Ever since his son, Ryan, has been in middle school, Dave Lafleur has spent much of his free time helping him become one of the top pitchers in Class C. 

Both of their high school careers ended in style Saturday, and it’s time for the father to shift his priorities.

“I have a 12-year-old daughter (Mariah), and for the last six or seven years, I’ve always brought her somewhere and dropped her off so I could go play baseball with my son,” Lafleur said. “He’s had a good six years with me. It’s my daughter’s turn. She’s already fired up about it.”

After three years at the helm, Lafleur is stepping down as Dirigo’s varsity baseball coach. He guided the Cougars to their first baseball state championship with Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Calais.

“I couldn’t be more happy,” he said. “It’s a great way to go out.”

Lafleur, who said he may get involved with coaching softball, is one of two coaches from the Mountain Valley Conference North division to move on after the season. Ryan Palmer has resigned after four seasons at Mt. Abram.

“I just thought it was a good time to leave,” Palmer said. “”In my job at the Greater Rumford Community Center, they were very lenient in letting me get out early to go to Mt. Abram every day. It’s not what they had to do. I figured this year, the kids I came in with as freshmen, I’d finish with them.”

“Things went very well in those four years,” he added. “One thing I can say is we got better every year. We made the playoffs the last two years.”

The Roadrunners’ record improved every year under Palmer’s watch. They were 3-12 his first year, 4-12 his second, then reached the Western C prelims with an 8-9 mark last year and then played until the quarterfinals this year, ending with a 10-6 record.

“I had great kids,” he said. “The athletic director, Jeff Pillsbury, was just fantastic. You couldn’t ask for a better AD. My assistant coach Barry London, you couldn’t ask for a better assistant coach.”

Palmer, 29, a Mountain Valley alum, hopes to continue coaching, and the Dirigo job is certainly on his radar screen. He is coaching the Swasey-Torrey American Legion team in Dixfield this summer.


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