Comments for: Penquis coach: Personal attacks on Lee coach, racial epithets are unfair, cowardly

Posted Feb. 28, 2012, at 5:51 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 28, 2012, at 9:06 p.m.

Editor’s note: Tony Hamlin, coach of the Penquis High School boys basketball team, has submitted a guest column to the BDN addressing the negative public reaction of some after Lee Academy won the Eastern Maine Class C boys basketball title for the second straight year Saturday. Lee Academy defeated our …

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  • Anonymous

    Tony that was very well written.  I have been one of those who are critical of Lee Academy.  Obviously, not a huge fan of Harris’, but I can’t imagine someone going as far as using racial slurs, and calling Harris at home.  That’s completely uncalled for.

    You are completely right for calling out those who hide behind screen names.  I’ve always believed in personal accountablility.  In fact we have worked together not to long ago, and my kids have gone sledding with your family just a few weeks ago.  I’m the one whos daughter started having a meltdown. 

    Have a great day Tony.  You and the boys will bring the gold ball back to Penquis next year. I’m sure of it.

    • Anonymous

      You are fighting an uphill battle in your work to convince the fans of Lee basketball that diversity is good.  I appreciate the spirit of your letter, but my guess is that the most biased and prolific offenders either won’t or can’t read this letter.

      • Anonymous

        It is the fans of Penquis that appear to have the problem with Lee Academy and the diversity of the players in that basketball program.

      • Maine Guy

        Looks like your reading comprehension is the one that’s off.

  • Anonymous

    Well said, sir.  Unfortunately, it is the climate of anonymous hate that is a driving force when you don’t like/agree with something/someone.  If you have to put your name to it, or your face to it, things get very quiet with that crowd.  Cowards cower.  Cowards hide.  The strong stand tall and can disagree, but do so with respect and dignity.  Thank you for being strong.  Keep fighting.
    Andrew H. White

    • Anonymous

      Have you ever noticed that the BDN won’t print a Letter To The Editor without your name and address; yet allow seriously-flawed nastiness on these pages from anonymous posters?

  • James Leavitt

    Im glad to see someone stand up in the coaching community for Randy.  I will not defend the fact that from the outside it would appear that there is recruiting going on due to the fact of player turn overs and different players from year to year.  I also see the playing field being a little uneven by public schools competing with  private schools but that’s just my own opinion.  I will not make statements about Randy Harris or Lee Academy without facts and no one else should either (remember your buddy, who’s kid lost to Lee is not a creditable source).  There has been no reports or factual evidence to support the theory that he has recruited.  You all can go on hear say, but anyone can start a rumor and let that snowball like it has so far.  I just ask that we not take away from the student athletes who have put in their time and effort to play a sport as part of team and accomplish what they have.  No matter where they come from, no matter what nationality, we being from the home and the free should be the first ones to accept all and play against all.    To Lee and coach Harris, congrats on your success.  To Coach Hamlin, your time is coming, you have a great group of kids, best of luck!!

  • Anonymous

    Just a thought.  Does the State Principals Association monitor whether or not private schools such as Lee Academy do in fact not recruit athletes for their sports programs. It would be interesting to find out what methods they use to gain students for their programs.  I personally do not think  private schools should be allowed to participate in public school programs.

    • Anonymous

      Lee is not a private school.  It is a private/public hybrid school like Washington Acadamy and Hamden Acadamy…

      • Anonymous

        And George Stevens Academy or MCI. Stearns is trying to recruit Chinese Students. Should those Chinese students be banned from the Cheese Society or the Math Club do to them perhaps being a bit more skilled then the students that come from the local towns? I dont think so?

        • poormaniac

          I happen to think Stearns should find more ways to curb spending. It appears the school board is looking to China for their financial backing like their friends in Washington politics.

      • Anonymous

        Hampden is a public school. They were private prior to 1969 but have been a full-fleged public high school since then. Don’t let the academy name fool you, they just kept the name.

      • Guest

        MCI, Kents Hill, John Bapst, McCauley, Washington Academy, Lincoln Academy, Hebron, Hyde, Erskin Academy, Foxcroft Academy. There are 10 semi private high schools, 17 private high schools and 117 public schools in Maine.

