A Decade to Remember – Ten Years of Golden Proportions

A look back across the ups and downs of the past decade in Presque Isle High School sports

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A Decade to Remember – Ten Years of Golden Proportions

PIHS varsity athletes celebrate respective state championships over the last decade.

PIHS varsity athletes celebrate respective state championships over the last decade.

John Ewing Portland Press Herald (right)

PIHS varsity athletes celebrate respective state championships over the last decade.

John Ewing Portland Press Herald (right)

John Ewing Portland Press Herald (right)

PIHS varsity athletes celebrate respective state championships over the last decade.

Cameron Levasseur, Staff Writer

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Story updated on 1/2/20

For both athletes and fans of Presque Isle High School athletics, it’s been quite the decade.  We’ve seen our fair share of highs and lows, the triumphs and upsets that define our culture as a school as well as the late game collapses and questionable losses we would like nothing more than to put in the past.

The success we experienced in these last ten years is enormous: contending for titles in nearly every sport with skilled athletes and exceptional coaching, but also a work ethic second to none that comes with the territory. As former varsity boys soccer coach Joe Greaves told the Bangor Daily News following last year’s boys soccer state championship victory over Freeport, “We’re not necessarily the most skilled players in the state, but heart, grit, determination and The County way goes a long way.” Here’s how each individual team has done over the last ten years:

 

Boys Soccer: 

The boys soccer program has excelled over the course of the last decade, primarily with the aforementioned Coach Greaves at the helm. They not only succeeded in making the playoffs all ten years, but were top four in Class B North nine of those years, the only outlier being a fifth place finish in 2012. They boasted thirteen playoff wins over this span, including a trip to the Eastern (now Northern) Maine regional championship in 2011, where they fell 1-0 to Camden Hills. The culminating season for the Wildcats in this decade however, would come in the 2018 season. Following a disappointing end the year prior with a quarterfinal loss to Erskine Academy after entering the playoffs as the number one seed, they came in on fire the next year, ready to avenge themselves for the failings of the season previous. And avenge they did, finishing the regular season with a 11-1-2 record, the boys began their playoff run at the top of their game, blanking Old Town and Brewer in the quarter and semifinals respectively by a combined score of 10-0 before moving on to face Washington Academy in the regional championship game. They would come to beat the Raiders by a great defensive effort in the second half after senior Drew Cameron scored the game winner a little over two minutes after the break concluded. In the state championship game, nearly ten years to the day of our school’s last appearance in the game, the playoff run came to a nail biting end. After falling behind by two goals with 35 minutes still left on the clock, things finally began to click for the Wildcats, two minutes following that goal, before the game had even reached ten minutes remaining, it was a tie ball game. Thirty-three minutes and a preemptive celebration later the game finally came to a close once again off the foot of Drew Cameron. Securing the East/North’s first state championship win in 24 years in dramatic fashion. In terms of individual awards, Jonah Hudson was the only player to be named all-region (New England) in the decade, while six players, including forward Ben Nickerson who received the honor twice, were named to the Eastern/Northern Maine state team.

Girls Soccer: 

On the girls side, the past ten years have been both successful and frustrating, coming into 2010, the team had only qualified for the state championship game once in its history, two years prior in 2008 where they fell to Falmouth. This half of the time since the new millennium began saw the girls reach this point an additional three times, including two berths in back to back years. They qualified for the playoffs in all ten years as well, placing atop Class B East/North three times in that span. Of those ten playoff appearances, nine were trips to semifinals or above, reaching the regional championship game five times and winning three of those as previously stated. Unfortunately, all three appearances in the state game resulted in losses to their counterpart from the south. During the 2018 season there was a first for our school, Madison Michaud, a senior striker, scored her 100th career goal in a win over Foxcroft Academy to become only the nineteenth girls soccer player in state history to achieve the feat. At the end of the season with 122 career goals to her name, Michaud sat in fifth all time in the state for goals scored (since she has been bumped down to eighth). That same season she also received All-American and All-Region (for the second time) nominations, as well as becoming the first Wildcat since Katie DeLong in 2005 to be named Class B player of the year. Joining Michaud (three times) as members of the Eastern/Northern Maine State team were Hannah Graham (twice), Chandler Guerrette, Karlee Bernier, Chealsea Nickerson (twice) and Kayla Richards (twice). 

