June 24, 2018
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Hampden girls soccer team adapting to new coach

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

HAMPDEN, Maine — Warren Shearer is no stranger to unpredictable circumstances.

He is a doctor who works in the emergency room at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital.

He has also recently become the new soccer coach of the Hampden Academy girls soccer team.

Gina DeSantis was in her third season as the head coach, but a job opportunity in her native New York came open and she decided to leave 10 days ago.

Shearer was an assistant who had coached many of the Hampden players in the Bronco travel program including his daughters, Naomi and Taemar, who both play on the varsity squad.

So HA athletic director Mike Bisson called on Shearer, and he accepted the job offer.

“I won’t begrudge anybody a professional move,” Bisson said of DeSantis’ decision to leave midway through the season. “She has done a lot for our program. She was well-respected by the players and really knows the game. They were well-prepared for every game.”

Bisson said he chose Shearer because he was familiar with the players. Derek Smith, who is in his first year at HA, is the JV coach.

The Broncos are 1-0-1 under Shearer with a 2-2 overtime tie against Mt. Blue of Farmington and a 6-1 win over Messalonskee of Oakland.

“It has been working well,” said senior midfielder Naomi Shearer. “It was a little hard at first. We had the transition of trying to find someone to take her place.

“I was kind of surprised she left. But I’m not mad. It was sad to lose her. She’s an amazing coach. But it’s her life. Her job is understandably more important than us. But she has been coming back as much as she can and will continue to do so and that really means a lot to us,” said Shearer. “We have all pulled together. We have good leadership this year.”

She is confident her father can do the job in her absence.

“We’re disappointed,” said senior midfielder Erin Jeter. “We love Gina. But it has turned out OK. Warren is a great coach. A bunch of us have had him as a coach since fourth grade. And Gina is coming back, so we look forward to that. It’ll be good.”

“She still texts us and calls us before every game and has other people scouting our opponents,” said sophomore striker Abby Lord. “We have tons of leadership.”

DeSantis led the Broncos to a 23-13-2 record and guided the Broncos to the Eastern Maine Class A final a year ago. They lost to Bangor 4-2.

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