The start of the 2009 season is still more than three months away, but the University of Maine football team is already receiving recognition.
Coach Jack Cosgrove’s Black Bears have been ranked in two different national Football Championship Subdivision Polls.
UMaine is No. 15 in the AnyGivenSaturday.com preseason sampling and is 17th in the Athlon preview magazine.
The Bears went 8-5 last fall and qualified for the NCAA playoffs for the first time since 2002. UMaine finished the season ranked 16th in the FCS Coaches Poll and 18th in The Sports Network poll.
In the AGS poll, UMaine is ranked sixth among Colonial Athletic Conference teams behind defending national champion Richmond (No. 1), No. 4 Villanova, No. 6 James Madison and No. 8 New Hampshire and No. 13 William & Mary.
The Bears also have had three players recognized as preseason All-Americans by Consensus Draft Services. Sophomore fullback Jared Turcotte of Lewiston was a second-team pick by that organization, while senior quarterback Mike Brusko and senior linebacker Mark Masterson received honorable mention.
Turcotte was named to two All-America squads last fall and was a first-team All-CAA pick.
UMaine opens its season Sept. 3, a Thursday night, with a nonleague home game against Division II St. Cloud State of Minnesota.
Scott Hackett shines at Stonehill
Former Bangor High School standout Scott Hackett recently completed a breakout season at Division II Stonehill College in Massachusetts.
Hackett, a junior transfer from the University of Maine, emerged as the Skyhawks’ leading hitter in his first season as a starter. He batted .304 with one home run and 20 runs batted in (fourth on the team) en route to earning recognition as an All-Northeast-10 Conference second-team pick.
The 6-foot, 185-pounder started at second base but also played third base and saw time at catcher. Hackett helped coach Patrick Boen’s Stonehill team post a 24-22 record.
He was second on the squad in on-base percentage (.389), third in hits (41), doubles (8) and stolen bases (8), and fourth in runs scored (19) and walks (15).
Hackett, the son of former UMaine catcher Ed Hackett, also ranked 12th in the NE-10 with a .962 fielding percentage and seven sacrifice hits.
Lauriat rowing All-American
Senior Elaine Lauriat of Wesleyan University has been named to the second team of the Collegiate Rowers Coaching Association Division III All-America squad.
Lauriat, a resident of Southwest Harbor and a 2005 graduate of Mount Desert Island High School, was a senior tri-captain for the Cardinals. She competed at the stroke position for Wesleyan, which finished seventh overall and fourth among Division III teams (the other three of which are among the four top-ranked teams in the country) in the varsity 8 earlier this month at the New England Rowing Championships.
Lauriat graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Latin American studies and a concentration in history. She also was honored as a CRCA Scholar All-America.
Becton wins national title at Yale
Junior Grace Becton helped Yale University win the 2009 Intercollegiate Sailing Association Women’s Championship that wrapped up Wednesday in San Francisco.
Becton, who hails from Deer Isle, was a member of the Bulldogs’ “B” team, which teamed up with the “A” squad to give Yale the national championship for the second time in school history.
Yale scored 148 points to edge runner-up College of Charleston (S.C.), which tallied 139.
Becton was named an ICSA All-American crew in 2007 for her accomplishments in the 2006-2007 coed sailing season.
At Deer Isle-Stonington High School, Becton played soccer for four years, tennis for two years, and basketball for two years, lettering in each sport. Becton was the captain of both the soccer and tennis teams.
Jia solid for Middlebury tennis
Elliot Jia was among the key contributors this spring for the Middlebury College men’s tennis team.
The junior from Mount Desert was the Panthers’ No. 6 singles player. He helped Middlebury (21-3) reach the NCAA quarterfinals, where it lost to New England Small College Athletic Conference rival Amherst.
Jia attended Choate Rosemary Hall School in Connecticut.