Lonnie Hackett’s high school career featured academic excellence and athletic success, a combination that was recognized on a national scale Tuesday.
The 2010 Bangor High School graduate was selected as one of five winners of the annual National High School Scholar-Athlete Award. First presented in 1991 by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, the scholar-athlete recipients are selected from among the 400,000 high school football players covered by the NFF Chapter Network based in large measure on academic achievement, athletic accomplishments and leadership in the community while in high school.
Hackett initially was one of 31 finalists representing five regions of the country, and from there was named the Northeast Region award recipient. Other 2010 national honorees are Max Aaron Coale of Clarksville, Md. (East), Daniel Wodicka of West Lafayette, Ind. (Midwest), Ricky Zorn of Dallas (South) and Tevin Hood of Chandler, Ariz. (West).
Hackett, now a freshman at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, and the four other honorees will be recognized during the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon on Dec. 7 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
While at Bangor High, Hackett was an honor roll student with a 4.45 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale while pursuing an academic regimen that included numerous advanced placement and honors courses. He also was a two-year member of the National Honor Society, participated on the school’s math team and competed in the Northern New England Science Bowl.
“He just pushed himself in every aspect of his life,” said Bangor football coach Mark Hackett. “He’s goal-oriented, he’s determined, but he’s very unassuming.”
As a four-year letterwinner in football, Hackett helped Bangor reach the Eastern Maine Class A championship game as a sophomore, rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a junior and as a senior was elected team captain and led the Rams to the Eastern A championship and an 11-1 record.
A four-time Pine Tree Conference Class A player of the week, he rushed for a school-record 2,257 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2009 and also set a Bangor High record for career rushing yardage while being named a finalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy symbolic of the state’s top football player.
In the Eastern Maine final against Brunswick, Hackett carried 35 times for 182 yards and a touchdown.
“He got the most out of his ability,” said coach Hackett. “Every yard he got came from his heart. Everybody knows he’s quick, but I don’t think anyone’s worked any harder or done all the things you have to do to be a good football player than Lonnie did.”
Lonnie Hackett also was one of 15 Bangor players named to the 2009 PTC Class A all-academic team.
“We just always thought he was the whole package,” said coach Hackett. “He had the stats, and a lot of them don’t, he had the academics, which a lot of them don’t, and he has the single-season and career rushing records for Bangor High School, which is a huge honor.
“And the thing that gets me the most is that he’s so humble, he just went out and got the job done.”
Lonnie Hackett, the son of coach Hackett’s first cousin, also starred on Bangor High’s indoor track and baseball teams, and during his free time he volunteered with the Manna soup kitchen, the Senior League World Series and Bangor Youth Football.
He also used his math and science talents to tutor younger math students, as well as participating in an independent scientific study during which he inspected the ecosystem health of two Maine lakes.