Dave Pepin, who coached the Searsport baseball team to two Class C state championships and three Eastern Maine titles during seven seasons with the Vikings, has stepped down from that post and been hired as the new varsity softball coach at Piscataquis Community Secondary School in Guilford.
Pepin, a Newport resident, already was the boys’ varsity basketball coach at Piscataquis, having taken over that job last winter, and he also now works at the Guilford school, meaning travel during the baseball season would have been prohibitive, particularly as he also helps attend to an ailing parent in Newport.
Still, it was tough for Pepin to give up the Searsport post, given that he had led the Vikings to a 90-39-1 record, including a 16-4 postseason run highlighted by five straight seasons — from 2004 through 2008 — when the team advanced at least to the Eastern C championship game. Searsport won state titles in 2006 and 2008, and Eastern Maine crowns in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
The 2006 state crown was the first in 31 years for the program.
“It was hard telling the kids,” said Pepin, who had 13 players returning next spring to the Searsport roster from last year’s 7-9-1 team that lost to eventual EM champion Calais 1-0 in the regional quarterfinals.
“They’ve worked awfully hard for me over the years and did what I asked them. We really stressed the fundamentals, played small ball, had good pitching and good defense and put a lot of pressure on the other teams’ defenses. Hopefully I’ll be able to transfer that over to the softball field this spring.”
The Piscataquis softball team finished 11-6 last year, reaching the Eastern C quarterfinals before being ousted by Woodland. The Pirates will return starters next spring at pitcher, catcher, first base, second base and shortstop, giving Pepin a solid nucleus to begin his coaching relationship with the club.
“Hopefully we can come in and give them some discipline, and hopefully they’ll believe in my experience at Searsport,” said Pepin, himself a longtime competitive softball player. I hope to be able to get the girls to the next level.”
Butch Shaw awards announced
Nine Aroostook County soccer standouts have been named the 2010 winners of the Butch Shaw Award.
The award, presented annually by the Northern Maine Board of Approved Soccer Officials, is named in memory of Clyde “Butch” Shaw, an outstanding athlete, coach and official from the County who died in 1985.
The winners were selected for their efforts on the soccer field this fall by a vote of NMBASO members.
Class B winners are Josh Allen of Presque Isle and Jenna Selander of Caribou. Class C recipients were Jared Soucy and Rebecca Martin, both of Fort Kent, while Class D honorees were Patrick Goodall and Cody Robinson of Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook, Jordan McLaughlin of Washburn, Brooke LaBelle of Ashland and Parise Rossignol of Van Buren.