 

Boys Cross Country: 

The boys cross country program faced various ups and downs over the course of the 2010s, but when it came to crunch time, they produced. Over ten seasons they qualified for the Class B State Championship meet seven times, and of the three times they failed to reach the event, and individual from the team was top 25 in the regional meet twice, qualifying that singular runner for states. The team’s highest placement came in 2013, when they landed squarely in the tenth of the fifteen Class B teams that qualified, coming off of a fourth place finish in regionals that saw the newly appointed coach of the team, Saul Nunez, finish 14th. Three runners placed within the top 25 at the State Championships over the ten years, Matt Eager (twice, 2010 – twenty fifth place, 2011 – sixth place), Jason Bartley (2015 – twenty second) and Max Bartley (2017 – sixteenth). The sixth place finish by Eager in 2011 landed him a spot in the New England Championships, which he placed 112 out of 275 runners.

 

Girls Cross Country: 

Much like the boys team, success for girls country at Presque Isle High School over the past ten years has ebbed and flowed. The team qualified for the Class B State meet a total of six times, placing tenth at best, which occurred three of the six years. Of the four years of non qualification, three runners qualified as individuals, Isabelle Jackson and Madison Jandreau both in 2016, as well as Anna Jandreau in 2019. The latter Jandreau finished fourth for Class B in that particular state championship meet, less than a second off qualifying for the New England Championships after taking home the win in Regionals and being named PVC (Penobscot Valley Conference) Runner of the Year. Over the decade, four runners landed within the top 25 at the State Championship meet, Alecia Palmer (2010 – seventh), Mandy Graham (2015 – twelfth), Madison Jandreau (twice, 2017 – fourteenth, 2018 – nineteenth) and Anna Jandreau (2019 – fourth). Two (Palmer and Graham) qualified for New Englands.

 

Golf: 

Golf has had quite an interesting existence at Presque Isle over the last decade. It has experienced massive individual success but also massive changes. Over these ten seasons the Wildcats have had a total of six coaches, one of which being Caribou’s Marc Weeks, who coached the team for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, as the two schools combined to form the “Carlisle” golf team because of low numbers. The team saw success early after the 2010s began, finishing third the Class B State Championships in  2011. As individuals, Presque Isle began its most successful stretch in the history of its golf program, seeing 2015 graduate Jenna Hallett tie for first in the State Championship meet in 2013, and then tie for second with the same opponent the following season. Other individual state qualifiers in the following years include Hunter Flynn (2015, 2016), Libby Boone (2017, 2018), and Ian Mackinnon (2019).

 

Boys Basketball:

While not experiencing the same level of success as their counterparts on the girls side, the boys basketball team has seen their share of winning seasons since the 2010-11 season began. They have made the playoffs eight of the ten years, the only two shortcomings occurring in back to back campaigns (14-15 and 15-16), and have been ranked within the top five teams in Class B East/North five of those eight years. The team’s two best seasons of the decade came in 12-13 and 17-18. In the 2013 season, led by six foot five big men Bradley Shields and Tyler Brooks, the Wildcats secured a second place finish in the East and defeated the Purple Panthers of Waterville in the quarterfinals before falling to MDI in the semis. In 2018, the boys once again obtained a preliminary bye with a third place finish in the renamed Class B North division. The team’s top scorer was senior guard Griffin Guerrette, who averaged nearly 30 points a game  that season, becoming the only male basketball player at Presque Isle in the decade to reach the 1000 point mark. Under Guerrette’s offensive prowess, the Wildcats reached the semifinals for the third time in the ten years, and for the third time, their title dreams ended at the hands of the MDI Trojans. 

