Falmouth track dedicated to longtime coach
The Falmouth High School track program has enjoyed no shortage of greatness over the years.
Throughout the decades, Yachtsmen runners, jumpers and throwers were positively influenced by longtime coach Warren Wilson.
Monday afternoon, prior to a home meet, the school's track was dedicated in Wilson's name.
"Warren Wilson has taught and coached young people in our system for most of his life," said Falmouth head outdoor track coach Danny Paul. "More importantly, he has positively influenced thousands of students. We and the students have benefited immensely from his efforts and dedication over the years. I've watched Warren connect with student-athletes in wonderful ways. He has been and is today, a positive force for our programs."
Wilson began teaching physical education at Falmouth Middle School in 1966. He started the first cross country and track teams at the school and also coached baseball. After leading Falmouth Middle School to several conference titles, Wilson became the cross country and track coach at Falmouth High in 1981 and coached through 1997, even serving a short stint as athletic director in the process.
Overall, including a return stint as an assistant, Wilson coached for over 45 years.
Wilson is currently a volunteer assistant with the indoor track team and is an outdoor coach, along with Paul, Jorma Kurry and Mark Campbell.
Falmouth School Superintendent Barbara Powers received an abundance of tributes to Wilson, from athletes who competed in the 1970s through the present day.
"He was obviously a great coach, but what I remember most was his relaxed personality, dry humor and most importantly, his fairness," said David Timothy, FHS Class of 1984. "I just learned he's still coaching track. I want to say I'm surprised and shocked, but I'm not. He's always given everything to kids at Falmouth. How lucky I am to count myself as one!"
"Coach Wilson is a wealth of knowledge both on and off the track and was one of my greatest role models throughout my time at Falmouth High School," said Kellen MacDonald, who graduated in 2010.
Those excerpts and many others were read at the dedication Monday, which came as a surprise to Wilson.
"One of the cool things was all the former athletes who showed up," said Paul. "Also, many teachers and coaches who worked with him over the years. What I thought was terrific is we were able to surprise him. He had no idea. His children and grandkids were here from as far away as Arizona."
The ceremony concluded with the official pronouncement that the track will now be known as the Warren Wilson Track.
"The plan is to paint in large letters on the main stretch: WARREN WILSON TRACK, so if you are in the stands you look down and see it," Paul said. "We presented him with a plaque acknowledging the recognition at yesterday's ceremony. One the jumpers he currently coaches, (junior) Grant Burfeind, did the announcing."
Falmouth then went out and did what it does best, winning both the boys' and girls' meets against Cape Elizabeth and Poland with ease.
The boys got wins from Jacob Buhelt in the 400 (55.08 seconds), Henry Briggs in the 800 (2 minutes, 7.56 seconds), Thomas Edmonds in the mile (4:40.37), Tim Follo in the two-mile (9:54.30), Andy Clement in the 300 hurdles (49.55), Ryan Tartre in the high jump (5 feet, 10 inches), Evan Eklund in the pole vault (10 feet), Aaron Rogers in the long jump (20-3), Reid Pryzant in the triple jump (39-10.75), Ryan MacDonald in the shot put (39-8.5) and discus (107-7), Matt Kingry in the javelin (141-11) and all three relay teams. The 400 team finished in 44.89 seconds. The 1,600 squad won in 3:41.42 and the 3,200 team had a time of 9:47.0.
On the girls' side, winners included Jena Mannette in the 400 (1:05.19), Madeline Roberts in the 800 (2:34.74) and the mile (5:39.80), Catherine Hebson in the two-mile (11:54.87), Nevada Horne in the 100 hurdles (18.77) and pole vault (8 feet), Charlotte Cutshall in the long jump (16-2), Jenna Serunian in the shot put (33-8) and discus (79-10) and all three relays (400, 55.3; 1,600, 4:33.06; 3,200, 11:02.7).
Falmouth, which has only lost to York this spring, has a big test at rival Greely Friday, in a meet which also includes Fryeburg and Lake Region.