St. John Valley Sports in Review 2019
Editor’s Note: The following is the first of two articles highlighting some of the top sports stories from 2019. This article highlights events from January to June.
An abundance of powerful pins helped propel the Fort Kent Community High School Warrior Wrestling team to a 54-12 win over the Caribou Vikings in Fort Kent. Warriors Jaren Hartt, Reece Pelletier, Ian DuBois and Manny Pettengill pinned their Viking opponents during Fort Kent’s only home wrestling match of the season.
The Fort Kent Community High School boys and girls Alpine teams dominated on their way to victory in all four slalom races at the Aroostook League Alpine Ski Races at Lonesome Pine Trails. Nearly 70 athletes from Fort Kent Community High School, Wisdom Middle/High School, Madawaska High School, Caribou High School, Presque Isle High School, Central Aroostook High School and Greenville Middle/High School competed in the event. Two skiers from Wisdom and one from Madawaska trained with the Fort Kent team.
Hours before a big winter storm rolled into Aroostook County, 10 mushers geared up for the Irving Woodlands Eagle Lake 100 sled dog race. Martin Massicotte of St-Tite, Quebec, captured the victory with a time of 9 hours and 35 minutes.
A 3-year-old sled dog who went missing hours before the start of the 2019 Irving Woodlands Eagle Lake 100 sled dog race was reunited with her owner thanks to the help of volunteers. Quebec musher Gilles Harnois’ Siberian husky Kaisha took off before the races. Eagle Lake resident Roy Roalf volunteered his time and snowmobiles in the search for Kaisha and ultimately spotted the young dog and returned her to a relieved and thankful Harnois.
Madawaska High School senior Jenna Dugal scored her 1,000th point while the Owls took on the Wisdom Pioneers on the basketball court in St. Agatha. “My teammates were very helpful in getting me there, my coaches over the years, and just playing the game a lot,” Dugal said.
The Maine Principals Association awarded the Wisdom girls basketball team the 2018 Class D North Good Sportsmanship Award.The team entered the 2018-2019 regular season with the goal of winning at least one game, after two winless seasons. Despite the challenges they faced on the court, the Pioneers maintained positivity and perseverance and as a result found themselves headed to the playoffs.
In front of a packed audience of his family, friends and Warrior fans, Fort Kent Community High School senior Caleb Delisle reached a coveted milestone in high school basketball as he scored the 1,000th point of his career. Delisle entered the game against Madawaska 20 points shy of the scoring achievement. Delisle crossed the 1,000-point threshold with a shot he has made many times throughout his career — a fadeaway jumper.
The Maine Principals Association awarded the Fort Kent Community High School wrestling team the 2019 Class B North Good Sportsmanship Award. The wrestlers received their championship banner for sportsmanship while attending the Maine State Wrestling Tournament at Mattanawcook High School in Lincoln.
Rico Portalatin of Milo said weather conditions ahead of the Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Races had him concerned, but he was relieved and pleased when he encountered the trail conditions while competing in the Willard Jalbert Jr. Can-Am Crown 100. Portalatin went on to win the race. Meanwhile, veteran musher Martin Massicotte, 50, of St.-Tite, Quebec, won a record 10th Can-Am Crown 250-mile sled dog race, defeating his good friend Andre Longchamps, 48, of Pont-Rouge, Quebec.
Winter All-Aroostook teams were selected by the Aroostook League for basketball, Nordic skiing and alpine skiing.
Caleb Delisle, Camden Jandreau and Jace Rocheleau of Fort Kent were named for boys basketball, as were Tristan Cyr of Madawaska, Luc Perreault of Van Buren and Mason Sirois of Wisdom.
Girls basketball all-stars were Desirae Hafford of Fort Kent, Jenna Dugal and Brianne Thibeault of Madawaska, Leah Gendreau of Van Buren and Alyssa Banville of Wisdom.
Nordic all-stars boys were Sam Albert, Cole Bennett, Dylan Hebert, Miguel Sanclemente and Colby Theriault of Fort Kenet, Matt Cyr, Dominic Lagasse, Ryan Levesque, Justin Pelletier and Brandon Ringuette of Madawaska.
Nordic girl recipients were Mya Eno and Nancy Martin of Fort Kent, and Isabelle Jandreau, Donna Morin and Emma Pelletier of Madawaska.
Alpine all-star boys from Fort Kent were Josh Deprey, Devin Gagnon, Bryce Madore, Austin Plourde and Griffin Sibley. Pierre Hickey of Madawaska and Jake Roy and Sam Roy of Wisdom were also named all-stars.
Fort Kent girls Morgan Cyr, Kailee Guimond, Sylvie Guimond , Kate Lamarre, Isabelle Lozier, Lindsay Ouellette, Elly Sirois and Mallory Sirois all also received all star honors for alpine skiing.
Fort Kent’s Alexis Lovley and Riley Sibley were named Alpine/Nordic all stars.
Two St. John Valley softball teams joined forces to create one stronger, unified team with the merging of Wisdom and Madawaska players, due to decreased enrollment at both schools. The Maine Principals Association approved the merger resulting in what is now listed as the Madawaska/Wisdom Owls Softball Team.
Two former University of Maine at Fort Kent athletes were members of a team that won third place in a national basketball tournament in Thailand’s Basketball Super League, the country’s professional basketball organization. Thomas Enerva and Bobby Syvanthong, both of whom graduated from University of Maine at Fort Kent, played on team Luang Prabang, representing the country of Laos against seven other professional Asian teams including three from Thailand, two from The Philippines and one each from Malaysia and Singapore.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent track and field program concluded its inaugural season at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Invitational in Burlington, Vermont. The University of Maine at Fort Kent men finished third out of eight teams while the women finished sixth out of eight teams in rain-soaked conditions on the University of Vermont campus. The Bengals took home the gold in seven events.
Firefighters and law enforcement officers teamed up for a charity basketball game to raise funds to combat domestic violence. The event raised $1,100 dollars for the Hope and Justice Project, a non-profit organization that provides community education about domestic violence and offers support services for those who are affected by it in Aroostook County.
Athlete Lacy Pelletier broke her own Fort Kent Community High School high-jump record during a track and field meet in Caribou. Pelletier cleared the bar with a five-foot, two-inch jump that bested her freshman record by two inches.
When an annual Special Olympics event was canceled in Aroostook County, Fort Kent Elementary School special education teacher Iris Guimond took matters into her own hands on behalf of her students. Guimond organized a Special Athletic Contest in Fort Kent so that St. John Valley athletes could still have their day to shine. Guimond and her supporters arranged for Valley athletes from Northern Maine General, St. John Valley Associates, Fort Kent Community High School and Fort Kent Elementary School to participate in the event.
A team effort by the Fort Kent Community High School Warriors varsity baseball team, including 13 base hits among six players, resulted in a one-run win over Central High School of East Corinth in a Class C North Semifinal game in Fort Kent, June 8. The Warriors 9-8 victory secured the team a berth in the Class C North Regional Championship.
A Florida bicyclist completed a nearly 2,400-mile journey to America’s “first mile” from Key West, Florida. Robert Bryant embarked on the journey on the longest north-south stretch of road in the country to raise funds for cancer research.
Trystan Rioux, 13, caught a muskie well over half his own height during his first-ever trout fishing expedition at Fish River Falls. The New Canada youngster said he used “a night crawler and a small hook because we were fishing trout.” Instead of a trout, Rioux reeled in a 40-inch muskie, the biggest fish the young angler had caught to date.