 

Girls Basketball: 

The people of Presque Isle, and more so Aroostook county at large, have a wild aptitude for the sport of basketball, especially when a team has built a sustained culture of success, as our girls have done over the last decade. Coming into the 09-10 season, they were four years departed from from the team’s 2006 state championship appearance, which ended in celebration with a 48-36 win over the soon to become all-too familiar Lake Region Lakers. It was a sign of what was to come when the Wildcats entered the tournament in February of 2010 with a 17-1 record and the number one seed in Class B North. They would ultimately fall to Nokomis in the Semifinals, but not before they managed to knock out Waterville, the back to back to back Class B State Champion in decisive fashion, getting 25 of the team’s 52 points from freshman Chandler Guerrette. The next season, the girls came in again as the number one seed, but once again fell to the Warriors of Nokomis in the semifinals. 2011-12 was the start of something special: entering the postseason, the team had yet to lose a game, outscoring their opponents by a combined margin of 1,248-534. This trend continued in playoffs, as they trounced John Bapst and Gardiner in the first two games of the tournament, before getting their revenge on Nokomis in the Eastern Maine Championship, taking home the regional crown by a score of 52-40. In the state game, the Wildcats once again faced Lake Region, and for the second time, left the building with a gold ball, winning the back and forth contest by a mere two points. The following year, the winning ways continued, as for the second straight season, they finished with a perfect 22-0 record, securing wins over Ellsworth, MDI and Nokomis en route to another bout with the Naples based Lake Region squad. Now senior and member of the 1000 point club Chandler Guerrette scored 33 of her team’s 51 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter to bring home a third state championship. In 2013-14, for the fifth time in the first five seasons of the decade our girls saw the court in Bangor as the number one team in the east, once again undefeated in the regular season. They would face Gardiner and Foxcroft in the opening rounds before meeting the MDI Trojans in the regional finals. This game would ultimately be the end of what can be considered one of the most impressive feats accomplished by a Presque Isle High School athlete or team, a 64 game win streak that began in December of 2011 and stretched into February of 2014. While their streak may have come to an end, their reign over the East was not. Led by newly and soon to be endowed 1000 point scorers Hannah Graham and Krystal Kingsbury, the team entered the playoffs as the number two seed, second only to MDI, whom had handed our Wildcats their only two losses of the season up to this point. After clinching a berth in the regional final once again, they unexpectedly found themselves facing the ninth seeded Tigers of Gardiner High School. After taking care of the below .500 Tigers in a 47-24 blowout, our girls were back in the State Championship game for the third time in four years, this time greeted by a new opponent, the Greely Rangers. They would fall to the Rangers in that game, capping off four years of dominance just shy of yet another title. The next two seasons would see the Wildcats take a step back, while being seeded third and second respectively within them, they would  fail to make it past the semifinals both years. 2018 however, was a different story, beginning their playoff run as the fifth seed, their lowest ranking of the decade so far, they outlasted the fourth seeded MCI in overtime to advance to the semifinals, where Emily Wheaton, the latest Wildcat 1000 point scorer, scored 36 points in an upset win over the top ranked Hermon Hawks. In the Northern Maine Championship, their season came to a close, losing a 43-39 battle against the eventual state champion in Winslow. The future looks bright for the Lady Wildcats, who, despite falling in the quarterfinals last season, have plenty of talent within their ranks, and could look to make another championship run soon.

