May 26, 2018
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Bucksport High to induct eight into athletic hall of fame

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

Bucksport High School will induct its second class of athletic Hall of Fame honorees during the Golden Bucks’ homecoming weekend Oct. 7-8.

Slated for induction are four athletes — Shawn Gross ‘91, Michael Hutchins ‘72, Heather (Jones) Lewis ‘86 and John Wardwell ‘72— and four coaches — Leila Burgess ‘59, Mike Carrier, Mike Carter and Beulah Richards.

GROSS played football and baseball and was a star wrestler at Bucksport, compiling a 114-8 record on the mat with three state championships, one state runner-up finish, four Eastern Maine Class B titles and four Penobscot Valley Conference championships. He also competed in the wrestling nationals and finished 10th in his weight class.

HUTCHINS starred at quarterback on the 1969-1971 football teams that went a combined 24-2, culminating in an undefeated state championship season in 1971. He went on to play baseball and football at Dean Junior College in Franklin, Mass., and the University of Maine. Hutchins went on to coach at Brewer Middle School and Orono High School, where he led the Red Riots to the Class B football state title in 1981. He currently is an assistant principal at Lewiston High School, and has been a longtime basketball official.

LEWIS played soccer, basketball and softball. She was all-conference in softball and all-state in soccer, setting a school record with 50 career goals that stood for 17 years until Elissa Gordon broke the mark in 2002. Lewis went on to play soccer and softball at Springfield University.

WARDWELL is an iconic figure in the Bucksport community. He played football, basketball and baseball for the Golden Bucks. He was a three-time first team LTC all-star in football, and continued his athletic career at the University of Maine where he earned All-Yankee Conference and All-New England status. Now a local businessman, Wardwell has remained an active community member as a coach and a sponsor of local Little League efforts. He was honored as the namesake for the Bucksport High School varsity softball field.

BURGESS taught physical education and math at her alma mater for 33 years, and coached at BHS for 22 years. She coached varsity girls basketball for 10 years and softball for 12 seasons. Her basketball teams achieved 100 wins and won three PVC titles at a time when teams played only 10 to 12 games per year. Her softball teams also won more than 100 games and four PVC titles at a time when there were no Eastern Maine or state championships for women’s sports.

CARRIER has coached the Bucksport softball program to a 330-64 record over the last 21 years, making the playoffs every year and winning one state title and four Eastern Maine championships, while finishing as the EM runnerup 11 other times. He has been recognized as the PVC coach of the year, and has worked during the offseason to strengthen the high school team through his involvement with the local ASA program and by holding pitching clinics for middle-school players.

CARTER taught physical education at Bucksport for 26 years, started the school’s varsity volleyball program and coached wrestling for 14 years, compiling a 282-62-3 record with four PVC championships, two Eastern Maine titles and one Class C state championships. He was named Maine’s wrestling coach of the year in 1991 as well as National Coaches Association coach of the year.

RICHARDS was instrumental in promoting cheerleading as a sport across the state, and along with the support of athletic director Bob Carmichael was pivotal in getting the Maine Principals’ Association to sanction cheering as a sport. She began coaching the Bucksport cheering squads in 1979 and eventually led them to national competitions as well as the No. 1 ranking in the state for five straight years. In 1989 the Bucksport cheering team won the first MPA state championship.

The inductees will be recognized at halftime of Bucksport’s homecoming football game on Friday, Oct. 7, then formally inducted during a dinner the following evening in Jewett Gymnasium.

Tickets for the dinner are $10 paid at the door. Members of the public interested in attending should call 469-6650 to make a reservation by Thursday, Oct. 6.

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