Locally diverse Edmundston Eagles win downstate soccer championship, again
MADAWASKA, Maine — The Edmundston Eagles defended their championship at the 2018 Coastal Summer Challenge in Brunswick on June 17 with the local U12 and U10 soccer teams winning their divisions.
According to Shawn Querze, one of the Eagles coaches, this year’s teams were made up of very diverse groups of young athletes that came from Edmundston, New Brunswick, and all over northern Aroostook, including Madawaska, Frenchville, St Agatha, Fort Kent, and Fort Fairfield.
The teams, although a derivative of the Soccer Edmundston group, consisted of mostly American boys, but practiced across the border in Edmundston on the astroturf field. The teams are still competing in different tournaments as the summer continues, before school soccer begins in the fall.
The U10 team consists of 9 and 10 year olds, with nine boys on the team that plays 7 vs. 7. The U12 team has 11 and 12 year olds with 13 boys on the squad that plays 9 vs. 9.
The U10 team is smaller so that the youngsters can “have more touches and development,” according to Querze. The U10 squad won on penalty kicks at the end of a tie game. The U12 team had more 11 year olds than 12 year olds but also managed to win.
According to Querze, the teams began recruiting and training as soon as possible to prepare for the Coastal Summer Challenge, even holding more practices than originally planned. He also said that the athletes are a “really great group of kids, that work really hard as a team.”
The coach added that he believes this regional team provides a good indication of the possible future of area athletics should a proposal by three St. John Valley school districts to share a high school comes to fruition. The tri-district strategic plan involves School Administrative District 27, SAD 33 and the Madawaska School Department.
“This soccer team shows what you can get accomplished when they come together,” Querze said. ”I think if people can see how the kids come together, they will see how good [regional consolidation could] be for our communities.”