JONESPORT — Opposing teams’ efforts to keep Damon Warren off the scoreboard the past few years have rarely been fruitful. Last week, another flurry of goals put the senior forward in elite company.
With the Sumner boys’ soccer team battling Jonesport-Beals in the second half of Wednesday’s road game, Damon Warren, Sumner’s all-time leading scorer, already had three goals to his name on the evening. A fourth, though, would give him a milestone achievement.
Possessing the ball in the attacking third, Warren flicked it between three defenders and into the 16-yard box. As the ball took the perfect bounce in front of him, he was able to collect in front of the goalkeeper with just the right amount of space. From there, nothing could separate Warren’s right foot and a place in Hancock County soccer history.
Warren became the first Hancock County player to score 100 career goals with his fourth of the game Wednesday against Jonesport-Beals. The achievement came less than one year after he set the state’s single-season scoring record with 52 goals in Sumner’s 2018 campaign.
“He’s been playing ever since he was 4, and you could always tell he was going places,” Warren’s father, Roy, said. “He has numerous soccer balls, and he sleeps with them. He’s in love with the sport.”
Warren scored seven goals for Sumner as a freshman in 2016 before scoring 17 as a sophomore the following year. Then came his record-setting junior campaign, in which Warren became the first player in state history to score 50 goals in a season with the first of his two Class C North quarterfinal tallies against Lee Academy.
As Warren continued to score at a blistering pace this year, he and his dad began to realize the 100 mark was within reach. Originally, it appeared as if he would reach the mark at home last Monday, but when rain postponed Sumner’s scheduled game against Machias, the moment instead came on the road two days later.
“When we started looking into it and finding out it was possible, it was kind of a dream,” Roy Warren said. “I think we certainly hoped it would happen at home, but it was still awesome.”
Warren’s rise as one of the state’s all-time scoring leaders has coincided with Sumner’s emergence as one of the top teams in Class C North. The Tigers are 25-2-1 since the start of last season, and Warren has scored 80 of the team’s 190 goals during that 28-game span.
“He’s a very confident player who’s been a huge piece of our success,” Sumner head coach Tom Hart said. “Just him being on the field makes a difference in the game.”
After Sumner beat Jonesport-Beals 7-3, the Tigers honored Warren on the field for his achievement. He knew the significance of his achievement, but he was also happy to put the chase behind him.
“The biggest thing for me is doing what I need to do to help our team win games,” Warren said. “I try to think of it as not a big deal, but obviously it is.”
Sumner, which followed the win over Jonesport-Beals with victories over Lee Academy and Bucksport, will host Lee in a rematch at 4 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 18. With a win in that game and at home against Machias at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, the No. 1 Tigers (11-0-1) can complete their first undefeated regular season in team history.
From there, Tigers will push for their first state title as they compete in the Class C playoffs. That, Roy Warren said, will be the biggest thing on his son’s mind in the weeks to come.
“Now that  is out of the way, that’s his focus,” Warren said. “He wants that Gold Ball.”