Portland edition Coaches of the Year

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BOYS’ TEAM

COLIN MINTE—CHEVERUS SOCCER

Cinderella Cheverus needed someone to take it to the ball.

Colin Minte was the perfect man for the job.

The man with the Midas Touch, who won a state title in his first season at Windham in 2011, guided the Stags to a respectable, yet unspectacular regular season, then pushed all the right buttons as Cheverus went on an unthinkable run to a state title.

For molding a champion in such memorable fashion and for saving his best for last, Colin Minte is The Forecaster’s choice for our Portland edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.

Minte is the rare coach who was also once named Athlete of the Year (Fall 2001 at NYA). He was a three-sport athlete in high school (also playing basketball and lacrosse), then played four years of soccer at Skidmore College.

Minte came back to Maine, started officiating, then took a coaching course and found his niche. He spent two seasons as an assistant at Bates College, then had his triumphant two-year stint at Windham. After sitting out the 2013 season due to work demands (Minte works in software development), he returned to the sidelines at Cheverus.

This fall, the Stags went just 6-4-4 in the regular season, although they were competitive throughout. Then, as the number seven seed, Cheverus embarked on one of the most storied playoff runs in memory, ousting Portland in the preliminary round, shocking storied Falmouth in the quarterfinals, outlasting South Portland on penalty kicks in the semifinals, then stunning defending champion Scarborough in double overtime in the regional final before beating Lewiston to take home the improbable Gold Ball.

“Being a recent high school grad, I think I have a good handle on high school kids,” Minte said. “We were healthy and we played our best soccer in the playoffs. I knew there were strong teams, but I thought any team was beatable. I felt we had a chance. The beauty of being the number seven seed was having a good time and leaving it all out on the field. Guys stepped up huge. We weren’t the most talented team, but we can say we were the best.”

Minte said that he hopes to coach at Cheverus for many years to come.

“I’m really excited to coach at Cheverus,” said Minte. “We have great support from the administration and great kids who work hard. There were only a handful of jobs that I would have applied for. I’m very happy here.”

That suggests that we haven’t seen the last of a Gold Ball run.

Colin Minte, our Portland edition boys’ team Fall Coach of the Year, knows what buttons to push and his squad was the feel-good story of the season.

Prior winners:

2013: Rocco Frenzilli (Portland soccer)

2012: John Wolfgram (Cheverus football)

2011: Brandon Salway (Waynflete soccer)

2010: Rocco Frenzilli (Portland soccer)

2009: John Wolfgram (Cheverus football)

2008: Billy Goodman (Deering golf)

2007: Andy LeFebvre (Deering soccer)

2006: John Simpson (Cheverus cross country)

2005: Jim Ouellette (Cheverus golf)

2004: Mike Bailey (Portland football)

GIRLS’ TEAM

ARTHUR MOSEN—PORTLAND SOCCER

Portland’s girls’ soccer team completed its rise from the ashes this fall as it won a playoff game for the first time in five years, then almost pulled off an upset for the ages.

The man who pulled the strings for such a memorable run was Arthur Mosen, who inherited a squad that three mere seasons ago couldn’t win a game and promptly turned things around.

For leading the Bulldogs back to the playoffs, for helping them steal headlines once they got there and for changing the culture of a program and restoring its pride, Arthur Mosen is The Forecaster’s choice as our Portland edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Mosen is from England and moved to Maine in high school. Mosen started coaching with the Yarmouth girls’ first team in 2009, assisted at the University of Southern Maine the next year, then came to Portland as the junior varsity coach in 2011. The Bulldogs varsity didn’t win a game that season and Mosen inherited a mighty challenge in 2012.

Mosen led Portland to two wins his first season, then to five and the playoffs last fall. This season, the Bulldogs were expected to contend and they did.

Portland overcame a 1-3 start with a four-game win streak, but the Bulldogs were inconsistent at times and wound up 8-6. Still, Portland managed to earn the No.9 seed in Western A and went to rival Deering for the preliminary round. There, in an instant classic, the Bulldogs survived in penalty kicks to win their first postseason game since 2009. In the quarterfinals, at defending and eventual champion Windham, Portland jumped to a 2-0 lead, but couldn’t hold on and fell, 3-2, as an enjoyable and promising campaign came to a close.

“I saw talent when I was the JV coach, so I’m not surprised,” Mosen said. “I love being in an underdog role. I love to see the girls enjoy success. I’m so happy we had a season we could be proud of. Especially for the seniors.”

Mosen, who works with JMG, Jobs for Maine Graduates, a non-profit, believes his approach to coaching works for him.

“I got advice to just be myself,” said Mosen, who made a point of crediting assistant coach Curtis Chapin for his role in the program’s success. “It’s easy for a coach to copy others, but I feel the more I’m myself, the more I can give to the team.”

Mosen, who lives in South Portland, hopes to continue coaching for many years.

That’s good news for a program on the rise. Portland won’t be sneaking up on anyone in 2015, but it won’t need to. Arthur Mosen, our Portland edition girls’ team Fall Coach of the Year, has restored the Bulldogs to relevance.

Prior winners:

2013: Todd Dominski (Waynflete soccer)

2012: Todd Dominski (Waynflete soccer)

2011: Beth Arsenault (Portland field hockey)

2010: Noelle Surette (Waynflete field hockey)

2009: Amy McMullin (Cheverus field hockey)

2008: Ziggy Gillespie (Waynflete cross country)

2007: Patsy Fowler (Cheverus field hockey)

2006: Dave Levasseur (Portland soccer)

2005: Tim Donovan (McAuley cross country)

2004: Jon Shardlow (Waynflete soccer)

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

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.