Monmouth Academy junior Hayden Fletcher. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Editor’s note: The coronavirus pandemic made the 2020 fall sports season different than any before it. Some teams didn’t play. Those who did, played shorter schedules, and some only a handful of games or less. There were still standout players, though. And while there might not have been enough games to compile the typical All-Region teams, the Sun Journal still wants to recognize some of the standouts by selecting players of the year for the sports that had seasons.

Not knowing when or if the season would start or what it would look like could have caused pause for Hayden Fletcher. Instead, the Monmouth Academy junior used the uncertainty as a reason to be ready for whenever the soccer season did start.

“When you don’t know if you’re going to have a season at all, I feel like it made me work that much harder in the offseason,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher certainly showed he was ready, and showed he was game for a season that he knew wouldn’t include playoffs for the perennially-contending Mustangs, leading Monmouth with 16 goals and 11 assists in an abbreviated season.

He was a standout on a stellar team, and in the Sun Journal coverage area, making him the All-Region Boys Soccer Player of the Year for 2020.

“Hayden spent a fair amount of time working on skills specific to creating scoring opportunities,” Joe Fletcher, Hayden’s father and Monmouth’s head coach, said. “Hayden has been self-motivated and self-driven. I think that Hayden realized early this summer that he would need to improve in order for us to maintain our status as one of the premier programs in Maine. On several occasions, Hayden received skill development training from his brother Kyle.”

Kyle Fletcher, now an associate head men’s soccer coach at Thomas College, shares the Monmouth school record for career goals with 2018 graduate Avery Pomerleau, with 91. Hayden currently sits at 72 career goals, to go along with 42 assists.

The current Mustangs’ scoring leader also showed some team leadership this season as an upperclassman.

Monmouth’s Hayden Fletcher becomes the third member of his family to be named All-Region player of the year. His sisters, Haley (2016) and Audrey (2018) were both selected as Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“Hayden has always been a player that leads by example. He’s soft spoken but gets his point across when he has something to share or teach,” Joe Fletcher said. “He’s been around the game so long that he naturally shares what he has been taught. With three older siblings who played at a high level it’s easy to see where he gets his leadership skills.”

Older sisters Haley and Audrey are former All-Region Girls Soccer Players of the Year.

Hayden’s goals came both in bunches (four in a win over Oak Hill) and at important moments.

“Hayden scored the lone goal in an early season match at Hall-Dale. Hayden also scored two goals against Maranacook in a 10-minute span to tie the game and then win it. Both goals came late in the second half,” Joe Fletcher said. “I remember at halftime that I asked Hayden to do something special. I guess he did!”

Hayden Fletcher recorded 16 goals and 11 assists during his abbreviated junior season. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Hayden pointed to those games as memorable, as well as a season-ending win over Hall-Dale that won the Mustangs the RSU2 Cup.

“I think when we beat Maranacook on the road, that was a huge boost of confidence for our entire team and kind of showed us how good we could be,” Hayden said.

“It took all of us to stick together as a team and never give up because we didn’t know if the season would end at any point in time,” he added.

Sticking together wasn’t difficult for the core of the team, which Hayden Fletcher said has been together since elementary school.

“As a team we always focus on chemistry, and caring about the guy next to you, and that’s why this team was as good as it was,” he said.

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