Presque Isle High School has two new coaches.
Boys basketball coach Terry Cummings will be the softball coach and hockey coach Dr. Carl Flynn has been named the new golf coach.
Cummings will replace Alan Curtis, who led the Wildcats to a 94-80 regular-season record in his 11 years at the helm.
Flynn will take over for James York, who was the head coach for six years and led the Wildcats to a third-place finish in the state Class B golf championships this past season.
Presque Isle athletic director Mark White is very pleased to have both on board.
“Terry brings such enthusiasm to the program. He could bring enthusiasm to a cribbage game,” said White. “And Carl is very well respected. I was delighted when he showed interest in coaching the team. Kids respond very well to Carl and he will bring an air of professionalism.”
Cummings, in his first year coaching the Presque Isle boys, led his Wildcats to a 15-6 season and a berth in the EM Class B semifinals where they were beaten by undefeated Mount Desert Island 55-49.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Cummings, who spent three seasons as the head softball coach at the University of Maine-Presque Isle. “I had a very good group of student-athletes at UMPI much like we have here.
“We have a good nucleus coming back. We lost a couple of good seniors but I like the group we have coming back and the junior high team was undefeated. We’ll have four or five eighth-graders coming in including a couple of pitchers. It’s exciting.”
He added that he recently was named the director of the summer softball program in Presque Isle and that will be valuable “because I’ll get a chance to work with young kids and help develop their futures.”
The 43-year-old Cummings said his softball teams will be “aggressive on the bases and at the plate. And our defense will be a key.”
“[Pitcher] Laurin Ackerson is back and she has good velocity. She struggled with her control a little bit. You can’t defend walks. So I’ll work with her on her mechanics and her release point,” said Cummings.
Flynn has coached the Presque Isle hockey team the last seven years and they have made the Eastern Maine Class B playoffs every year.
He has led them to an Eastern Maine championship and three appearances in the EM championship game.
“I was delighted when he showed interest in coaching the team,” said White. “He’s a good golfer and his style of coaching is very positive. And it’s a very healthy program he’s stepping in to.”
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Flynn, who works for Pines Health Services in Caribou. “Jim did a great job and I’m just going to do exactly what Jim did.
“The kids golf all summer so they should be in shape in the fall and on top of their games. I’ll just do some tweaking: help them manage their problems and help them through their slumps.”
He will have the opportunity to coach his son Adam, who also plays hockey for him.
Amero honored by East-West Conference
Anthony Amero, boys varsity basketball coach at Forest Hills of Jackman, has been named the East-West Conference Coach of the Year. The award, chosen by the league’s athletic administrators, is awarded to one coach from all of the conference’s sports teams during the year.
Amero has led the Tigers to 181 wins in 15 seasons as head coach, and since the 2000 season his teams have made 12 consecutive postseason appearances.
Forest Hills won the East-West Conference championship in 2011 and has played in the Western Maine Class D finals two of the last four years, including this year when it became the smallest school to win the regional title since 1977 despite having just eight players on the roster — including four freshmen.
Forest Hills won the Maine Principals’ Association sportsmanship award for Western D boys basketball in 2008.
Amero has been recognized with coach of the year or runner-up honors seven times during his tenure. He has coached four 1,000-point scorers, two Maine McDonald’s senior all-stars, two winners of the John Messina Award given to the outstanding player-sportsman of the Western D tournament, and an East-West Conference player of the year.