September 29, 2013

Eastern Maine Notebook: Bangor Christian's boys keep that soccer winning streak pumping

By DALE DUFF Special to the Telegram

BANGOR - Bangor Christian soccer coach Aaron Wilcox admits he gets a lot of "soccer think time" in the early morning. His job as a mail truck driver means he's working at the crack of dawn, driving from Hampden to the Lincoln area and beyond.

"I get to think about what I want to do at practice that day, think about strategy," said Wilcox.

It seems to be working.

His Patriots are riding a 49-game winning streak, including 7-0 this year. The last loss came Oct. 11, 2010, by one goal to Penquis Valley.

Other recent soccer streaks in Eastern Maine include the Bangor girls' team winning 25 straight, which ended last season with an overtime loss to Brunswick. The Dragons had their own 36-game streak ended by Bangor in the 2010 Eastern Class A final.

The National Federation of High School Association record book shows that a boys' team from Duxbury, Mass., holds the national record with 74 straight wins. The girls' record is 119 by a team from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

While the 49-game streak is nice, Bangor Christian's big goal is another state championship. With four consecutive Class D titles, the team's 'drive for five' could be historic.

No boys' team in Maine has won five straight, according to Maine Principals' Association records.

"I feel lucky to be at a school that's done so well, so well as a team," said senior fullback Zac Palmeter.

His teammate, senior midfielder Jay Bishop, said, "It feels like the seasons have gone by so fast, too fast."

There are 29 boys at Bangor Christian, 17 on the soccer team. The 10 seniors have an overall record of 59-1-1.

Wilcox, in his 10th year as coach, said his players have put the time in that it takes to be a good team. Many of them play summer soccer and in winter leagues.

"It is tough, people want you, they want to knock you off," said Wilcox. "I try to get the kids to be confident, play with composure and be proud of what they're doing. And don't be arrogant."

Palmeter and Bishop said Wilcox has various ways to get that point across.

"We came up short one ball at practice the other day. For every missing ball we run an extra mile," said Bishop.

"We understand the lesson," said Palmeter. "Keep track of your stuff. Stay responsible." 

GOLF: At the Penobscot Valley Conference championships in Lincoln, Colby Snell of Foxcroft Academy shot a 2-over 74 to win medalist honors. Presque Isle junior Jenna Hallett was the schoolgirl medalist for a second straight year. She scored an 89, playing her round from the boys' tees. 

BASKETBALL: Kevin Reed, a former University of Maine player, is turning over the Bangor Christian boys' basketball coaching job to another former Black Bear -- Jon McAllian. Reed will stay on as the school's athletic administrator and assistant principal.

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