Madawaska girls, Fort Kent boys, still standing in soccer playoffs

Two St. John Valley high-school soccer teams are still standing heading into the semifinal round of the Maine High-School soccer playoffs.

The Madawaska Lady Owls, the fourth seed in the Class D North division, will take on top seeded Penobscot Valley High School of Howland on Friday, Oct. 27, in Hampden.

The Fort Kent Warrior boys, ranked first in Class C North, await the winner of the Houlton at Dexter game, which also is scheduled for Friday. The Warriors will battle the winning team at Fort Kent Community High School on Monday Oct. 30.

Coaches for both the Warriors and Owls said they are proud of their athletes’ accomplishments in advancing to this level of postseason play.

Oniqueky Samuels, a former defender on the University of Maine at Fort Kent Bengal men’s soccer team, is in his rookie year as head coach of the Warriors and attributes his team’s success to the players.  

“It’s all hard work. It’s the players,” said Samuels. “They’ve exhibited discipline, they’ve exhibited hard work. They’ve shown that they are committed and willing to go above and beyond. I’ve given them instructions to do at home in their own time and they do it. They are fully committed; that’s why they are so successful now.”

He added that while the team is exactly where it is supposed to be, “the boys definitely surpassed my expectations for sure. I am quite happy with that.”

Tom Gerard, is completing his second season as head coach of the Owls, although he has been involved in coaching the sport for 13 seasons. He also teaches health and physical education at Madawaska Middle/High School.

Gerard said that, win or lose, he is proud of what his team has accomplished this year.

“I think we’ve had a great season, no matter what happens down the road. It’s been a fun season with a lot of laughs and good memories being made…’s more than a game,” he said.

Nevertheless, Gerard is hoping his team will defeat the Howlers and advance to the regional finals and ultimately the state championship.

“We wish our neighbors in Fort Kent good luck in their quest for a gold ball also,” he said.

The Owls take on Penobscot Valley at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct, 27, at Hampden Academy.

The Warriors will meet the winner of the Dexter/Houlton game at an as yet to be determined time on Monday, Oct. 30 at Fort Kent Community High School.

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