FA’s Ayala is a U.S. Cellular Most Valuable coach nominee

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DOVER-FOXCROFT – U.S. Cellular has announced the top 50 nominees for its Most Valuable Coach program, and Luis Ayala from Foxcroft Academy — who leads the Pony boys soccer and wrestling teams — is among them. After thousands of nominations were submitted, these 50 coaches are now listed and can be voted on At the end of the program, the winning coach will receive a $50,000 donation to the charitable organization of their choosing or their high school athletic department, a trip to Orlando, Fla. and on-field recognition at the Under Armour High School All-America Game.

Other Maine coaches in the Top 50 include, Scott Lawyerson from Upper Kennebunk Valley Memorial in Bingham, Mike McGraw from Lewiston High School, James Danala from Mt. Abram High School in Salem Township and Heather Thompson from Narraguagus Junior/Senior High School in Harrington.

U.S. Cellular’s Most Valuable Coach program honors high school coaches who lead by example, strengthen their teams and give back to their communities. The public can vote for their favorite coach among the Top 50 nominees between now and 11:59 a.m. central time on Oct. 9 at

The 15 coaches earning the most votes will advance to the final round of voting. U.S. Cellular will award each final 15 coach’s school with $5,000, host a local celebratory event and create a short video that shares the coach’s story on

“We are truly inspired by the incredible stories that were shared throughout the nomination phase of the Most Valuable Coach program,” said Matt Kasper, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England. “Each of the Top 50 coaches deserves to be recognized for their contributions to not only their team, but their community. These individuals go beyond the game and lead by example. We encourage everyone in Dover-Foxcroft to vote for their favorite coach.”

Along with the online public voting, a panel of judges including Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Kurt Warner will help to determine the Most Valuable Coach based on leadership qualities and the positive impact they have had on their community, school and players. The winning coach will be announced on Nov. 20.

For more information, to vote on the Top 50 coaches and to view the official program rules, please visit

Contributed file photo
MOST VALUABLE COACH NOMINEE — Foxcroft Academy boys soccer coach Luis Ayala poses with his son Rico Ayala after the Ponies’ 2016 Class B North prelim victory in Ellsworth. The elder Ayala, who also leads the Foxcroft wrestling program, is one of 50 nominees for U.S. Cellular’s Most Valuable Coach honor, and 15 finalists will be determined through voting done at

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