BANGOR, Maine — Cid Dyjak has gone to plenty of national soccer coaches’ conventions.
But when he attends the 2009 National Soccer Coaches Association of America event next month, it will not only be as a member in good standing, but as an honoree.
Dyjak, the longtime girls soccer coach at Orono High School, was recognized Sunday during the Maine Soccer Coaches Association’s annual postseason banquet as the NSCAA New England Girls Small School Coach of the Year.
He’ll be one of eight coaches eligible for the national small-school coaching award to be presented during the national convention in St. Louis, Mo.
“I’ve been to the national soccer coaches convention many times, but I’ve never been as a coaching award winner, so it should be interesting and fun,” said Dyjak, who has a 213-140-68 record in 29 years of coaching.
Dyjak’s last 26 years have been spent as the girls soccer coach at Orono, where he led the Red Riots to an 11-3-4 record and the first Eastern Maine Class C championship in school history this fall.
“It’s actually very humbling but it’s cool,” said Dyjak of the award. “I’ve been involved in the game a long time and loved every minute of it. I guess this is a little bit of appreciation toward me, and it feels good.”
Dyjak was one of a large number of coaches and players from throughout the state recognized during the banquet at the Spectacular Event Center. Awards were presented to members of regional all-star squads, players of the year representing all four classes, and All-New England and All-America honorees.
Stephanie Whitten, a senior forward from Waterville, and Gabe Hoffman-Johnson, a junior forward from Falmouth, earned All-America accolades.
Ryan Larochelle of Bangor and Russ Mortland and Sarah Porter, both of Presque Isle, were among 12 players to earn All-New England status.
Larochelle led Bangor to its second Eastern Maine Class A championship in three years this fall. The senior back and co-captain scored the winning goal when Bangor won its first-ever state championship in 2006, and he helped the Rams compile a 45-3-3 record during three varsity seasons.
“The program’s come a long ways,” said Larochelle. “We’ve gone from being a team that has a good regular season and kind of fails in the playoffs to being one that contends for Eastern Maines every year.
“This award is a great reflection on our whole team, the coaching staff, coach [David] Patterson and [former] coach [Adam] Leach, and I think it’s a great tribute to Bangor High School soccer.”
Mortland, a senior forward, had 28 goals and nine assists to lead the Presque Isle boys to the Eastern B championship. He finished his career with 50 goals, third-best in school history, and 26 assists.
“This whole year has been great for soccer in Presque Isle with both of the teams going to states and the boys going undefeated with only one tie,” said Mortland. “Everyone played their role on the team and I wouldn’t be able to get this award without the team, obviously.”
Porter helped the Presque Isle girls squad win its first Eastern B title this fall. The two-year co-captain helped the Wildcats compile a 49-4-3 record during her career, which she concluded with 58 goals and a school-record 33 assists.
“I focus more on the team,” said Porter, a senior midfielder, “so this is awesome to make it to a state championship in soccer and get special awards individually. I’m very happy about it.”
Other girls named All-New England were Whitten and Jordan Pellerin, both of Waterville, Allison Walton of Brunswick, Rachele Burns of Gorham and Elise Amioka of Marshwood of South Berwick. Other boys All-New England choices were Hoffman-Johnson, Adam Blanchard of Scarborough, Justin Rosner of Brunswick and John Murphy of Yarmouth.
Named the state’s schoolboy players of the year by class were Larochelle in Class A, Hoffman-Johnson in Class B, Paul Ohno of Orono in Class C and Marshall Davis of state champion Katahdin of Stacyville in Class D.
Maine’s schoolgirl players of the year by class are Whitten in Class A, Sarah Girouard of Falmouth in Class B, Morgan Woodhouse of Waynflete of Portland in Class C, and Melissa Duffy of Katahdin in Class D. Duffy anchored a Katahdin team that competed with just 10 players throughout the season.
Scott Young of Presque Isle was named the Eastern Maine boys soccer coach of the year, while Mike Hagerty of Yarmouth earned the award for Western Maine. Girls soccer coaches of the year were Waterville’s Ian Wilson for Eastern Maine and Falmouth’s Deb Lebel in Western Maine.
State nominees for New England coach of the year were Dyjak, Wilson (girls large school), Jon Shardlow of Waynflete (girls private school), Hagerty (boys large school) and Matt Lindsay of Katahdin (boys small school).
Shardlow joined Dyjak as a regional winner in his coaching category.