(Editor’s note: For the complete Waynflete-Mt. Abram game story, see theforecaster.net/sports.)

This time, it didn’t come easily.

But when the dust settled, Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team had no peer in Class C once again, thanks to its indomitable will and ability to dig out of early deficits.

The Flyers, who won Class C in 2018 and 2019, and would have likely rolled to a title in 2020 had COVID not wiped away the postseason (Waynflete still won all 10 games last year, including multiple games against Class A and Class B foes), were a little more mortal this fall, but still posted a 10-2-2 regular season mark and earned the No. 2 seed for the Class C South playoffs.

After handling No. 10 Sacopee Valley, 2-0, in the quarterfinal round, the Flyers erased an early deficit to down No. 3 Lisbon, 4-1, in the semifinals, to advance to the Class C South Final last Tuesday against top-ranked Mt. Abram in Lewiston.

Again, Waynflete fell behind, as after a scoreless first half, the Roadrunners went up early in the second half, but the Flyers needed just 31 seconds to answer, as Nils Burton-Johanson tied it off a feed from Henry Hart.


“I wasn’t worried,” Burton-Johanson said. “I knew we could pull it back together. We get fueled by goals. I knew we just had to put one in.”

Burton-Johanson then scored the go-ahead goal, from Matt Adey, and Andrew Rogers added an insurance goal, from Jacob Woodman.

“Jacob passed me the ball and told me shoot,” Rogers said. “I saw top corner and hit it and got hit immediately and I didn’t even see it go in. I felt like I hit it well. I saw the ball go up, then I was on the ground. Nils and I played JV last year and we looked up to the older players and wanted to be a part of it this season. It’s a nice feeling to contribute to a winning team.”

That third goal loomed huge, as Mt. Abram scored again with 4 minutes to go, but Waynflete held on for a 3-2 victory.

Waynflete’s Matt Adey, left, and goalie Nico Kirby celebrate last week’s 3-2 win over Mt. Abram in the Class C South Final. The Flyers went on to edge Fort Kent in the state final. Russ Dillingham / Sun Journal

“This means a lot to us,” said Burton-Johanson. “At the beginning of the year, a lot of people doubted us after we lost all those seniors. We wanted to prove our point.”

“I thought we could do it,” junior back Roan Hopkins said. “It’s a good group of boys. We have a good core and a bunch of kids coming up. Great additions, who slid right into where we needed them to play. We have the speed and footwork.”


“I love how we answered,” added longtime Flyers coach Brandon Salway. “Mt. Abram’s really good. They were a formidable opponent who put us on our heels a little bit early. To go behind and to answer like that, these guys are an amazing group.”

Waynflete moved on to take on Fort Kent in the state final Saturday in Presque Isle. The Flyers took the five-hour bus ride and arrived Friday evening, but started slowly the following day.

In the 27th minute, the Warriors scored first, finishing out of a scrum off a corner kick.

“We weren’t quite playing to our ability,” Salway said. “We gave up the goal, then started playing better and dominated from that point on.”

Sure enough, the Flyers drew even in the 33rd minute, when Woodman scored, from Samir Sayed.

“Jacob’s goal was huge,” Salway said. “It was big to answer that quickly.”


Waynflete then scored the championship-winning tally midway through the second half, when Sayed set up senior captain Henry Hart.

“It’s fitting that Henry got the winner and that Samir sent it to him,” Salway said. “Samir did a great job. It was a great goal. I told the guys that usually in games like this, somebody makes a great play to win it. I’m glad it was us.”

The Flyers closed it out from there and held on for the 2-1 victory, earning the program’s seventh Gold Ball.

Waynflete celebrates and shows off its latest piece of hardware. Contributed photo.

“It’s really satisfying for this group,” Salway said. “Last year was disappointing, to not have playoffs. We lost a great group and there wasn’t much pressure on the guys this year. They all had to step into new roles and they improved every week. We had good players, but we basically started from scratch. I thought we’d be pretty good, but I wasn’t sure about our record. Coming back to tie (eventual Class B champion) Yarmouth (in the regular season finale) showed what we were capable of. That was a championship-type response in a game that had a playoff feel. The guys responded well to adversity and had to deal with a lot injuries, especially in the playoffs.”

With another Gold Ball secured, the 2021 Waynflete Flyers enter program lore. Contributed photo.

The Flyers graduate Hart, Sayed and Liam Slocumb from their starting lineup, as well as five others, but should be the favorite when the 2022 season commences.

“We’ll be starting from a strong place,” Salway said. “I think we have a great culture. Great leaders and kids who play really hard and don’t get down on each other. We’re blessed to have so many great athletes. The potential (to win) is definitely there again.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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