The most prolific goal scorer in Maine schoolboy soccer history will join two former Bangor Christian players — including his older brother — at Lancaster (Pa.) Bible College this fall.
Bradley Wilcox of Alton, who scored his 107th career goal for Bangor Christian in the Class D state championship game last fall to surpass former Falmouth star Roger Levesque’s previous state record of 106, will continue his playing career with a program that qualified for the 2011 National Christian College Athletic Association Division II championship tournament.
“Some people told me to try to get a scholarship from a Division I or Division II school,” said Wilcox. “I thought about putting together a video but I never did. I knew there was a slim chance of getting a scholarship, and I didn’t want it to be my life.”
Wilcox made “two or three” visits to his college destination after leading a Bangor Christian team coached by his father, Aaron, to its third consecutive Class D state championship.
Among the players already on the Lancaster Bible College roster are Wilcox’s older brother Brandon, who will be a junior midfielder for the Chargers in the fall if he can recover from a recent knee injury, and Zach Kutz of LaGrange, a member of Bangor Christian’s 2005 state championship team who will be a senior midfielder for LBC next season.
Kutz and Brandon Wilcox helped Lancaster Bible College win the NCCAA East Region championship for the second time in three years last year. The Chargers subsequently finished sixth in the eight-team national tournament.
Bradley and Brandon Wilcox were teammates on Bangor Christian’s 2009 state title team, and plan to room together at LBC this fall.
Wilcox, who was the starting center fielder on the Bangor Christian baseball team that last Saturday won its first state championship, plans to study intercultural studies with a minor in youth ministry at Lancaster Bible College with the goal of becoming a missionary.
Wilcox scored 11 goals as a freshman on the Bangor Christian soccer team, then 22 as a sophomore and a state single-season record of 44 goals as a junior before totaling 30 last fall despite missing five matches due to injury.
The four-year starter helped the Patriots compile a 61-7-2 record during his career, including 18-0 last season.
He was a two-time team most valuable player, a three-time All-Penobscot Valley Conference honoree and the 2011 PVC player of the year.
Wilcox subsequently became the first Class D player from Maine to be named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American.
New champs poised to contend again
Most of the newly crowned Eastern Maine baseball champions — including state title winners Messalonskee of Oakland and Bangor Christian, should be in strong position to make deep postseason runs again next spring.
Only three-time reigning Eastern Maine Class C champion Calais will face significant rebuilding, Coach Kenny Murphy’s Blue Devils graduate nine seniors from this year’s team, eight of whom started in last Saturday’s 6-1 loss to Dirigo of Dixfield in the state final.
Class A state champion Messalonskee will have a new left side of the infield next year as it must replace shortstop Sam Dexter, a Mr. Baseball finalist, and third baseman Travis St. Pierre, the Eagles’ cleanup hitter.
But starting center fielder Gage Landry was the only other senior on coach Ray Bernier’s roster.
Dexter’s younger brother, Jake, was one of four freshman who saw action in Messalonskee’s 6-3 victory over Scarborough in the Class A final, and he likely will move from second base to shortstop next spring.
The Eagles also will return its pitching staff intact, including starters Reid Nutter, Devin Warren and Patrick Breton along with Jake Dexter, who served as the team’s closer this year.
While Messalonskee graduates three players, Eastern Maine Class B champion Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft graduates just two players in Cody Coiley, a three-year starter at catcher, and outfielder Matt Chapman.
Coach Mark Chevalier’s Ponies will have its pitching rotation back intact for the third consecutive year next spring in Ryan Rebar, Kaleb Smith and Jesse Provost, while infielder Caleb Richard, outfielder Cameron Fadley and brothers Forrest, Hunter and Brooks Law also will return as key contributors.
Bangor Christian loses just one player from its Class D state championship team in graduating center fielder Bradley Wilcox. But pitchers Ben Bragg and Cody Collins and catcher Rem Poulin will be among the starters back for coach Mike Poulin when the Patriots begin their quest for another title next spring.
And if Calais struggles to return to championship form next year, among the contenders to dethrone the Blue Devils will be the team they defeated in the Eastern C final, Dexter.
The Tigers graduated three seniors in Vincent Malinauskas, Ryan Wilks and Jared MacDonald, but like Messalonskee, Foxcroft and Bangor Christian coach Chad Graffam’s club will return its primary pitchers next spring in Casey Jordan, Dylan Graffam and Matt Crane, all of whom will be seniors in 2013.