Fort Kent Community High School recognizes fall athletes
FORT KENT, Maine — Supporters of the Fort Kent Community High School Boy’s Soccer team recognized five outgoing seniors with giant framed print photos of themselves in uniform, during the Fall Sports Awards ceremony held at the high-school on Nov. 14.
The seniors, Dylan Bernier, Niko Naranja, Sam Johnson, Bennet Theriault and Brandon Thibeault are featured in action shots in each of the photos, which Tammy Delisle of Fort Kent captured and Liane Nadeau printed. Reminiscent of trading cards, each print includes the individual player’s name along with seasonal statistics from the boys’ 14-2-2 season during which they earned the Class C North Championship and were runner-ups in the Class C State Championship.
During Tuesday’s ceremony, Maine School Administrative District 27 Athletic Director Eric Werntgen asked all members of the boys team to stand and be recognized for the exciting soccer season they provided the community.
“The boys soccer team took us on quite a ride didn’t they? They lost a tough decision that could have gone either way,” he said, referring to the state championship game against Maranacook Community High School in Portland on Nov. 4. Fort Kent lost 1-0 on a goal scored in the last minute of play.
Werntgen also recognized eight Fort Kent soccer players from both the boys and girls teams who Aroostook County Coaches voted as All-Aroostook League Soccer Selections. The coaches chose Desirae Hafford, Cassidy Lovley and Mikayla Pelletier from the girls team and Camden Jandreau, Noah Martin, Niko Naranja, Eden Paradis and Austin Plourde from the boys.
Werntgen also pointed out that the Maine Soccer Coaches Association named Cassidy Lovley, Noah Martin, Eden Paradis and Niko Naranja to the girls and boys Class C All-Region teams.
Werntgen informed the crowd of supporters at the ceremony of another honor for Naranja.
The Northern Maine Board of Approved Soccer Officials selected Naranja as the Class C recipient of the 2017 Butch Shaw award, which is given to an outstanding soccer player who exemplifies the characteristics of respect and sportsmanship. The award is named after the late Clyde “Butch” Shaw, who was one of the earliest soccer officials in Aroostook County.
Fort Kent coaches also bestowed a variety of individual awards on their athletes during the ceremony.
Boys soccer coach Oniqueky Samuels, a former University of Maine at Fort Kent Bengal Men soccer standout, said the loss to Marnacook was was hard to take, but the Fort Kent boys earned his respect in the state championship game as well as throughout the season.
“Even though (Maranacook) had the edge, the Fort Kent boys battled minute after minute,” Samuels said. “A coach couldn’t have wanted anything better from their players. From day one, they showed up on time, and they showed up with the perfect attitude to learn.”
Samuels also thanked his staff of coaching assistants, former/current UMFK soccer players Jermaine West, Ricardo Whitely, Kalusha Kotes, Odean Irons, Rodney Witter, and Andre Anderson.
“If I didn’t have these people around me, no way these guys would have been so successful and the parents wouldn’t have had so much fun watching,” Samuels said. “Everybody — the players, staff, administration, the team, the parents — everybody gave 100 percent.”
Samuels gave coaches awards to Eden Paradis and Niko Naranja. He selected Bennet Theriault and Reece Pelletier as defensive players of the year and named Austin Plourde and Camden Jandreau as most valuable players. He also named Caleb Delisle most improved
and Noah Martin rookie of the year. He provided above and beyond awards to Sam Johnson and Dylan Bernier.
The Fort Kent girls soccer team also advanced to the postseason, falling 2-0 in a quarterfinal match against Central High School of Corinth.
“We had a challenging season but the girls rose to the challenge quite well,” said coach Robby Nadeau.
Nadeau selected senior captains Allie Daigle and Cassidy Lovley as coaches award recipients and named Lexi Lovley most improved. For the sub-varsity team, Samantha Roy won the coaches award and the most improved award was shared between Macy Bard and Sydney Philbrook.
Fort Kent cross country coach Vincent Malinauskas, in his first year coaching the sport, had positive things to say about his team.
“We saw a lot of improvements from the beginning to the end of the season, some students ran their best personal times at Northern Maine Regionals,” Malinauskas said. “Our team was always supportive of each other, cheering each other on as they ran, and congratulating each other as they finished the race.”
Malinauskas gave a coaches award to Isaac Robichaud and most improved awards to Mark Robichaud and Brice Carson.
“To the graduating seniors, I want to congratulate them on finishing their last season of cross country, as well as wishing them luck in their future plans wherever it may take them,” Malinauskas said.