Samir Sayed of Waynflete dribbles the ball while Warrior Max Bois eyes a takeover during a Class C boys soccer state championship in Presque Isle on Saturday. Credit: Jessica Potila / St. John Valley Times

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Fort Kent Warrior boys did not achieve their goal of winning the Class C soccer crown, falling 2-1 to Waynflete in the state championship, but Warriors Coach Kalusha Kotes said the season was still every bit a success.

“I couldn’t have asked for better team to go all the way to states,” Kotes said. “Our biggest achievement was bonding as a team and family.”

Ricardo Whitely and Jermaine Weste are Warrior assistant coaches.

The No. 2 Warriors struck first in the championship game when Caleb Lavertu capitalized on a corner kick from Kaden Theriault with just under 14 minutes remaining in the first half.

With the championship being played in Aroostook County, home of the Class C North regional champion Warriors, the crowd was overwhelmingly comprised of Fort Kent fans who went wild over the goal.

The No. 2 Flyers (15-2-2 overall) would come back with goals by Jacob Woodman and Henry Hart to win the game.

“They played against a team that has players recruited only for soccer. The boys did pretty well by keeping up with them,” Kotes said. “Winning the championship at that point would have been a bonus for me. The greatest accomplishment is the bonding  and seeing them grow.”

Kotes began coaching for the Warriors 4 years ago, when his senior players this year were freshman. Ironically, the team would head to states that year too, and fall to Waynflete.

Kotes said he will miss these senior boys and is proud of the young men they have become.

“I want to congratulate them on their four years of playing soccer and not only becoming great soccer players but I can see the transition of becoming young adults, can see the maturity they’ve gained,” Kotes said.

A nursing student at University of Maine at Fort Kent, Kotes said he will likely return to coach the Warriors next fall.

“We don’t have practice today, the season is over and that makes me sad,” he said.