Hockey:

Under the guidance of now fifteenth year head coach Carl Flynn, the Presque Isle hockey team made the playoffs eight of the ten seasons in this past decade, advancing past the quarterfinals in six of those years, and going to the Eastern/Northern Maine Championship three times. The most dated of these appearances came in the 2009-10 season, where the 14-4 Wildcats, lead by Brennen Shaw, the team’s all-time leading point scorer and 2019 PIHS Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, earned a berth in the game with a semifinal win over Winslow, but had their season ended by Brewer shortly thereafter. After the graduation of Shaw, the team fell to the fifth spot in B East and would suffer a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss in the quarterfinals at the hands of Lawrence. The next two seasons would see back to back semi final appearances, but they were out scored by a combined margin of 13-1 in those games and thus failed to advance. Those seasons would also see three new names added to the 100 point club, as Isaac Lajoie, Connor Shaw and Adam Flynn all achieved the feat in that time frame. The second of the three Regional Championship appearances came the very next season, when as the second seed in their division following the conclusion of the regular season, the team earned a quarterfinal bye and went on to face Waterville in the semis, where they rode a 5-4 victory to a championship game in which they fell by a lopsided margin to the eventual state champion Messalonskee Eagles. Seeing individual success over the 2013-14 campaign mentioned above was Senior forward and current Presque Isle police officer Tyler Seeley, with 30 goals and 24 assists, he not only broke the 50 point plateau for the season, but also 100 points for his career. Junior Alex Michaud, a linemate of Seeley’s also reached the mark in that season. The next three years the team went on a downward spiral, they failed to reach the postseason in both the 2014-15 and 15-16 seasons, and when they finally made it back to playoff status in 2017, our Wildcats were served a 9-0 quarterfinal loss to Brewer. The 2018 season saw an influx of youth come into the program, the top six forwards (first two lines) and top four defensemen (top two pairings), featured one senior, four juniors, two sophomores, and three freshmen. Against all odds, the young team succeeded, finishing the regular season 12-6 and earning a chance to play for the Class B North crown. They would lose that matchup against the co-op Old Town – Orono squad, but it set the stage for the following season, where, led by 100 point scorers Thomas Patenaude and Jake Stevens, the Wildcats very nearly saw a regional championship rematch, but ultimately fell to Waterville/Winslow in overtime in the semifinals due to a controversial call. They look to be contending for a state title for several years to come.

 

Skiing: 

Over the course of these past ten seasons, Presque Isle High School has put forth teams in both the alpine and nordic state championships nine times. The only outlier for both styles came in 2016-17, where the alpine team had no skiers compete and nordic only had one. In girls alpine, there has only been one skier to place in the top ten in either Slalom or Giant Slalom (gates the competitors ski between are placed farther apart), Chelsey Carroll placed ninth in Giant Slalom in the 2012 competition. On the boys side, there have been two top ten finishers in either competition at the state level, Bryce Smith placed fifth in Giant Slalom in 2014, fourth in its smaller counterpart the following year, and that same season became the Class B State Champion in Giant Slalom. Teammate Nick Bartlett came in two places behind Smith in 2013, finishing as the third place skier for Class B Giant Slalom. In terms of cross country or nordic skiing, Isabelle Jackson was the only female Presque Isle athlete to finish in the top ten of a state event, coming in tenth in freestyle in 2016, seventh in classical in 2018, third in freestyle in 2018 and fifth in pursuit that same year. Jesse Rochester was the first boys cross country skier to make some noise in the decade, placing eighth in freestyle in 2011 state championships. He was followed in 2015 by Noah Rossignal, who placed fifth in the classical race, and later by Max Bartley. Bartley finished eighth in classical in 2016, fifth in the skate race that same year, sixth in freestyle in 2017 and in his senior season in 2018, placed third in freestyle, second in pursuit, and became the Class B State Champion in the classical race.

 

Cheering:

Complete competition records from the past decade could not be found for our Wildcat cheering squad, but from what could be found, they took home four Aroostook League Titles (2010, 2014, 2015, 2019), and appeared in the State Competition five times (2011, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019).

 

Baseball:

The 2010’s were admittedly a rocky decade for our baseball program. While our boys qualified for the playoffs in nine out of ten years, they also only won a single playoff game in that entire span, a 6-3 preliminary victory over the seventh seeded Gardiner in 2017. Seeding wise, their best season came in the spring of 2012 when they went a remarkable 15-1 during the regular season and earned the first seed in Class B East before their season came to a screeching halt in the quarterfinal round at the hands of the Camden Hills Windjammers. That season was the second to last in the legendary twenty-eight year career of head coach Tim Olore, who incidentally was named the Class B PVC (Penobscot Valley Conference) Coach of the Year that season. 

