Editor’s Note: The following is the second of two articles highlighting some of the top sports stories from 2022. This article highlights events from July through December.
The pursuit of excellence in sports is a valued endeavor in the St. John Valley, most likely because the qualities necessary to achieve athletic success — persistence, determination, teamwork and a strong work ethic — are a source of pride for the people of northern Maine. This year saw soccer teams advance to the playoffs, golfers compete at states and residents of all ages participating in sports activities.
The Wisdom Middle/High School girls varsity basketball team won the UMFK Summer Classic tournament. The Summer Classic is held annually and provides an opportunity for the players to hone their skills and prepare for the upcoming season.
Young St. John Valley athletes participating in the Fort Kent Recreation and Parks department track and field program competed in the Pine Tree State Track and Field Games. The Fort Kent rec students included those from Fort Kent, Frenchville and Madawaska.
Wisdom Middle/High School took on four girls from Van Buren to form a combined soccer team. The joint effort worked to the benefit of both schools.
David Sheldrick III took first place in the Fort Kent International Muskie Derby with a 43 ½-inch, 20.03-pound muskie he hauled out of the St. John River on the third and final day of the tournament. The Muskie Derby was established 22 years ago to draw tourists to the greater Fort Kent area.
The Fort Kent recreation department hosted its first swim meet in 12 years.
More than two dozen kids competed at the Fort Kent town pool by age group in five events — freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and individual medley.
The Wisdom Middle/High School girls soccer team captured the 7 vs 7 High School Summer Soccer Tourney championship. Wisdom rolled through the preliminary portion of the tournament going undefeated with wins over Fort Kent 1 (5-1), Fort Kent 2 (3-1) and Ashland (3-1).
Wisdom athletes dug a trench to help provide electricity to a new snack shack to serve fans at their home games. The athletes did not have to be asked twice to chip in on the project.
The Fort Kent girls cross country team placed fourth at the Class C Regionals to qualify for the state championship competition. The Fort Kent boys did not have enough runners to qualify as a team, but did see its individual runners achieve success.
The Fort Kent golf team, which includes players from Madawaska, swung, chipped, pitched and putted their way into fourth place at the 2022 Class C championship.
Fort Kent shot a combined 359 and was the highest placing Aroostook County team in the competition.
A familiar face at Wisdom Middle/High School returned to coach the Pioneer boys basketball team. Nathan Boynton replaced previous Pioneers coach Dom Rossignol.
Madawaska striker Carsen Cyr kicked his 100th soccer goal on his home field during a quarterfinal match against Katahdin. Reaching the 100-goal milestone is a remarkable feat in the best of times, but was even more challenging for athletes whose seasons were interrupted or shortened by the pandemic.
The Madawaska Owls won the Class D North regional soccer championship in a 7-1 upset over Bangor Christian School. The Owls advanced to the state championship as a result of the win.
The Fort Kent Warrior boys defeated Washington Academy 2-1 to win the Class C North regional championship. The Warriors advanced to the state finals.
Several St. John Valley athletes were tapped for Butch Shaw awards. Each year, the Northern Maine Board of Approved Soccer Officials selects one boy and one girl from Classes B, C and D to receive the award. Award winners are outstanding soccer players, who exemplify the characteristics of respect and sportsmanship.
Valley recipients were Ethan Daigle of Fort, Kent Abbie Lerman of Wisdom and Carsen Cyr of Madawaska.
University of Maine at Fort Kent athletic director Carly Flowers became head coach of the Bengal men’s basketball team this season. Flowers was one of only three women in the United States to hold such a position.