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Guilford, Maine

Where history meets the future


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Text By: Elaine Riitano & Belle-Natalie Wingert
Eighth Grade Students at Piscataquis Community Middle School
Images from the Guilford Historical Society

The History of Boys Soccer in Guilford

The Guilford soccer team was established in 1968, under the leadership of Mr. Rusty Sweeney, the math teacher at the high school. He was the main reason we even have a soccer team here at PCHS today. Mr. Sweeney was a big fan of the game and that’s why he had it started. When they first started they would practice on the boy's baseball field. There was no JV soccer, just because not a lot of other schools even had soccer yet. They played a seven game scehdule, winning four games and losing three. They beat each different team that they played that year once.

The first ten years of the PCHS soccer team was coached by Mr. Sweeney, and he was the only coach! Then Mr. Paul Stearns took over, and he coached for the next 18 years. He is now the current superintendent of the school. When he became coach they won his first game in 1997! Mr. Stearns said, that day, “I had chills running up and down my body I was so happy!” Then the following year they went into their first playoff game in Ashland and they lost 2-1, but it was an awesome accomplishment that they even made it that far.

When they where playing they would travel to ridiculous places, like Waterville and Nokomis, schools we would never dream of playing today.

Once the program was really going, they got pretty good, so good that in 1983 they won the Eastern Maine Championship, and went onto the state game! They did lose that game, but get this: It was played in the SNOW, how crazy is that?

They did take home the State Championship Gold Ball in 1985. What a great day that was, it was Richmond vs. us, the game was played in Pittsfield, and we won 3-1! There’s kind of a funny story to this game that was shared with me. One of the Pirates players, Ronny Hersey, had broken his leg in the first half. Both he and Coach Stearns didn’t even think he had broken his leg. So being a dedicated soccer player he was put back in, and proceed to score a goal in the second half to put them ahead--how awesome is that! Coach Stearns didn’t even know about Ronny until the next day, when he saw him walking in on crutches and had his leg in a cast. He was flabbergasted to see that one of his players played with a BROKEN leg.

We have continued to have a soccer team here at our current high school PCHS. They have not yet had another state championship, but we are always working hard at it. We have had great deal of improvement in our school; we now have a middle school team and we have a Pirate Recreation program that starts our little Pirates out young! So the next time you're rolling through Guilford, stop by and take a look in our trophy case. You’ll be surprised at the accomplishment our little town has made. We can’t wait to see what the teams will bring in upcoming years.