Aaron Wolfe was the new head baseball coach at Winslow High School this spring, but he wasn’t new to the Black Raiders. Wolfe had been an assistant coach under Jesse LaCasse for a few seasons, and last fall completed his third season as Winslow head boys soccer coach. That made the transition easier.

“Being a varsity coach in another sport helps,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe’s Black Raiders continued to improve throughout the season, winning six of their final seven regular season games, then making a run to the Eastern Class B championshiup game, including a win over previously undefeated Old Town in the regional semifinals.

For his work with Winslow, Aaron Wolfe is the Morning Sentinel Baseball Coach of the Year. Also considered were Jeff Larochelle, who coached Rangeley to the Western Class D playoffs in the team’s first season back after a two-year hiatus, and Waterville coach Don Sawyer, whose Purple Panthers went 8-1 down the stretch and reached the Eastern Class B quarterfinals.

Wolfe also was named Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B Central Division Coach of the Year. For the players, having a coach they with whom they were familiar was important.

“He knows both games pretty well. He knows how to teach both games,” Alex Berard, who played both baseball and soccer for Wolfe, said. “He already knew all the kids. We went along with the flow. It went pretty smoothly.”

Ben Smith, also a member of Winslow’s baseball and soccer teams, described Wolfe as a good combination of laid back and intense.

“He’s pretty soft-spoken, but he makes guys work hard. He pushes guys,” Smith said.

Wolfe felt he became more comfortable as the season moved along, and with that, came improvement.

“As the season went on, I felt I had a better plan on how to do things, like in game situations. ‘If this happens, this is what I’ll do,'” Wolfe said.

Under Wolfe, the Black Raiders played an aggressive style of offense, averaging just over five stolen bases per game on the way to scoring 149 runs in the regular season. When errors cost the Black Raiders a few games early in the season, Wolfe made defense a priority, and that’s where he saw the team improve the most over the course of the season. The Black Raiders commited no errors in either their regional semifinal win over Old Town, or the regional championship game.

“He told us to relax. We knew we were a good defensive team. We were just overthinking it,” Smith said.

While Winslow lost five starters to graduation, Wolfe thinks the future looks good. The Black Raiders will return their top two starting pitchers, Jake Trask and Nate Gagnon, who became a key pitcher when Dylan Hapworth was limited to just two relief appearances.

“We felt like Nate was someone who could help the varsity,” Wolfe said. “With Dylan not being able to pitch, Nate got an opportunity, and that mat have helped us in the long run.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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