  • Coach harris and team good luck  saturday at states  we will be cheering you on!

  • Anonymous

    I hope Lee kicks their southern Maine counterpart’s @#@ all over the court and brings back the golden ball. I knew it was too good to be true that kids of different races would be singled out for this. Why  isnt anyone complaining about Jonesport-Beals having a couple kids of different race? Leave these kids alone and let them enjoy this-it happens maybe once in your lifetime. Pathetic- some should be ashamed of themselves for talking beyond trash. Good luck to all of the Eastern Maine teams—you put on a great tournament this year regardless of class.

    • Anonymous

      Nobody is “complaining about Jonesport-Beals having a couple kids of different race” because it is not about race.  It is about recruiting.

      • Anonymous

        It’s about race when a bunch of mouth breathing hicks from Milo start shouting racists comments, emailing them, etc!  Milo is a craphole and nothing will change that.  A bunch of welfare addicted losers who hate people like Obama because of his race, but love the gifts the head honcho and his liberal minions provide!

      • I know you werent implying anything but for anybody reading that was curious,the colored boys playing for JB have moms from the area.Leon and Marcus Smith’s mom is a generations deep resident of Beals and Darrin Peadons mom is a generations deep resident of Jonesport.They all three were born and raised up through the Beals and Jonesport grade school systems before entering high school. 

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Mr. Hamlin, a voice of reason in an often chaotic world.

    • Guest

      Hats off to you Coach Hamlin for a voice of reason among all the hate and discontent in Milo. In this age of diversity and anti-bullying Penquis needs to take a good hard look at the community and do some work within the community on how to be good sports. 

  • Great thoughts from Mr Hamlin.  It’s hard to reason with people who have reacted towards Randy Harris and the players in the way they have.  Let’s just say Lee recruits every player on their team.  Would the appropriate reaction to this be to hurl racial slurs at the players?  Would it be right to slander Randy Harris or send threats in his direction? 
    Have some class people.  Make complaints the right way if you think there is something wrong. 

  • Anonymous

    Lee is no different than Chevrus or any other private school that is able to recruit, and the schools Chevrus compete against don’t whine about it.  The fact that Lee academy is able to win with a few transfer kids actually just speaks reeeaaalllly poorly of the quality of teams in their league.  That being said – it’s probably like 5% of the opposing teams’ fans who are being verbal and whiny about it, and making everybody look bad.  A few northern Maine hicks being derogatory towards Blacks/Asians – no surprise there.  This is a non-issue from all angles. P.S. – If any of the opposing teams had a chance to get Lee’s good kids on their team via transfer – they would take them in a minute.

    • Anonymous

      It is not just a few transfer kids.  I believe that there was only 1 kid that grew up in the area.

      • Anonymous

        Stop whining, lay off the whoopie pies and score more points.

      • This comment is the funniest on here. Sad.

      • Anonymous

        Wrong!

      • This is the biggest joke I have ever seen. You look at that team photo and you come back here again and comment theres only 1 kid that grew up in the area.

        • Anonymous

          I said I believe, I may be wrong.  So how many kids on the team grew up in the area? How am I going to be able to tell by looking at the picture?

        • Guest

          So, if you are not “from  here” you are not qualified to play….do you know how ignorant that statement is?

    • Anonymous

      Wrong!

    • Anonymous

      Recruiting is expressly forbidden. That’s all.
      You fail to respond to that concern.

      • Anonymous

        It’s THE SCHOOL that recruits kids for the purpose of attending the school, and that is not forbidden.  To recruit specifically for sports is technically forbidden, but part of the recruiting process for a kid deciding if he/she is going to a school will potentially include evaluating the sports teams.  Do you think all the boys that go to Chevrus go there for the classes alone?  Please.  But besides that point, does anyone honestly think that kids are choosing to go to Lee for sports!? – really?  No, they are going there for the school, and they just happen to be fresh DNA in the area that helps out Lee’s sports (a couple of them) teams a lot.  Most of Lee’s teams gain no benefit from these kids – (have you seen their track teams… bleh).  A sport like basketball in class C where 2 good kids make a huge difference on a team is noticeable. And if recruiting for sports is forbidden, then somebody should tell Hampden, because of late they have been putting banner ads on the BDN website as recruiting advertisements to attend the school, and there were images of athletes in the photo.

