Veteran coach Belskis gives up soccer position; Ashland top program over 27 years

This story was published on June 27, 2001 on Page C8 in all editions of the Bangor Daily News

Peter Belskis turned Ashland soccer into one of the premier Class D programs in the state, but after 27 years coaching the boys, Belskis is retiring.

He will keep his health and physical education teaching position, which he has held since 1974.

Belskis led the Hornets to a Class D state championship in 1997, Eastern Maine Class C titles in 1978 and 1987, and EM Class D crown in 1993. He earned Coach of the Year honors from the Maine Soccer Coaches Association in 1997.

“We’re known as a soccer school now,” athletic director Roger DeLong said. “He’s a very good soccer coach. He’s going to be very hard to replace.”

Not only that, but DeLong said the low pay and time commitment involved have made it hard to find a new soccer skipper.

“To try to pick up someone who’s not in the school system is very hard,” he said.

Belskis coached the boys basketball team for five years (1990-1994) and took the Hornets to the tournament twice. He’s also coached baseball at the school.

Veteran coach Guilford dies

Veteran boys high school basketball coach Don Guilford, who compiled more than 200 victories during his 19-plus years at several schools, died on Monday at age 56.

Guilford’s resumes included stints at Millinocket’s Stearns High School, Rockland and Searsport.

This past spring, he coached the Rockland Middle School baseball team. He was SAD 5’s driver education instructor for the past six years.

Guilford graduated from Mechanic Falls High School and the University of Maine-Gorham before embarking on his long coaching career.

He played baseball and basketball and ran track during his high school and college careers.

His other coaching and teaching stops included Sacopee Valley High School in South Hiram, Bucksport, Georges Valley in Thomaston, Fryeburg Academy, Milford and Oakhurst, N.J.

His entire coaching and teaching career, including all levels, spanned over 30 years.