Jim Bower of Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, who led the nation in rushing during the 2009 football season, has been named to the American Football Coaches Association Division III All-America Team.
Bower, a senior fullback from South Paris, is among the headliners on a tradition-rich AFCA team that dates back to 1945. He was one of only two New England Football Conference players to be so recognized.
Linebacker Scott Driscoll of Curry College in Milton, Mass., also was named an All-American.
Bower joins exclusive company in MMA football history. He is the Mariners’ first All-American since Steve Tardif of Biddeford earned the distinction in 1999. Rob Marchitello was a two-time All-American in 1994 and ’95 and Kirk Mathieu of Fairfield was honored in 1992.
The 5-foot-9, 225-pounder, who played for Oxford Hills High School, averaged 160.5 yards per game this season on his way to 1,605 yards and 22 rushing touchdowns. Bower averaged 6.27 yards per carry while helping coach Chris McKenney’s Mariners (9-2) win the New England Football Conference title and earn a spot in the first NCAA Division III Championship for the first time in program history.
Bower wrapped up his collegiate career with numerous accolades, including being named the NEFC Bogan Division Offensive Player of the Year, the New England Football Writers Division II-III All-New England Team and the D3football.com All-East Region first team.
Bower finished his career by rushing for 4,006 yards and 55 touchdowns on 691 carries (5.8 ypc) in 34 games. He also scored 353 points in four seasons.
UMaine softball names captains
Seniors Alexis Souhlaris, Stephanie George and Whitney Spangler have been named tri-captains of the University of Maine softball team.
Souhlaris, a two-time captain from Derry, N.H., is a three-year starter as an outfielder and pitcher for the Black Bears. She was the America East Co-Offensive Player of the Year and an All-Region pick in 2009 after batting .397 with 12 home runs and 25 stolen bases.
Spangler, of Canton, Ohio, is a two-year starter as a utility player who gained All-America East second-team honors last season after hitting .284 with two homers and 22 RBIs.
George, a two-year starter at catcher from Seekonk, Mass., batted .264 with five homers last season. She also had a team-best .987 fielding percentage.