PORTLAND, Maine — Nate Doehler, a quarterback and defensive back from Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, was named the 38th winner of the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy on Sunday as the state’s top senior high school football player for the 2008 season.
The award ceremony, which was postponed from Jan. 18 due to inclement weather, was held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.
Doehler was selected in a vote of media and Maine high school football coaches from a field of finalists that also included Billy Clark of Skowhegan and Justin Staires of Mountain Valley of Rumford.
Doehler was the preseason favorite for the award after leading Bonny Eagle to the 2007 Class A state championship as a junior, and he merely built on that record this fall.
He rushed for 17 touchdowns and 1,294 yards and passed for 19 touchdowns and 1,472 yards last fall — the second straight season he both rushed and passed for more than 1,000 yards.
Doehler then guided the Fighting Scots back to the Class A state championship game, where he passed for one touchdown and ran for another as Bonny Eagle defeated Skowhegan 26-6 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland to finish the season with a 10-2 record.
Doehler, who also was the team’s punter and place-kicker, becomes the second Fitzy winner from Bonny Eagle, following fullback-linebacker John Weichman in 2005.
Clark, a running back and defensive back, led Skowhegan to its first Eastern Maine Class A championship since 1989. He rushed for 2,187 yards and scored 28 touchdowns this fall, averaging 182.2 rushing yards per game and 7.6 yards per carry.
Clark, who finished his career as the leading scorer in Skowhegan football history with 328 points, previously was named the 2008 Pine Tree Conference Class A Player of the Year.
Staires was a four-year standout at running back for Mountain Valley, which captured its second Class B state title in three seasons by beating Morse 52-6. Staires scored four touchdowns and rushed for 229 yards in that game.
Staires, who also played defensive back, finished the season with 33 touchdowns and 1,771 yards.