ORONO, Maine — There are certain constants in life.
Our winters are going to be long, the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race is going to be held and Cid Dyjak will be coaching the Orono High School girls soccer team.
This is season number 31 for Dyjak, a native of Indian Orchard, Mass.
And he is hoping to lead his Red Riots to their third Eastern Maine Class C championship in six years.
Standing in the way are the Fort Kent High School Warriors, who beat the Riots 4-1 in last year’s EM Class C final in Fort Kent.
This time it is in Orono at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Top seed Orono is 14-1-1 while No. 3 Fort Kent is 9-4-3.
It will be the sixth consecutive season that the Riots have played in the EM Class C title game.
Dyjak’s daughter, Analies Ross-Dyjak, is a freshman who played at the University of New England in Biddeford this season.
Dyjak follows his daughter’s career but never considered retiring.
“This is a good place for me,” said Dyjak. “It’s a good thing to do. I didn’t give [retirement] much thought other than she is moving on to college, so I could either sit around and feel badly that she left or I could continue coaching.”
Dyjak’s tremendous passion for coaching and the game has never waned.
“I love the energy of the players and I really love the game. It is a wonderfully creative game,” said Dyjak.
“There’s nothing like seeing players grow up and develop in front of you. That’s one of the best things that happens,” said Dyjak.
He said the sport has changed “tremendously” over the years.
“It’s so much more technical now. It is so much more fun to watch,” said Dyjak. “I run practices now that I’m not sure I could run in the old days. The kids wouldn’t be able to translate well to the level of technical skill there is today.”
However, he also noted that “the energy and the fun around the sport hasn’t changed a bit over all these years.”
Orono High School athletic director Mike Archer said he feels “fortunate” to have Dyjak on the staff for 31 years.
“He is an institution. He is to Orono soccer what Brian Higgins is to Ellsworth [boys] soccer,” said Archer. “He knows the game very well and you couldn’t have a better human being working with young people. He embodies what a role model should be.”
Orono High School principal Jim Chasse, whose freshman daughter Brinsley plays midfield and in the back for the Red Riots, said Dyjak is able to turn soccer into an extension of the classroom for the players through the lessons he teaches them in practices and games.
“He’s amazing. Brinsley and most of the other players worship him,” said Chasse.
Dyjak has a young team with just four seniors, but that hasn’t stopped the Red Riots from reaching the regional final.
“Win or lose, this is a wonderful group of kids. There’s certainly a [bright] future,” said Dyjak. “I feel real fortunate to have a team like this. They’ve been growing and learning and they’re fun to watch. They listen and work hard.”
The Red Riots have featured the offensive exploits of speedy and talented freshman forward Becky Lopez-Anido, highly skilled midfielders Hanna Renedo and Diana Tyutyunnyk, Chasse, defender Ellie Kass and “much improved” goalkeeper Victoria Goodwin.