Electrifying. That’s how Jackson Fotter said it felt to score a goal in the boys’ soccer state championship game.

He paused for a moment before adding, “For the two minutes it lasted.”

Fotter laughed – he can laugh about it now. After the senior forward gave Gorham a 1-0 lead in the Class A final on Nov. 5, Bangor immediately answered to tie the score. Bangor eventually won the crown in penalty kicks.

While it wasn’t an ideal way to end his high school soccer career, Fotter’s 31 goals helped the Rams win a regional title and go undefeated during the regular season.

His ball skills and determination make Fotter the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year.

“Some of the moves he has made have just been incredible,” Gorham Coach Tim King said. “He gets the guy going one way, then he cuts it back the other way, then he cuts it back again. It’s like the ball is on a string on his foot.”

King said Fotter’s field vision makes him an even better passer than he is a scorer, as he can perfectly place the ball to an open spot. However, Fotter’s “will to win” is what separates him from other great players – something King noticed in September when Gorham and Deering battled to a 0-0 draw.

With the game tied after regulation, King said Fotter pumped up his teammates as they headed into overtime.

“I knew he always had a burning desire underneath, but that was one of the first times I’d really seen it come out,” King said.

“Every time he steps on that field, he thinks, ‘this is a game we should win.'”

That doesn’t change when he steps off the field. Fotter said he watched film of that game against Deering two or three times – studying every missed opportunity. He even watched it again “just the other day.”

When asked if he rewatches games in which he played well over and over, Fotter didn’t hesitate.

“Oh no,” he said. “Just the ones where I feel like we could have done something – or I could have done something different.”

Fotter entered his senior year with 34 career goals, which he nearly doubled this season for a total of 65 – an unofficial school record. He also scored the go-ahead goal to win a national championship with his Seacoast United’s U-17 premier squad over the summer.

Fotter’s accomplishments earned him All-New England and Southwestern Maine Activities Association offensive player of the year honors. But King said individual recognition is not what drives Fotter.

“Every year, he has worked on some part of his game, and he got better and better and better,” King said. “He has a real desire to push himself and make the team better, and he’ll do what it takes to make that happen.”

Fotter intends to play soccer in college, though he’s still undecided where.

As for the state final loss, Fotter said he has watched the game. He has “no regrets.”

“Everyone played so well – I could tell we wanted it really bad,” Fotter said. “Even though we didn’t win the state championship, it was a great way to end. I’ll remember it forever.”

Telegram All-State team

Carson Atherley, Bangor senior midfielder: A Maine Soccer Coaches’ All-American and All-New England selection, Atherley led the Rams to a Class A state title. He was the MSCA Class A player of the year and Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference player of the year.

Jackson Fotter, Gorham senior forward: An All-New England selection and the SMAA offensive player of the year, Fotter scored 31 goals to lead the Rams to the Class A state final.

Shammah Gahomera, Westbrook senior midfielder: Gahomera scored eight goals in the last three games of the regular season to lead the Blazes into the playoffs. The first-team All-SMAA selection finished with 16 goals and seven assists.

Luke Groothoff, Yarmouth junior midfielder: The MSCA Class B player of the year and All-New England selection scored 10 goals – including two in the state final – and added six assists to help the Clippers earn their third straight Class B title.

Josiah Krul, Camden Hills senior midfielder: After an injury-plagued regular season, the All-New England pick accounted for all four of his team’s playoff goals as the Windjammers made it to the Class A North final.

Oneko Lowe, Washington Academy senior midfielder: The MSCA Class C player of the year helped Washington Academy go undefeated and win its second straight Class C state title.

Jonata Mbongo, Deering senior defender: Mbongo was the SMAA’s defensive player of the year as he helped the Rams earn a bye in the first round of the Class A South playoffs.

Noah Stracqualursi, Scarborough senior forward: The first-team all-SMAA and MSCA All-South pick led the Red Storm with 20 goals and eight assists.

Khalid Suja, South Portland senior midfielder: A defensive midfielder, Suja’s contributions could be seen in his passing and his ability to dictate the pace. Coach Bryan Hoy said Suja was South Portland’s top defender.

John Henry Villanueva, Gray-New Gloucester senior goalkeeper: The Western Maine Conference goalkeeper of the year posted eight shutouts this season and had a 0.63 goals-against average. In three years, he had 270 saves and 17 shutouts.

Tyler Welch, Bangor Christian senior midfielder: The Class D player of the year had two goals and two assists in a 4-1 win over Greenville for the Class D state crown. He totaled 23 goals and 20 assists for the unbeaten Patriots.

Coach of the Year

Mike Hagerty, Yarmouth: Despite losing all but four starters to graduation, the Clippers won their third straight Class B title, giving Hagerty eight championships in 20 years at Yarmouth.