BANGOR, Maine — Jenn Plourde, who recently guided the Old Town High School softball team to its first Class B state championship, will be taking on an additional varsity coaching challenge beginning later this summer.
Plourde has been named the new girls varsity soccer coach at John Bapst High School, replacing Nicole Novak, who resigned after two seasons.
“We are very excited to add Jenn to our varsity coaching staff,” said John Bapst athletic administrator Rick Sinclair. “She has been part of our staff before in JV softball and JV soccer. She has a great rapport with the kids and I have confidence that she will continue to build on the existing girls soccer tradition at Bapst.”
While John Bapst graduated 10 seniors from the 2011 team that finished 9-6-1 and advanced to the Eastern Maine Class B quarterfinals before dropping a 2-1 decision to eventual regional champion Presque Isle, Plourde will be familiar with many of the returning Crusaders. She coached the school’s girls junior varsity soccer squad in 2010 and was involved with the school’s softball program for three years before taking the Old Town varsity post last spring.
“That will help, because I know quite a few of them based on the time I coached the JVs,” said Plourde, a 2006 graduate of Penobscot Valley High School in Howland and a 2010 graduate of Husson University in Bangor, where she played basketball and soccer. “I know a lot of the players and their backgrounds.”
Plourde led the Old Town softball team from the No. 5 seed in Eastern Maine Class B all the way to the state championship, a run capped off by the Coyotes’ 4-1 victory over 2011 champion Fryeburg Academy in the state final on June 16.
“Everything fell into place for us,” said Plourde. “I kept reinforcing to the girls that we had to take it one game at a time, one game at a time, and that we had to look at every game like it could have been the last one.”
Plourde works at the Asa Adams School in Orono, and while she will continue to coach softball and girls junior varsity basketball at Old Town High School she also is excited about coaching at John Bapst.
“As soon as I saw that the job was open I jumped on it,” she said. “Having coached there before I know it’s a really good program, everything is run extremely well there.”
Armstrong named Dexter football coach
Dexter Regional High School has looked within to find its new head football coach.
Kevin Armstrong, who most recently served as the head middle school football coach at the Ridge View Community School, has been elevated to the varsity post at the high school, according to DRHS principal Steve Bell.
Armstrong replaces Tim Wilson, who resigned earlier this year after leading the Tigers for the last six seasons.
“Kevin is well respected in the community and by the parents,” said Bell. “He’s done a good job of getting more enthusiasm for the football program, he’s involved in the recreation program all the way up through and those numbers are really strong.”
Armstrong, a licensed electrician by trade, also served as an assistant coach at the high school under Wilson before moving to the middle school ranks in recent years to get some head coaching experience.
Bell said Armstrong is at work putting together his coaching staff.
Wilson coached the Dexter football team for 12 years overall, including an earlier six-year run during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Last year’s team finished 1-7, but the highlight of Wilson’s most recent tenure came in 2009 when the Tigers qualified for their first trip to the LTC playoffs since 1995.
Wilson’s first coaching stint at Dexter ran from 1966 through 1971, when the Tigers won two state Class C co-championships and two LTC titles.
POY award named for Kiah
The Penobscot Valley Conference recently announced its annual baseball all-star teams with one difference from past editions — the PVC’s top individual award in the sport for Classes B, C and D is now known as the Dennis Kiah Player of the Year.
Conference athletic directors decided to honor the longtime teacher and administrator for his many years of service to the PVC. Kiah is retiring this week after 41 years in education, including the last 19 years as athletic administrator at Brewer High School. Kiah also is a former high school baseball coach.
“Naming the player of the year [award] for him seemed fitting,” said Mount Desert Island athletic administrator Bunky Dow.
The PVC’s inaugural Dennis Kiah Players of the Year for the 2012 season are senior pitcher-first baseman Max Andrews of John Bapst of Bangor (Class B), senior pitcher-shortstop Dustin Sawtelle of Lee Academy (Class C), and senior outfielder Bradley Wilcox of state champion Bangor Christian (Class D).
Deschenes takes GNG hoop post
Ryan Deschenes, an East Millinocket native and Schenck High School graduate, has stepped down after six seasons as the boys varsity basketball coach at Saint Dominic of Auburn to take a similar position at Gray-New Gloucester.
The 28-year-old Deschenes, who starred for the Wolverines during his own high school playing days and then went on to play for a year at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, replaces Tony DiBiase, who left Gray-New Gloucester after two seasons to become the boys varsity basketball coach at Class A Scarborough.
Deschenes took over a Saint Dominic program that had made just three tournament trips to the Augusta Civic Center and scored just one playoff victory in its history and guided the Saints to six consecutive postseason appearances — an effort highlighted by a trip to the Western Maine Class C semifinals in 2009.
Deschenes’ Saint Dominic teams compiled a 62-55 overall record.
Gray-New Gloucester, a Western B program, went 3-15 last winter after going 11-9 and reaching the regional semifinals in 2011.