June 22, 2018
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Orono to induct 4 into athletic hall

BDN staff reports

ORONO — Orono High School will induct Jeff Topliff, Zac Pelleriti, Wayne Arsenault and Dave Comeau into its athletic hall of fame during ceremonies Saturday evening in conjunction with the Red Riots’ homecoming game against Old Town.

The game and ceremony originally were scheduled for Friday but were pushed back a day because of a forecast for inclement weather Friday.

Also to be honored will be the 1990 OHS football team on the 20th anniversary of its undefeated state championship season.

Topliff was a four-sport letterwinner while at Orono from 1977 to 1981. In football he played on three straight undefeated football teams and was named All-LTC at four positions — tight end, quarterback, punter and kicker.

Topliff also is one of only two male basketball players at Orono to surpass 1,000 career points, finishing with 1,178 points and more than 500 rebounds.

In track and field he held the state record in the javelin, and he was an all-conference pitcher in baseball as a senior.

He currently is employed at Polymerics Inc. in Akron, Ohio, and resides in Stow, Ohio.

Pelleriti was a four-time letterwinner in football, hockey and baseball from 1990 to 1994, and joins his sister Jennifer, a 2009 inductee into the OHS Athletic Hall of Fame.

In football he finished with 4,854 rushing yards, 78 touchdowns, 55 two-point conversions and 577 career points. He was the 1993 LTC player of the year, a Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl participant, a two-time All-Maine selection as a running back and defensive back and a 1992 USA Today All-USA honorable mention choice. He currently is a member of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

Pelleriti captained the football, hockey and baseball teams as both a junior and senior.

Pelleriti went on to graduate from Columbia University and now is completing his master’s degree in archeaology at Harvard University, where he also is employed.

Arsenault was a 10-time letterwinner in football, basketball, baseball and cross country. He was captain and MVP of Orono’s 1966 state championship football team and played on the 1967 state championship basketball team. He also captained Orono’s 1967 baseball team and also played for the Bangor American Legion baseball team that won the 1966 state title.

Arsenault has gone on to coach for many years in Massachusetts, first at Ipswich High School, then at Andover High School, and since 1985 at the Pike School in Andover, where he coaches soccer, basketball and baseball as well as serves as the school’s athletic director.

Comeau earned 13 letters in football, golf, basketball, track and field, and baseball while at OHS from 1960 to 1964.

In football he played on three straight Little Eight Conference title teams, including a co-state championship squad in 1960. He was a two-time All-LTC running back, who used his speed in track and field to become the Class S state champion in four events while leading the Red Riots to the 1962 team championship.

Comeau played on three Eastern Maine championship basketball teams in 1q961, 1962 and 1963, with the 1961 and 1962 teams winning state titles. He was a two-time All-Maine honoree.

Comeau went on to operate his own orthodontics practice from 1973 until his retirement in 2008.

Orono’s 1990 football team, coached by Bob Lucy, went 12-0 and scored 325 points during a regular season capped off by a 12-6 win over Old Town. The Red Riots then defeated Mount Desert Island 16-6 to earn a rematch against Old Town in the LTC final and won 13-12.

Orono then defeated Mountain Valley 15-7 to cap off the state championship season, making the 1990 Red Riots the only football team in school history to have 12 victories in a season.

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