      • James Leavitt

        I will agree with you if you can link an article or report confirming that Lee Academy recruited and offer lower cost education to athletes.  

    • Guest

      It is all about being a sore looser. There were no complaints when Lee was not a winning team. Randy Harris is a great coach and an asset to Lee Academy. He has contributed many many many hours over his coaching career to the community and the school. Other schools should be so fortunate to have someone of his dedication spending time with the youth of the school. Thank you Coach Hamlin for  your positive comments and thank you Coach Harris for all you have done and continue to do for Lee Academy.

  • Anonymous

    What a stand up individual the coach from Penquis is.

  • Private schools should be in a class of their own.

    • Anonymous

      Private schools in every state have enjoyed this advantage.  Before I came to Maine, I lived in a state where the private schools did actively recruit, yet nothing ever seemed to be done.  We had a small school population to pull athletes from, and every year we took a beating from the private schools.  

      I agree that the private schools should be in a separate district by themselves.  It just isn’t fair that public schools must pull from their township, but private ones can pull students from a wide geographic area.  I think that’s what the folks  up there are upset with.

      The problem is that their anger is directed toward the wrong people.   A coach plays what he has.  The author stated the he knew the coach, and that he did not recruit.  So in my opinion, that is that.  If one’s peers agree there is no wrongdoing, then who is to say any different.

      Racial slurs, and blog postings are the act of people who love to sucker punch.  They remain anonymous, and still spew their venom everywhere.

      The coach sets a shining example for his players, maybe the community will take his lead, and give up the negative comments.

      • Anonymous

        Why couldnt a public school also see if a kid wanted to move, say, to the Bangor area and play ball for Bangor.  Nearly a decade ago, that did happen in Brewer.  Me thinks that there are far too many parents that didnt get to taste the tourney and gold balls when they were younger and are trying to live out thier dreams through thier children that probably have no problem at all with it.  If you want to beat them, get out in the dooryard and practice harder….simple as that really.

    • Guest

      Lee is a semi-private school and to refuse to play any student that qualifies would be discrimination. We are talking High School basketball, these are not the olympics…can we please move beyond all this hate and discontent that is so sad to read and must make the students involved feel really bad. To take this to a personal level for a coach that has given so much time to the community and school speaks volumes as to how far we still have to go in this state along the lines of diversity and bullying.

  • Anonymous

    Lee has an unfair advantage every year. Think if how the poor kids that are “actually” from Lee feel when they have praticed and played their whole life to only sit the bench their whole high school careers so these “outside students” can walk in and take over the program. When a team plays Lee its not your school against Lee, but your school against the world team. Its unfair and the MPA should look into the fairness of private schools playing in public tournaments. The thing that was most frustrating was their attitude after winning. They just reacted as if they just won another game, no excitment or desire. Most kids have work for 18 years to hava an opportunity to reach that moment, but to them they could care less it seemed. I was hoping for Penquis or Houlton to pull off an upset in the worst way, a team that deserves to win because of heart and dedication from legitimate hometown students!

    • Anonymous

      Have them work a little harder.. Practice longer… Lift… Diet… Get some sleep at night instead of playing video games. I know, I’m generalizing. But the ‘most kids have work’ group are going to play in games. These ‘outside students’ (super lame to say…it’s 2012) aren’t NBA prospects…… Pull it together 41. You sound terribly bitter. On your way…..

      •  who says the kids in the conference dont already do that?

    • Anonymous

      I remember playing soccer in High School against a team with two foreign players on it. They were good, among the best we went up against on an individual basis. But we handled them because we were a good team.  We lost that game but not because of one player on the other team scoring all the goals.

      I also played baseball in high school and remember getting pretty intimidated by an opposing teams pitcher who had one heck of a curve. I couldnt hit it. That player went on to get a scholarship to pitch. Does that mean that he had an unfair advantadge? I think it meant that I needed more batting practice with a focus on hitting curves.
       
