Todd Pelton moved back to Maine and, “on a whim,” applied for the coaching vacancy at Nokomis Regional High School.

“Coming into it as a first-year coach back in Maine with these girls, I had no expectations,” said Pelton, who grew up in Hermon and moved back from Michigan. “They didn’t know me, I didn’t know them. Everything we were doing was new and fresh. They either had to buy into it and go along for the ride.”

Clearly the Warriors bought in: Nokomis went 8-3-3 and made an appearance in the Class B North quarterfinals, at one point enjoying a nine-game unbeaten streak. For his efforts, Pelton has been selected as the Morning Sentinel Girls Soccer Coach of the Year.

Nokomis lost only four games all season, including the playoffs. Three of those defeats came to eventual regional champion Waterville.

“I did not know one kid on that team (before the season),” Pelton said. “Soccer’s not the biggest thing in the Newport area, so I’m not walking into a Waterville or a Hermon or another gift-wrapped job. We talked all season about changing the culture.

“These were kids that were only playing soccer from August to October, and we’re trying to change that. That’s what’s exciting. We’re new, but we’re going to be around.”

On several occasions, Nokomis was able to overcome halftime deficits. And aside from a 3-2 win at Maranacook under the lights in the middle of the season, there was no defining moment for the Warriors.

Instead, the team simply continued to take steps forward.

“There was no defined point in the season where I thought we were outplaying ourselves, but we definitely went on a great run. … We were only two games from finishing fourth or fifth (in the standings). Had we beaten Winslow, had we beaten Gardiner, instead of tying those teams, we could have been in fourth and had a home game in the quarterfinals.

“The results are the results. We’re not not getting points, and that was the key for us.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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