As coaching carousel spins, five new leaders debut this springKnox, Waldo county coaches ready to guide teams to success
The high school spring sports coaching carousel has spun in Knox and Waldo counties, with five new varsity leaders looking to guide teams to prominence.
The following is a synopsis on each new coach:
The Mariner boys tennis team has a new coach in Shawn Dulac, who replaces Peter Pfister. Dulac is a French teacher at Oceanside High School and is new to the district in his first year teaching.
The 28-year-old Dulac graduated from Cony High School of Augusta in 2003 and graduated from the University of Maine in Orono in 2007 with a double major in French and secondary education. He played varsity tennis at Cony for three years and was president of the UMaine tennis club his last two years at Orono.
This is Dulac's second coaching position, as he coached Brewer two years prior to coming to Oceanside. The Witches had not won a team match in six years before Dulac came aboard and qualified for the playoffs in his second season.
"I could not and did not say no to this coaching opportunity," said Duac. "I am passionate about coaching and giving back to the community, so it is a win-win situation for me. Coaching these exceptional young men is the least I could [do] for the community. I just hope to earn and keep my students' and players' trust and to never let down anyone in Regional School Unit 13."
Oceanside finished 5-7 last season and 12th in Eastern Class B. The top 11 teams qualify for the postseason.
The Windjammer girls lacrosse team has a new coach in Amy Gertner, who replaces Steve Alex.
Alex held the post for one year, but was named the school's athletic director last summer and, thus, had to resign his position as coach.
The 27-year-old Gertner is a 2004 Camden Hills graduate and the librarian at Hope Elementary School, a position she has held two years. She earned her bachelor's degree in visual and performing arts at the University of Maine in Farmington and is working on her master's degree through Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass.
"I'm thrilled to be coaching the varsity girls at CHRHS," Gertner said. "I feel very honored to return as a graduate and give back to this program. It provided me with a real sense of community and the coaches I had made a huge influence on my life. I really believe in the sport of lacrosse and the way it can bring a large group of players together to communicate and work towards a common goal. It's all about problem solving as a team, and I hope I can be a strong leader this season for this group of girls."
The program could not have hoped for a more qualified coach than Gertner, who not only played on the first Windjammer girls lacrosse team in 2003, but was paramount in the process of building the program from the ground up.
"I fell in love with it for its speed, precision and gracefulness," said Gertner of the sport. "A good lacrosse player kind of reminds me of a strong dancer, someone who has incredible control and finesse. I loved it so much, [back in high school] I attended a few school board meetings requesting funds to aid the program to grow from a club to a varsity level sport."
She also started a lacrosse club at UMF during her freshman year of college and was an integral piece of that program as well, as the Beavers now offer lacrosse as a varsity sport.
Gertner recently has been a youth lacrosse coach at the Penobscot Bay YMCA.
The Windjammers finished 3-9 last season and did not qualify for the playoffs.
The Lion boys tennis team has a new coach in Keith Holland, who replaces Jenny Cameron, who coached the squad four seasons but has returned to graduate school.
Holland also is an assistant coach for the BAHS football and wrestling teams and is "excited to be diversifying as tennis coach."
Holland teaches social studies at the school.
"We have 12 members so far and from what I have seen, they are ready to take on [all] challengers in what I have been told is a very competitive league," Holland said.
The Lions went 8-4 last season and earned the No. 9 seed in Eastern Class B. Belfast fell to No. 8 Presque Isle 3-2 in a preliminary playoff match.
The coaching carousel spun extra hard for the Vikings this year, as a pair of fall coaches have replaced a pair of winter coaches for the SDHS spring sports season.
John Frye, who coaches the boys soccer team, has replaced Brad Cook as the school's baseball coach. Cook also coaches the boys basketball team.
Holly Cox, who coaches the girls soccer team, has replaced Mel Grant as the school's softball coach. Grant also coaches the girls basketball team.
Cook and Grant will continue to hold their respective boys and girls basketball positions at the school.
The Viking baseball team finished 2-16 last year and was 16th among 17 teams in Eastern Class C, while the Viking softball team finished 1-15 and was 15th among 17 teams in the region. Both SDHS diamond squads failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.