BY GARY HAWKINS

Staff writer

Maranacook Community High School girls soccer coach Mike Morin grew up playing hockey and football.

“When I was in high soccer was not a big sport,” he said.

But Morin learned the sport through watching, reading and coaching at the sub-varsity level. He took over for long-time Black Bears coach Peter Poulin after Poulin resigned earlier this year and continued the school’s winning soccer tradition.

Playing five freshmen on a regular basis, Morin led Maranacook to a 10-4-3 record and a berth in the Western Maine Class B semifinals where the Black Bears lost to unbeaten Morse. For his efforts, Morin has been selected Kennebec Journal Girls Soccer Coach of the Year. Hall-Dale’s Guy Cousins and Monmouth’s Gary Trafton were also considered.

Morin, who is a self-employed land surveyor, took over the team this summer and got a chance to put some of his players in new positions and see how they’d react.

“There was a pretty good turnout,” Morin said. “I think the girls were more curious than anything else.”

Morin received his training as a coach at Erskine Academy where he coached the junior varsity girls and boys teams for a total of seven years. He was prepared for a varsity job by the time he reached Maranacook.

“He works really hard to be a student of the game,” Erskine boys coach Phil Hubbard said. “He researches things to make himself better. He works really hard to focus on the defensive game.”

The 5-4-1 formation the team employed reflected Morin’s emphasis on defense. The Black Bears created their offense by sending the outside halfbacks into the offensive zone when they had the ball.

“We stuck to it because the girls liked it,” Morin said.

It worked, too, as Maranacook outscored opponents 27-8 in the regular season. Morin also substituted freely which helped wear down the opposition.

“He used all the kids on his team,” Maranacook assistant coach Janet Wicks said. “He really gave the girls a lot of confidence. He allowed them to see what they had in them.”

The turning point in the season came early when the Black Bears tied a good Camden Hills team.

“My thought was after four or five games if we could be .500 we’d be doing pretty well,” Morin said. “To me that solidified the work we had done with the defense.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]


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