Matt Verrier has plenty to celebrate these days, but little time for celebration.
Already named the state’s 2010 Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year, Verrier added state champion to his resume last Saturday as Oxford Hills of South Paris edged Biddeford 1-0 for the Class A title at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish.
“This is the ultimate thrill,” said Verrier after the game. “We’ve wanted this for so long, and all the extra hit balls and all the other extra work have paid off.”
A fourth-year starter at catcher for the Vikings, Verrier batted .460 for coach Shane Slicer’s club this spring with two home runs, 28 RBIs, 17 walks and just four strikeouts.
“Verrier has the whole package of skills,” said Edward Little of Auburn coach Scott Annear in a press release announcing his Gatorade Player of the Year selection. “He’s great behind the plate, with solid mechanics and a great arm. He has excellent power as a hitter, and he makes great adjustments.”
Verrier had little time to rest in the aftermath of the state final.
He was slated to play in the Maine-New Hampshire Senior All-Star Game at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham on Monday,
And this Friday evening, he’ll make the trip north to Mahaney Diamond on the campus of the University of Maine in Orono where he will compete in the Maine East-West Senior All-Star Game.
He also is one of the finalists for the John W. Winkin Award symbolic of the state’s Mr. Baseball. That award will be presented just before Friday’s game.
Then he’ll spend the rest of his summer not only playing for the Bessey Motors of South Paris American Legion team for the fifth straight year, but he’ll also play in the Twilight League for Aero Heating of Portland.
And that’s all in preparation for Verrier joining the University of Maine baseball program as a scholarship player this fall.
“I’ve been to a lot of games over the years, and I’ve wanted to go to Maine since I was a sophomore,” said the 6-foot, 195-pound Verrier, who announced his verbal commitment to join coach Steve Trimper’s Black Bears in late 2008.
“It’s a great program, and the coaches have told me I’d have an impact. They’ve got great coaches for catching up there, and I’ll go up and do everything I can to help the program and to move closer to my goal of playing pro baseball.”
Wrestlers compete in Nebraska
Scott Carpenter of Calais and Doug Richardson of Dexter are among 18 high school wrestlers representing the state this week at the 26th annual Maine-Nebraska Friendship Series.
The Maine contingent began its four-meet visit to the Cornhusker State at Norfolk, Nebr., on Tuesday evening. Subsequent meets are scheduled at Central City on Thursday, North Platte on Saturday and at Auburn next Monday before the team returns home on Tuesday, June 29.
Carpenter, who will be a senior at Calais in the fall, is a two-time Class C state champion who will compete at 132 pounds in Nebraska.
Richardson, a recent Dexter Regional High School graduate, is the two-time reigning Class C state champion at 189 pounds, and will compete at 190 during the next week.
Other Eastern Maine wrestlers on the squad are Revelin Goewey of Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield at 160 pounds and Kaleb Austin of Skowhegan (152).
Also on the team are Connor Sheehan (106) of Fryeburg Academy, Ryan Burgess (115) and Josh Thornton (152) of Mountain Valley of Rumford, Kenneth Hagen (135), Tyler Beaudet (140), Joseph Badger (145), Ben Valencia (155) and Dylan Zenga (285), all of Noble of North Berwick; Dan Del Gallo (135) of Gardiner, Keith Madore (138) and Craig Morrill (143) of Oak Hill of Sabattus, Mike McNamara (146) and Marcus Bubar (160) of Lisbon, and Tyler Russell (190) of Morse of Bath.
Shane Bouchard of Oak Hill is the team’s head coach, while Shawn Guest of Morse is the team leader.
The Maine-Nebraska Friendship Series is the longest running wrestling exchange of its type between two states.
Since 1985, the states have alternated hosting the series, with the visiting team typically wrestling at four different sites.