Lewiston won last night. I wanted to be there, but logistics, work, and a not-so-common cold kept me in New York while the Blue Devils faced their twin city rival, the Red Eddies of Auburn. It was a big day for Lewiston High School. Coach Michael McGraw is a finalist in US Cellular's "Most Valuable Coach" contest, and a film crew was on hand to present him with a grant for $5,000 before the game. The hype was high, heightened by the fact that the game would take place at Bates College, my alma mater, because Lewiston High School's fields are under renovation.
Lewiston went up 1-0 on a rocket launched by Muktar Ali, one of the very first players I talked to when I was writing ONE GOAL. The generous folks who texted me throughout the game could't find enough adjectives to describe the power of Muktar's goal, but I've seen Muktar in action, many times, and I could well imagine what it looked like.
Muktar (pictured above right at a summer game in 2016) was only a sophomore when the Blue Devils vied for the state championship title. In ONE GOAL, I write this about him:
"What a game-changer that kid was. Not very big, he came off the bench and energized the team, made things happen. He was like a character in a video game, with a surge button at the ready whenever he needed to pour it on."
Last night, senior night, Muktar was, yet again, a game changer. I, for one, was not surprised.