Andy Haskell hit the ground running after he was hired to coach the Hall-Dale High School boys soccer team.

Not only did he jump into the summer program, where playing games is paramount, he also got the team to show up an hour early for those sessions to work on skills, drills and learning his system.

With a wealth of coaching experience on his resume and a job as a fitness specialist, Haskell appeared the ideal candidate to take the program to the next level. He was, as the Bulldogs posted a 13-2-1 record and won the Mountain Valley Conference championship. They later took eventual Class C state champion Waynflete to penalty kicks before losing 1-0 in the Western Maine semifinals.

For his efforts, Haskell has been named Kennebec Journal Boys Soccer Coach of the Year. Maranacook coach Don Beckwith also was considered.

Haskell played soccer at Mt. Ararat High School and Lake Forest College and later served as an assistant coach at both schools. He later was head men’s and women’s coach at Ripon College, the women’s coach for four years at Thomas College and the men’s and women’s coach at Hebron. He took the 2010 season off and officiated the game for a year.

“I was able to see different coaches and how they play,” he said.

As a fitness specialist at MaineGeneral’s wellness department, Haskell designs and implements conditioning programs.

“That’s always been my forte,” he said, “the conditioning component.”

Haskell devoted two practices each week solely to conditioning. It paid off well as the Bulldogs, who had a deep bench to begin with, wore down many of their opponents during the season and the playoffs.

“He wanted us to be the most fit team in the league,” senior midfielder Ben Crocker said. “Our conditioning was a key point to our game.”

Sound conditioning didn’t come at the expense of strategy. Haskell had a play for every situation and mixed his formations and personnel throughout each game.

“In different situations he would change it up,” Crocker said. “He was brilliant with that.”

Haskell inherited a solid team and credited former coach Steve Acedo and current assistant Bob Sinclair with preparation. They graduate five seniors but return a solid nucleus.

“He just knows the game of soccer,” Crocker said. “Hall-Dale is going to be really good in the future.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.