The high-profile boys’ high school hockey program in Falmouth has a new coach.

Another program, defending state Class A champion Thornton Academy, has lost its coach.

Elsewhere, other schools are still hoping to have a team.

And the season does not begin for over four more months.

When Falmouth High again takes to the ice, the Yachtsmen will be directed by Deron Barton, a former Merrimack College player who has coached youth hockey and the fledging Freeport High program.

Barton replaces Adam Nicholas, who resigned after one season to become director of player development at North Yarmouth Academy.

“We were looking for a little bit of stability,” Falmouth Athletic Director Todd Livingston said. “And (Barton) has a great knowledge and great background in the game.”

Meanwhile, Thornton Academy is looking to replace Shawn Rousseau, who is taking a job at Kent School, a private high school school of 565 students in eastern Connecticut.

“A great loss for Thornton on many fronts,” said Trojans AD Gary Stevens, referring to Rousseau’s teaching, counseling and administrative roles, besides his coaching.

Stevens hopes to have a new coach before the school year begins and said there is no timetable.

Thornton needs a coach. Other schools are not sure they will have a hockey team.

Deering High is hoping to stage a cooperative team with Portland High, but will not know if the Maine Principals’ Association will approve such a move, until the MPA interscholastic management council meets on Sept 15.

The MPA denied a request last year for such a merger between the two city schools. Deering still fielded a team last year, but has graduated seven of its 14 players.

Few, if any, players are expected from the Portland middle school hockey program.

And if Sanford High is to field a team, it will do so without school funding.

The school board eliminated the hockey budget, according to Sanford AD Gordie Salls, so hockey boosters will have to come up with funding if there is to be a team.

Sanford has struggled in recent years and, last season, the Redskins played only a junior varsity schedule.

 

BARTON, 50, is the president of Barton Mortgage Corporation in Portland.

He has coached his four children at all levels in the Casco Bay Youth Hockey Association, as well as worked with the Freeport middle and high school teams.

Freeport no longer has enough players for its own team.

Barton also worked with the Maine Select girls’ program for nine years. With his children grown, Barton said he was “looking at several opportunities to get back into the high school ranks.

“(Falmouth) appealed the most.

“It is very organized, with a very organized booster group, a well-run middle school feeder program, and a lot of very strong, young players.”

Barton played high school hockey for Acton/Boxborough in Massachusetts.

He went on to Michigan Tech for two years, before transferring to Merrimack, playing two years for the Warriors, captaining the team both seasons, 1983-84, ’84-85.

 

ROUSSEAU TOOK over the Thornton program three years ago, guiding the Trojans to a 47-14-1 combined record.

This past year, Thornton finished 17-3-1, concluding with a 4-3 double-overtime victory in the state championship game. It was the Trojans’ first state title in hockey.

Rousseau said it was not an easy choice to leave.

“I really agonized over this,” he said. “It’s been an emotional couple of weeks.

“But this is an opportunity for us to grow professionally. It’s best for us and our two girls. To raise them in a community of intense scholarship like Kent is a real gift.”

Rousseau did not get specific about his position at Kent, but he will teach English and coach – apparently as an assistant to head coach Matt Herr.

Rousseau’s wife, a math teacher, also will teach and coach at Kent.

 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: [email protected]

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