RUMFORD — Mason Corriveau pulled up, got out of the car, slipped on his baseball cap and began walking toward a group of players who had gathered at the other end of the parking lot.

He only took a few steps before asking, “Who we got?” and counting how many players had arrived for one of the first outdoor practices of the season.

“I love it. He’s intense. He gets right to it,” senior third baseman Leon Salmon said of playing for Corriveau.

Corriveau was tabbed to be Mountain Valley’s interim baseball coach a few days before pitchers and catchers started practicing last month, and recently he was officially hired as the Falcons’ head coach.

“Big shoes to fill. First guy to coach baseball in … decades that isn’t Steve LaPointe,” Corriveau said. “I definitely don’t take that lightly.”

The last time a high school in Rumford hired a baseball coach was in 1981, when LaPointe was picked to lead the Rumford Panthers. He remained the baseball coach when Rumford and Mexico high schools merged to become Mountain Valley High School in 1989, and led the program until he decided to step down recently. Corriveau is only the second coach in Mountain Valley history.


“Steve is definitely a legend of the Maine baseball scene, especially up here,” Corriveau said.

Corriveau is actually part of the Steve LaPointe coaching tree. He graduated from Dirigo in 2017, where he was coached by Ryan Palmer, now Central Maine Community College’s baseball coach, who played for LaPointe at Mountain Valley. Corriveau also said that LaPointe was once an assistant for one of his American Legion teams.

Corriveau is one of two former Dirigo players who are first-time high school head coaches this spring, along with his former teammate, Gavin Arsenault, who has taken the reins at their alma mater.

“It’s been awesome,” Corriveau said of the first few weeks of the preseason. “The kids have come in super focused, working really, really hard. I think they’re excited for the opportunity to kind of get going.”

Corriveau already is familiar with most of the Mountain Valley players. He has coached a lot of them in youth leagues. He also is a teacher at Mountain Valley High School and is the school’s JV basketball coach.

“I like Mason a lot,” said senior outfielder Zach New, who has been the Falcons’ top basketball player for the past few seasons. “He’s a great guy. One of my favorite coaches that ever coached me.”


Corriveau’s job is to rebuild Mountain Valley, which finished 3-14 last year and 4-12 the season before, into a contender in the Mountain Valley Conference and Class C South.

This spring, the Falcons’ roster has 17 players. There are several good athletes but not a lot of experience, so the coaching staff’s focus has been on building a strong foundation for the future and working on the fundamentals and mental aspect of baseball.

“So, really, it’s just getting those building blocks in place,” Corriveau said. “Kind of changing the culture and the habits that we feel are going to make us successful, and just creating that momentum for next year.

“I think physically we’re going to be in good shape, then it’s just trying to catch them up in the mental piece of the game.”

Falcons catcher Kaden Paaso decided to compete for Mountain Valley’s track and field team instead of play baseball last year. The junior, who also is one of the school’s top football players and wrestlers, said that the mental part of baseball is part of what drew him back this season.

“It’s just such a mental game,” Paaso said. “I mean, you could be physically strong, but you have to be mentally there to really be good and excel at this sport. You have to know the plays, know where the ball’s going. You just got to be all-around athletes.”


Paaso will be catching for a pitching staff led by junior ace Seneca Jones, sophomore Tyler Warren and Salmon.

“I think we have some pretty solid pitchers; I mean, we have at least three or four solid pitchers that I have a lot of trust in,” Paaso said.

Corriveau said that there are handful of other Falcons who can pitch this season, including Paaso, Jake New and Colby Frisbie.

Offensively, Mountain Valley will be methodical and rely on its athleticism.

“We’re not a very strong hitting team,” Zach New said. “So we basically want to bunt people over and steal a lot of bases — get those runners in scoring position.”

Corriveau expects Zach New, Jake New, Jones and Salmon will be among the Falcons’ top hitters this spring.


Salmon, Paaso and Zach New each expressed excitement about the first few weeks of the preseason.

“The team’s just working together, at all times. We’re all in it together,” Salmon said.

The players also seem to be feeding off Corriveau’s obvious enthusiasm for his new gig, for the program and for the future of Mountain Valley baseball.

“Baseball is my favorite. It’s definitely my favorite sport,” Corriveau said. “And like I said, we only have 17, but I got 17 that are going to go to war for me every day — and vice versa.

“So they’re really fun to be around, and I’m excited for the next couple months.”

While building for the future is the goal, there still is a lot to accomplish this season.


The Mountain Valley Conference is never easy, and it won’t be this year. Monmouth returns most of its players, from last year and even from the season before when it reached the state title game. Oak Hill brings back most of its players. Class C runner-up Lisbon lost several players but returns nearly as much. Mt. Abram was hit hard by graduation, but Corriveau expects them to be among the league’s best again. Spruce Mountain brings back most of the squad that in 2022 had a nine-win improvement over the previous season.

There are also a couple of teams coming off 9-8 seasons that might be ready to break out: Dirigo is loaded with talented seniors who have championship experience in other sports, while Winthrop only lost a couple key players and returns three strong pitchers.

Corriveau said the key for the Falcons will be to compete, to fight through the first four or five innings and put themselves in position to pull away in the sixth and seventh, to power through mistakes and not let a bad inning snowball into two or three bad innings, to battle through adversity.

“Be the last team to give up,” Salmon said.

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