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Magnusson takes helm of Cougar boys' hoop
DIXFIELD -- There’s no rest for the weary and so it goes for the Dirigo boys’ basketball program, who have been busy pounding the hardwood. The summer schedule has been in full gear throughout July.
If change allows for adapting, then the incoming seniors have a leg up on the competition. That’s because for the fourth straight year the Cougars have a new coach at the helm.
The current varsity mentor is Travis Magnusson, who is directing the show this summer with returning starters Cody St. Germain, Ben Holmes, Caleb Turner and Josh Turbide; reserves Jake Dowland, Mike Babb, TJ Frost and Hunter Ross. There are other JV players and incoming freshmen, who will each have an opportunity to show their respective skills.
The three former Cougar head coaches each guided the Cougars to regional championships. They included Gavin Kane, Dave Gerrish and Rebecca Fletcher.
After Fletcher resigned during the spring, Kane stepped in and applied. Kane had hoped to be hired as athletic director at Dirigo Middle School, but any potential return to Cougar town was derailed. It is RSU 10 policy that any district employees be give preference for any coaching jobs.
Magnusson teaches physical education at Buckfield, which is in RSU 10 with Dirigo and Mountain Valley. Kane accepted the girls' varsity coaching job at newly-formed Spruce Mountain, the merger between Jay and Livermore Falls.
Magnusson is certainly no stranger to the Mountain Valley Conference, both as a player and a coach. As a player, the standout guard was one of the top scorers in Maine high school history, at the former Georges Valley High School in Thomaston. The merger between Rockland and Thomaston has created Oceanside High School.
Magnusson coached at Livermore Falls the previous six seasons and qualified for the Class C tournament the past three.
Additionally, Magnusson was named an MVC coach of the year in 2010. In fact, Dirigo beat Livermore Falls in the tournament the past two years.
This summer, the Cougars have been battling against Class A powers Mount Blue and Edward Little, along with Class B Mountain Valley and Spruce Mountain. Magnusson is certainly no stranger in the Mountain Valley Conference.