The Bangor Daily News selected its first All-Maine Team of the 15 best schoolboy basketball players in the state in April of 1956 and will be announcing its 2010-11 team on April 16. I have reviewed the teams and am selecting my overall All-Maine team, with 15 honorable mentions, of the state’s best basketball players over the last 55 years.
Some of my criteria are the number of times a player made the first team, the number of state championships they helped their teams win, and end-of-season awards they received. I also consulted with basketball people that I respect, but the final decisions are mine.
Since the 1955-56 season was the first year of the All-Maine team, I would be remiss if I did not mention some great athletes who played prior to that season who would have been automatic first-team selections: Jack Scott and John Edes, Ellsworth, 1953-54; Keith Mahaney, Fort Fairfield, ‘51; Bob Carpenter, Bangor, ‘47-48; “Waterville Whiz Kids” and New England Champions in ‘44 John “Swisher” Mitchell, Dick Cananvan, John Jabar and Ted Schiro; Charlie Taylor, Bangor, ‘54-55; and Wayne Champeon, Greenville, ‘54.
Here are my selections for the all-time All-Maine team, with the year or years they were selected to the first team and their high school team:
Dan Drinon (Bangor, ‘56): Led Bangor to third place in 1955 New Englands, selected first team All-New England, led Bangor to Class L runner-up to Morse in 1956.
Peter Gavett (Orono, ‘69): Led Orono to 22-0 state B championship and was selected to four high school All-American teams, one of the most heavily recruited Division I players in the state’s history.
Joe Harrington (Morse, ‘62-63): Led Morse to two consecutive state Class LL championships, All-New England selection in ‘63.
Jon MacDonald (Stearns, ‘64-65): Led Stearns to two consecutive Class LL state championships.
Ralph Mims (Brunswick, 2002-04): Three-time All-Maine first-team selection, led Brunswick to a Class A state championship.
T.J. Caouette (Winthrop, ‘94-96): Three-time All-Maine first-team selection, led team to Class C state championship.
Tom “Skip” Chappelle (Old Town, ‘57): Led Old Town to the Class L state championship, scored 38 points in a New England quarterfinal loss, All-New England selection.
Matt Donahue (Westbrook, ‘69-70): Led team to state runner-up finish in 1969, prolific scorer, great shooter.
Doug Roberts (Rumford, ‘75-76): Led Rumford to a state Class A championship, one of the most versatile big men ever to play in Maine.
Dave Rollins (Cony, ‘72-73): Led Cony to a state Class A championship, played point guard at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds.
Terry Carr (Stearns, ‘63): Led Stearns to New England championship, defeating Morse, which had beaten Stearns in the state final, All-New England selection.
Nick Pelotte (Valley, ‘04): Played on four consecutive Class D state-title teams, outstanding speed and quickness, a great point guard and scorer.
Steve Pound (Stearns, ‘68): One of the state’s most prolific scorers ever, led Stearns to the ‘68 state LL title.
Ken Rassi (John Bapst, ‘93): A 6-11, 250-pound post player who led Bapst to a 22-0 record and Class B title in ‘93, the biggest post player ever to make an All-Maine first team, had more than 30 Division I offers.
Angelo Salvaggio (Cheverus, ‘97-98): Led Cheverus to the state title in ‘97 and a second-place finish the next year.
Matt Arsenault (Old Town, ‘93-94); Jim Beattie (South Portland, ‘71-72); Andy Bedard (Mountain Valley, ‘94); Francois Bouchard (Old Orchard Beach, ‘89); Brett Brown (South Portland, ‘78-79); Danny Coombs (Brewer, ‘60); Chris Jerome (Cheverus, ‘78-79); Pete Kelley (Caribou, ‘58); Chris Markwood (South Portland, ‘94-95); Josh Nash (Medomak Valley, ‘94-95); Kevin Nelson (Foxcroft Academy, ‘74-75); Mark Noel (Waterville, ‘70); Mark Reed (Bangor, ‘92-93); Matt Rossignol (Van Buren, ‘85); and Charlie Wooten (Camden-Rockport, ‘74).
I have seen all 30 of my selections play the game and I’m confident of their abilities. How do your selections compare to mine?
Bob Cimbollek is a retired high school basketball coach and is a basketball official.