Matt Rossignol, one of Maine’s best all-time high school basketball players, is resuming his coaching career.
Rossignol, a 1985 Van Buren graduate, was a two-time BDN All-Maine selection and 2,000-point scorer who went on to have a fine career at the University of Maine.
He will return to his hometown next winter as Van Buren’s new girls basketball coach, replacing Jay Edgecomb.
Rossignol had stepped down from his previous coaching post with the Madawaska boys after the 2006-07 season, as while his oldest son, Dom, had played for Madawaska, Rossignol had to coach against his youngest son, Derrick, who was a sophomore at Van Buren at the time of his resignation.
“It was pleasant coaching my own son, but coaching against the other, that was difficult,” Rossignol said.
He won’t have to worry about that this time around, as his daughter, Parise, currently an eighth-grader, will be a freshman at Van Buren in the winter, and that’s one of the main reasons Rossignol decided to apply for the job.
“To be honest, the fact that my daughter’s going to be on the team and the fact there’s some good talent presently there and coming up from the middle school,” explained Rossignol, who had coached the girls at Van Buren Middle School the last two seasons.
Van Buren struggled to a 1-16 campaign last winter, but Rossignol is positive that he can help turn things around and get the Crusaders back to the Bangor Auditorium.
“I would like to think hopefully in the next four years we can do even more than that, not just get to the tournament but compete for a championship,” said Rossignol, who teaches social studies at Madawaska High.
Rossignol’s first girls varsity basketball coaching job will present challenges, but they are ones he’s embracing.
“The female personality is a little bit different, but I think that you can motivate them,” he said. “I think they have a tendency to listen better.”
Rossignol accumulated 2,257 career points at Van Buren, and set a Class B regional tournament record with a 51-point outburst in 1985, before the 3-point shot was instituted.
That mark was eclipsed by Ellsworth’s Corey DeWitt, who scored 52 points in a 2007 game.
Rossignol went on to score 1,297 points at UMaine, from which he graduated in 1989, and subsequently began his coaching career.
He directed the Houlton boys from 1989-93, leading them to the tournament on three occasions, before returning to Van Buren to coach the boys from 1993-98.
Rossignol then headed up Route 1 to Madawaska, where he coached 1998-2007 and led the Owls to the first regional tourney win in program history. He has coached softball at that school the last 12 years.
Rossignol’s oldest son, Dom, just finished his third year of studies at the University of Maine-Presque Isle, while Derrick will graduate from Van Buren this spring. He also has another son, Andre, a fifth-grader.
Down the stretch we come….
There are two weeks remaining in the high school softball season, and that’s exactly how many undefeated teams — Bangor in Class A and Calais in Class C — remain in Eastern Maine.
The Class A standings have shaken out the way many figured they would, with Bangor and Skowhegan 1-2 in the Heal points, with the teams scheduled to play Wednesday afternoon in Bangor.
The Rams defeated the Indians 4-1 on May 3.
Bangor’s offense has been on fire as of late, as coach Don Stanhope’s team has averaged a robust 6.5 runs per outing over its last seven games while senior righthander Sam Bedore owns two no-hitters and six shutouts this season.
Skowhegan’s offense has also been dynamite, as it has scored more than 10 runs in all but three games, and the Indians had to put up nine in the top of the 11th to beat a feisty Brewer team on Friday.
The second tier of contenders includes the Witches, Erskine Academy of South China and Cony of Augusta.
Brewer proved it should be a dangerous team come playoff time, as Amanda Ryan held Skowhegan in check for 10¤ innings on Friday.
Cony’s three losses have come to Erskine, Bangor and Oxford Hills of South Paris, while Erskine’s three defeats came at the hands of Bangor and Skowhegan (twice).
Hermon, Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln and Old Town have been the best teams so far in Class B, with Medomak Valley and Bucksport not far behind.
Caribou has been sort of a sleeper, as doubleheader splits with Hermon and Old Town the last two weekends have propelled the Vikings into the top five.
That being said, coach Stephanie Biberstein’s Hermon club has been getting it done with the bats this spring while receiving effective pitching from junior lefthander Debbie Colpitts.
The Hawks are sitting pretty in first place with three games to play, including a showdown with second-ranked MA to end the regular season on June 1.
Coach Dean Libbey’s Lynx have benefited from another top pitcher in Tayla Trask, who shut out a solid-hitting Bucksport club last Thursday.
Trask and the Lynx will head to Old Town this afternoon for a showdown with the Coyotes, and MA will be looking to avenge a 4-3 loss on May 17.
Central of Corinth, George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill and Calais have shown they’re the top contenders in Class C, with Stearns of Millinocket close behind — the Minutemen are the only Class C team to beat the Red Devils this spring. Foxcroft, Piscataquis of Guilford, Washington Academy of East Machias and Orono are certainly capable of pulling upsets.
In Class D, Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook, Limestone/MSSM and Deer Isle-Stonington have established themselves as the favorites, and the Warriors have been on fire as of late with eight straight victories following a 2-2 start.