Calais freshman Addison Coty (7) gets an early jump on the boys pack at the start of the Penobscot Valley Conference cross-country championship meet in Bucksport, Oct. 18, 2014. Coty, 18, died early Tuesday morning in a car crash on River Road in Calais. Credit: Ernie Clark

A versatile student-athlete with a passion for running and basketball and a vibrant personality was how Addison Coty is being remembered by those who knew him.

Coty, a recent graduate of Calais High School from the neighboring town of Robbinston, died early Tuesday morning in a single-car crash in Calais.

He was driving a 2006 Volvo station wagon southbound on River Road at about 2 a.m. when his vehicle left the road and crashed into several trees, according to the Calais Police Department.

Coty, 18, was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, and speed is believed to be a factor, police said. The crash remains under investigation.

“Addison was a great kid around school, probably one of the most-liked kids around school,” Calais High School activities director Randy Morrison said of Coty, who was one of the student speakers at the school’s graduation ceremony in June.

Coty competed in baseball, basketball, cross-country, track and field and soccer at Calais.

“Addison was a kid who would just light up the room,” Calais boys basketball coach Darrin Constant said. “Everyone was friends with Addison, and I think that’s a testament to who he was as a person.

“He also was one of the best athletes I have had the pleasure to coach. He could jump higher and run faster than anyone we played against, and for as great of an athlete as he was, he was an even better kid.”

As a freshman, Coty was a member of the 2015 Calais High boys basketball team that won the Class C state championship. While he didn’t see much game action during the tournament run, he was a contributing presence.

“He was very competitive, and in practice you’d see him get better every day,” said Kyle Johnson, a senior starter on that team who grew up with Coty in Robbinston. “We played basketball and soccer in high school and went to the same [K-8] school in Robbinston. We played together all through grade school and he was just a very good athlete all-around.”

Coty went on to become a three-year starter and two-year captain in basketball.

“Addison had a bunch of games where he was high scorer or high rebounder, and he even made a game-winning shot his junior year as time expired against rival Woodland,” Constant said. “My favorite memory of Addison that epitomized ‘Blue Devil Pride’ was his presence in the team huddle. Every night prior to taking the court you would hear Addison’s voice echo from the corner of the gym, ‘What’s cooler than being cool!? His teammates would answer back, ‘Ice Cold!’ Addison would again ask, “What’s cooler than being cool!? … ‘Ice Cold!’

“I am going to miss that voice in the team huddle next year.”

While his basketball exploits may have been better known, Coty also stood out as a distance runner.

He was a four-year Downeast Athletic Conference all-star and a Penobscot Valley Conference all-star as a senior. Coty capped off his cross-country career by finishing fifth in the 2017 Class C state championship meet.

He played soccer during the fall and Morrison recalled one instance when Coty’s skills from both sports meshed.

“I remember one game in soccer when he dribbled the ball up the right wing, lost it way down by the goal, sprinted back up the left wing on the defensive side, caught up with the guy who had the ball and took it back and went back down the field again,” Morrison said.

“He worked hard, and he was a good sport doing it, too. He’d help somebody up if he knocked him down.”

That helpfulness wasn’t confined to the athletic arena, Constant said.

“I think Addison’s best trait was being a big brother to his brother Wyatt,” the coach said. “He would do anything for his brother and from watching Wyatt I could tell Addison was his idol.”

Coty had planned to study welding this fall at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor.

“It’s had a major impact on all of the student body at Calais,” Morrison said of Coty’s death. “We’ve had some kids coming in to get counseling, and everyone in the community knew him because he was one of our better athletes.

“The kids really liked him, the community really liked him, and he’s going to be missed. It’s just been tough on everyone.”

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...