Foxcroft Academy boys soccer and wrestling coach Luis Ayala, who teaches health and physical education, poses with U.S. Cellular Local Marketing and Brand Activation Manager Stacey York as Ayala was recognized as the U.S. Cellular Most Valuable Coach in January 2018 in Orlando, Fla. Ayala in August will be inducted into the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame. Credit: Intersport

Luis Ayala, who has coached the Foxcroft Academy wrestling team to six state championships in 17 years, will be one of four new inductees into the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame next month.

Joining Ayala in the MAWA Class of 2019 are veteran coach Rick DeRosier of Massabesic High School in Waterboro, former Marshwood of South Berwick wrestler and current Hawks head coach Pat Howard and University of Southern Maine coach and former Huskies’ wrestler Mike Morin.

The induction ceremony is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 17 at the Hyde School in Bath.

Ayala became head coach at Foxcroft in 2001, and since then has guided the Ponies to Class C state championships in 2004, 2005, 2011, 2012 and 2013 as well as the Class B state crown in 2016 and a state runner-up finish in 2018.

His teams also have captured 12 regional titles and 11 Penobscot Valley Conference championships, and he has coached 39 individual state champions, 74 regional champs, 45 conference winners and one New England title holder.

Ayala has compiled a 346-44 coaching record (.888) with the Ponies.

After coaching the high school team each winter, Ayala also has spent 17 years coaching at SeDoMoCha Middle School in Dover-Foxcroft. He has served as coach and president of the Foxcroft Youth Wrestling Club for the last 20 years and as director of the Foxcroft Competitive Wrestling Camp for 17 years.

In 2017, Ayala was named the winner of U.S. Cellular’s Most Valuable Coach contest from among thousands of coaches nominated from around the country.

DeRosier has been the head coach at Massabesic since 2007. He led the Mustangs to an undefeated season and Class A state championship in 2008 and also guided five Massabesic teams to runner-up finishes at the Class A state meet.

DeRosier has amassed more than 150 dual-meet wins and coached multiple individual state champions and New England scorers. DeRosier, who was a high school assistant coach from 2002 to 2006, also has spent many years coaching youth and middle school wrestling at Massabesic.

Howard wrestled at Marshwood from 1999 to 2002 and compiled a 157-20 record with three state championships. He competed at Norwich University from 2003 to 2006 and amassed a 77-30 record while serving as a two-year team captain.

He returned to Marshwood in 2008 as an assistant coach under MAWA Hall of Famer Matt Rix and was named Maine Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010. He replaced the retired Rix as Marshwood’s head coach last winter and guided the Hawks to second-place finishes at the Class A South and Class A state meets.

Morin wrestled for USM from 2006 to 2010 and was a three-time NCAA Division III New England champion who earned All-America status by finishing fourth at the 2009 nationals and fifth in 2010.

Morin has coached at USM for the past nine years, including the last four seasons as head coach. He was named New England Wrestling Association assistant coach of the year in 2015 and Northeast Region head coach of the year in 2018

Others to be honored during the MAWA ceremony are John Cole, Distinguished Service Award; Scott Lewia of Wells High School, Coach of the Year; Zack Elowitch of Portland High School, John Caramilhalis High School Wrestler of the Year Award; Peter DelGallo of the University of Southern Maine, James Aguiar College Wrestler of the Year; Shawn St. Cyr, a coach for both the Maine Trappers Wrestling Club and the USA Wrestling Maine Youth National Team, Person of the Year; and Nic Mills of Cony High School in Augusta, Gary Kent Academic Scholarship.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame ceremony are $15 per person and must be purchased by Aug. 10. Those interested may send checks — payable to the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance — to MAWA President John Nicholas at 3 Carmichael Lane, Windham 04062, ME. For more information, contact Nicholas at 207-332-9845.

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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...