AUGUSTA — After five consecutive tournament appearances, Craig Knight is stepping away.

The longtime Carrabec High School softball coach resigned after 10 years with the program. Knight made the announcement after the senior all-star games last week at Cony Family Field.

“I discussed 10 years ago with the school, I said I would be here for 10 years if they wanted me,” Knight said. “I’ve reached most of my goals. It’s just time for me to go.”

Carrabec athletic director Nate Stubbert said a replacement search is ongoing.

“No replacement yet,” he said. “(We) probably won’t have one until just before the season starts.”

The Cobras went 11-5 and earned the No. 4 seed in the Class C South regional tournament this season, where they were ousted for the second straight season by Lisbon. But Carrabec returns a strong team next season, with Mountain Valley Conference player of the year Bailey Dunphy and three-year starting pitcher Samantha LeBeau back for their senior seasons.

Knight said it wasn’t easy to walk away with the promise of another successful season looming, but he added that he’s thrilled to leave the program in good shape for his successor.

“We’ve got a very good team here, but the one thing I always said I was going to do was I was going to leave the program better than when I started with it,” Knight said. “For a new coach coming in, he or she couldn’t ask for any better team right there.”

The announcement isn’t a surprise to those within the softball program at Carrabec. The players on the team knew this would be Knight’s last season even before it began.

“The school knows. Actually, my players knew at the beginning of the season,” Knight said. “The school kind of acted like, ‘Nah, he’s not going to. He’s just talking.’ But it’s true. It’s time.”

The Cobras hosted home playoff games in each of the last two seasons. In the their three playoff appearances prior to that, they were never seeded lower than eighth.

Under Knight, Carrabec won three playoff games — all of them preliminary round games — but never advanced out of the regional quarterfinals.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

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Twitter; @TBarrettGWC