BANGOR, Maine — Ralph Michaud doesn’t have any children.
But the Presque Isle High School girls soccer coach and assistant girls basketball coach said if he had had a daughter, he would have wanted her to emulate Chandler Guerrette.
Husson University’s basketball star is a former Presque Isle High School basketball and soccer standout.
Michaud said he wouldn’t have wanted his daughter to just mimic Guerrette’s athletic career.
“[It’s] the way she conducts herself in every aspect of life,” said Michaud, who not only coached her in high school but was her physical education teacher at Mapleton Elementary School.
“She is an amazing athlete but she is 100 times a better person than an athlete,” he said.
Guerrette, a guard, was a 1,000-point scorer at Presque Isle and led the Wildcats to back-to-back Class B state championships in 2012 and 2013. In soccer, she owns the school record for assists and sparked PI to a Class B regional title in 2011.
Her career at Husson has been just as impressive.
Entering Friday’s NCAA Division III tournament game against DeSales University of Pennsylvania, Guerrette has tallied 1,298 career points for an average of 12.6 per game. She has also registered 440 rebounds (3.9 per game), 288 assists (2.8) and 248 steals (2.4).
During a terrific senior year she is averaging 14.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.5 steals in leading the Eagles to their second straight North Atlantic Conference tournament championship and a berth in the NCAAs.
The determined Guerrette scored 28 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had two assists and a steal in the 58-55 victory over New England College in the NAC championship game.
“When the game is on the line, she wants the ball,” said University of Maine-Farmington coach Jamie Beaudoin. “In the NAC championship game, she took over that game in the second half.”
Guerrette recently became the first player in league history to be named the Player of Year and the Defensive Player of the Year in the same season and the Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year during her career.
She is Husson’s first four-time, all-conference player.
“She has the ability to take over a game at the offensive and defensive ends of the floor,” said Beaudoin. “One of her real strengths that goes unnoticed is her ability to drive and create contact. She spends a lot of time at the free-throw line and takes advantage of free shots.”
Guerrette is a career 75.8 percent foul shooter but she has been even better this season (81.6 percent).
“I have a great deal of respect for Chandler,” said Maine Maritime Academy coach Craig Dagan. “The best compliment I can give her is that she has been a pain in our backside for four years.
“One of the things that makes her unique is she plays both ends of the floor,” added Dagan. “At this level, great offensive players aren’t usually good defensive players. But she’s a great two-way player. And she’s a tough kid but one who does things the right way on the court. It has been a pleasure to watch her.”
“I find defense to be really fun,” said Guerrette. “I don’t consider myself offensive-minded. I’m more defensive-minded.”
“She has been the glue for four years,” said Husson coach Kissy Walker. “She can shoot, penetrate, defend, rebound and dish out assists and she is a great student. She has a 3.6 [grade point average] in occupational therapy. And she could care less if she gets any recognition. She’s very unselfish.”
“She is the most humble person you’ll ever meet,” said Presque Isle basketball coach Jeff Hudson. “And she is the ultimate competitor. She refuses to lose.”
Michaud said Guerrette was “relentless” on the soccer field as a striker but added that she was also a “pretty level-headed kid” in both sports.
“You never saw any antics from her even if things weren’t going the right way,” he said.
Michaud said she always devoted time to talk to youngsters at their Wildcat summer basketball camp and wrote a wonderful letter to one of the Wildcat seniors talking about how special it is to play for Presque Isle High School.
“I make sure all of my seniors read it every year,” said Michaud.
Guerrette said she originally didn’t expect her career at Husson to be as meaningful as it was at Presque Isle. But she was proven wrong.
“I didn’t think it was going to be as special to me as high school but it definitely has been,” said the 5-foot-4 Guerrette.
“I had thought about playing soccer here but it overlapped with basketball so I thought if I just focused on that one thing, I would really enjoy that and I have,” she added.
And she has strived to improve every season.
“I’ve tried to be self-aware of what I can do after each season to kind of improve,” she said. “After last season, I got on a training program at home over the summer and it definitely helped me coming into this season.”
“She has meant a lot to the team,” said sophomore all-conference guard Kenzie Worcester. “She leads by example. She doesn’t always say much but her work ethic is something definitely to look up to.”
“She’s an awesome leader,” said Husson senior Denae Johnson. “She brings so much energy. She is so devoted to basketball.”
Guerrette said basketball is her favorite sport but soccer is a close second.
She loves to win but has a healthy perspective on sports.
“You don’t remember the wins and losses. You do remember the championships,” said Guerrette. “The traveling you do with your teammates and the memories you make with them — and the experiences you have with people and the connections you make last longer than the wins and losses.”
She is immersed in academics.
“Obviously school is my main priority. I’ve recently started working with kids and I really like that. We’ll see where it takes me,” she said.
She credits Hudson and Michaud, along with her AAU basketball coaches, Walker and the Husson staff with being major influences.
“Playing at Husson has been a great experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” said Guerrette. “Coach Walker and the assistants have been really great. I’m really going to miss hanging out with them every day.”