 

Softball: 

Looking back over the accomplishments of our Wildcat Softball team over the last decade, they are nothing if not consistent. Seven playoff berths in ten years, the last six under current head coach Terry Cummings, that includes a stretch of three straight years from 2014 to 2016 where the team made it into the playoffs as the eighth seed, defeated their preliminary opponent easily, and then fell to number one seed in Class B East. Those would prove to be the team’s only playoff wins of the span, as they were defeated by higher seeds in the preliminary round the other four years. 

 

Track & Field:

The sport of Track and Field is quite unique when compared to other sports offered here at Presque Isle High School. It features the largest team of all sports because of the distinctive opportunities it provides. It’s not specifically tailor made for a specific kind or build of athlete but rather allows athletes to showcase what their best at whether it be sprinting, hurdling, long distance, jumping, or throwing. And over the last ten years, our school has experienced a little bit of greatness in all categories. While neither the girls nor boys team won a team state championship, we did have individual state champions in two events, both in 2019. With a time of twenty three point four four seconds, senior Trace Cyr took home the gold in the 200 meter dash, beating out Taylor Bielecki of Waterville by zero point two seconds. Cyr also finished in second place in the four hundred meter dash, which no doubt gave our Wildcats the edge in our other state crown that season, in the four by four hundred meter relay, where he, senior Drew Cameron, sophomore Conner Michaud, and senior Kyler Caron ran a winning time of three minutes and thirty five point one seven seconds, over a whole second faster than the second place Cony High School. Another member of that medal winning relay team, Conner Michaud, placed third in the three hundred meter hurdles and went on to compete along with Cyr in the New England Championships held at Thornton Academy in Scarborough. The last Wildcat girl to come close to an individual state title was 2017 graduate Tori Koch. Koch would place third in Class B the 100 meter dash in 2015, and then two years later during her senior season, finish fourth in high jump, third in triple jump and second in the four hundred meter dash with a time of one minute, zero point zero five seconds. On the throwing side of things, 2016 hard Regan Nelson was the only Wildcat from either team to place top five in any throwing event, placing fifth in discus and third in shot put in 2015.


Boys Tennis:

The greatest amount of success experienced by our boys tennis team came to begin the decade, prior to 2012 season the field for the Class B Tennis tournament had yet to include a preliminary round. This gave greater opportunity for our athletes to make it further in the playoffs and so they did, their only semifinal and Eastern/Northern Maine Championship appearances coming in those two years. Both losses, to Camden Hills and Ellsworth respectively, ended with a final result of three matches to two. The Wildcats would make to back to the playoffs in seven of the next eight seasons, but would fail to make it past preliminaries after the 2015 season. With the graduation of senior standouts Andre Daigle and Mason Young this past season, the team will look to their youth to help carry them into the future.

 

Girls Tennis:

Our girls tennis team has enjoyed a moderate amount of success since the 2010 season began, reaching the postseason in all but one season (2011). Their highest seeding in Class B East/North came in 2013, where they finished the regular season in the fifth position in the division and earned a bye into the quarterfinals, where they fell to Caribou. This would be a theme for the Wildcats, as they would lose in the quarterfinals in five of their nine playoff appearances, never making into the semifinals. Entering the next decade with a mixture of experienced seniors and  underclassmen, the group should make it back into the playoffs for many years to come, hopefully extending their current streak of eight seasons far into the future. 

As we head into the next era in the history of Presque Isle High School sports, we hope the success of the past sustains into the future. Our programs strive to achieve more than they ever have before, athletes and coaches work together to meet their goals. By combining talent and preparation, and of course that Aroostook  County work ethic, the Wildcats will look for victory in every game, match, or competition.

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