Foxcroft ‘s Ayala named MAWA Coach of the Year honor

By Bill Pearson
Staff Writer

    Foxcroft Academy wrestling coach Luis Ayala has been named the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance “Coach of the Year” for 2013. This is Ayala’s first time being honored by the MAWA, but he has been named COY by the Portland Press Herald in 2004 and 2011.

sp-wrestlinginjury-dc-po-48File photo/Bill Pearson

    COACH OF THE YEAR — Foxcroft wrestling coach Luis Ayala looks on while assistant coach Duane Law tends to an injured wrestler last season. Ayala recently was named the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance “Coach of the Year.” Ayala has guided the Ponies to five state titles since 2004 including the past three Class C State titles.

    In 2013, Ayala guided the Ponies to their third consecutive Class C State Wrestling championship. In his 11 years as the coach, his team has won five state championships.
    Ayala believes the community support for the Foxcroft wrestling program is the major reason for his team’s success over the years.
    “You need to start with some great athletes and kids, but our community support and our administration has given us everything we’ve needed over the years to be competitive,” Ayala said. “My being named “Coach of the Year” is a just reward for a combination of factors for our entire program.
    The hard work of our young athletes, the relentless work of our coaching staff to make them better wrestlers has been a successful combination here at Foxcroft Academy.”
    Foxcroft Academy will compete in Class B next winter. Ayala is already eyeing the competition in his team’s new classification.
 He believes defending state champion Camden Hills and runner-up Fryeburg Academy along with traditional Eastern Maine power Belfast will be formidable foes next season.
    “We really need to make sure our schedule prepares us for competing in Class B,” Ayala said. “It’s by wrestling quality opponents throughout the season which will prepare us for the challenge that Class B presents.”
    In Ayala’s five championship seasons, the first two came during his first tenure with the team.
    Foxcroft won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005.
    He took a year off in 2009 to pursue some educational goals, but returned in 2010.
    The Ponies quickly regained their championship form by capturing state titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
    Under Ayala’s tutelage, Pony wrestlers Wesley Stinson, won his third straight individual title; Brooks Law, Forest Law and Corey Bjornson, won their second consecutive championship; and Ayala’s son, Tino, won his first individual state championship as a freshman.
    The Ponies won their third straight Class C State championship by defeating runner-up Dirigo of Dixfield.
    Ayala will be honored by the MAWA during its annual Hall of Fame induction banquet scheduled for Aug. 1 at the Hyde School in Bath.

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