High school cross country

Medomak Valley distance athletes, coaches best sports

Panthers earn two MPA Class B North Good Sportsmanship banners
By Staff | Oct 28, 2016
Courtesy of: Norma Hunt The 2016 Medomak Valley High School cross-country program includes, front from left, Serena Blasius, Edwin Stone, Jonah Marks and Nicole Simmons; and back, assistant coach Jeremiah Golding and Elizabeth Bianchi, Drew Bubar, Isaiah Potter, Tyler Bowman, assistant coach Arla Casselman and head coach George Gould.

Waldoboro — The Medomak Valley High School cross-country program, under the guidance and direction of veteran coach George Gould, has experienced considerable success on team and individual levels. This fall, the Panthers have doubled-down on both.

That is because the Panther girls and boys squads have been selected as the Maine Principals' Association Class B North Sportsmanship Award winners for 2016.

Despite a smaller group of overall runners than in most years, the Panthers left a positive impression on those who select the sportsmanship awards.

The MVHS runners this season include junior Tyler Bowman; sophomores Nicole Demmons, Drew Bubar and Isaiah Potter; and freshmen Serena Blasius, Jonah Marks and Edwin Stone.

Gould is the head coach and Elizabeth Bianchi, Arla Casselman and Jeremiah Golding assistant coaches.

Gould has coached the girls team 31 years and boys 11 years.

"On behalf of my athletes and assistant coaches I would like to say that these awards are accepted with great humility and we will always treasure them," said Gould, whose 1989 state Class B championship girls squad was honored recently by the Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame. "These awards will be shared with the entire Medomak Valley community and with our former runners who have set a high standard for us."

Gould said Neil Lash and Matt Lash "deserve a lot of the credit for this as they work so hard to make all of our meets a success."

Matt Lash is the athletic director for Medomak Valley and Medomak Middle School, while Neil Lash, Matt's father, is a longtime MVHS teacher. In fact, the nature trails used for cross-country races are named after Neil Lash.

Gould also thanked MMS cross-country coach Lorraine Knight and "her talented runners for being so helpful at our homecoming meet. Their hard work was noticed by many and certainly helped to bring positive attention to our program."

Gould has won coach's awards and his student-athletes have won team and individual accolades on the course over the decades, but the Panther cross-country runners had never earned the sportsmanship awards during Gould's tenure with the programs.

As a cross-country coach, Gould has 1,096 wins, a state title, a regional crown, seven Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships and five regional runner-up finishes. He also has been awarded eight coach-of-the-year honors in the sport.

Gould also coaches track and field at MVHS and has coached basketball for the Panthers in the past. In track, Gould has coached 20 years, with 179 wins, a league title, a coach-of-the-year honor and several individual state champs. In basketball, he coached 11 years, led his team to nine tournament appearances, 106 wins, a league title and once was named coach of the year.

MVHS has won a boatload of MPA Good Sportsmanship Banners in many fall, winter and spring sports under the leadership of AD Matt Lash.

"Congratulations to coach Gould and his runners, as both teams have earned their respective 2016 North Class B MPA Good Sportsmanship Awards," Matt Lash said. "They will receive their banners this Saturday [Oct. 29] at the regional meet in Belfast. The girls won their award outright, while the boys tied with Caribou. Coach Gould's cross-country teams have won state, regional and league championships. The program can now add this well-deserved honor."

(Courtesy of: Medomak Valley High School)
(Courtesy of: Medomak Valley High School)
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