated — in indoor settings for sports, music, performing arts and other school-based extracurricular activities this winter. The guidelines also continue to recommend vaccinations and pool testing, similar to language used during the fall sports season when volleyball was the lone indoor activity and mask use was recommended but not mandated.

December

After three years as the head coach of Presque Isle’s boys varsity soccer team, Tim McCue was selected as the Penobscot Valley Conference Class B boys soccer coach of the year. McCue had been coaching soccer for the last 18 years. He spent 15 years as an assistant coach, and the last three as the head coach for the Presque Isle boys varsity soccer team. This was the first time he has received this honor in his history of coaching. 

Boys Varsity Soccer coach Tim McCue, on the pitch congratulating his players (courtesy of Presque Isle High School Athletics Department)

It was another highly successful year for deer hunters in Maine.

Presque Isle High School varsity boys soccer goalkeeper Xavier McAtee received numerous accolades for his outstanding performance during the 2021 soccer season. Among the high school senior’s recognitions were being named All Aroostook, Northern State and All-New England athlete, nominated an All-American athlete and recipient of the Butch Shaw Award for soccer.

After focusing on experience last season, the Wildcats were hoping their focus on improvement would pay dividends this hockey season. Carl Flynn has been the hockey coach for the Wildcats for 17 years. He has also had experience coaching minor league hockey in Presque Isle, as well as coaching in Kingston, Ontario, Canada