      This game went into double overtime so Lee didnt win by a landslide and they didnt have a high school version of Wilt Chamberlain on the floor. They had more in the tank and the better players than Penquis.

      • Anonymous

         If they had better players than Penquis than I guess I’d have to question why Penquis held them and went into double over time! And, lost only by 1 point.   The two teams split wins in regular season games.   Don’t down Penquis or lower their ball players skills and make an ignorant comment like that.  Those boys played hard and deserve better than you saying Lee had better players!!

        • Anonymous

          Thats my point. People seem to think Lee is recruiting superstar players from all over the world so the can dominate in class C basketball tournaments. Lee didnt win by a landslide. They barely won at all. So this idea that they so outmatched Penquis or other teams as they have high class “recruited players” is a bit silly in my opinion.

        • Anonymous

          Im also saying that one team has to loose and the team that wins does so based on having just a little bit more in them than the other team. They make that extra foul shot. They dont committ that sloppy foul the other team does. I dont thing saying that this is the case is ignorant. Teams of all sports are not winning games based on random luck but rather on skill.

      • thats not the question. the problem is only 2 kids from Lee are actually on the team. Two from China, Two from NYC, one from Bosnia and a star from Class A among others. Where other schools have to field a team from a population of around 2000 people. Granted they arent dominating but they have lost i think 6 games in three years. Its an advantage.  Thats all thats being said. At least from me.

        • Anonymous

          Regardless of where they are from, if these kids are enrolled at Lee Academy, take classes and carry the required grades to play afterschool sports, than there should be ZERO argument here.  Kids transfer schools and state lines all the time.  If these kids are playing and are not required to be enrolled there, than that is a far different story..though i wonder how something like that could even happen.  I find it hard to believe a coach goes down to NYC to recruit a few guys to move up to Maine and play basketball for a class C school…just sayin

        • Anonymous

          At least they were in the Class C tournament.  When their number dip slightly, meaning a couple below the cut off for Class C, they Compete in class D.  Talk about an advantage, regardless of where the players are from. Here is this team competing against Class D teams who have about 300 kids Kindergarten through 12th grade.  They cleaned up 4 years in a row of certain sports championships (boys and girls) leaving the other Class D teams in the dust.  I would like to see lower numbers for the cut off in Class D.

          If you do not have a high school in your town, you can apply for John Bapst – so are they pulling students from other teams to play for them – of course not.  Private schools have a right to complete in sports just like the public schools.  They sometimes have more to offer students, so their parents send them there.

  • Anonymous

    If a school like MDI or Ellsworth gets a male exchange student that is a soccer phenom should he not be allowed to play due to unfair advantadges  that people think exist?

    I read the opinions that will appear in the paper tomorrow.  There is a mention of a 6 foot five inch player from Germany on the Lee Team. Does no other team in Class C basketball have anyone that tall playing for them? Is it somehow against the rules that Lee does?

    • Anonymous

      Recruiting is and always has been against the rules.  

      • Anonymous

        So the coach of Penquis is going around the world and throughout the USA to grammar schools and other high schools to recruit the worlds best young players why? So they can play in games that are not televised? Games that do not make any type of revenue for the school like college games do? Is he somehow collecting a potential reward for bringing great players to Lee Academy that can then be scouted by College and NBA teams looking for the next big player? That all seems a bit farfetched to me.

    • Anonymous

      The point is recruiting.
      Duh.

  • Thank you, Tony, for saying what needed to be said.

  • Anonymous

    Well said Coach, your school and players should be proud of what your team accomplished this year and a Coach who represents them so well!

  • The only real form of recruiting going on in Lee is to get students. Lee Academy was once on the brink of collapsing due to financial worries. To overcome this, the school started to recruit international students and boarding students from around the country to keep the school’s population up and to keep the school in the black. Boarding students bring in more money than local students. It’s simple economics.

    The reason why you see so many boarding students on sports teams is because they make up around half of the school’s population. You will not see a student complaining about these “others” being on their sports teams.

    The boarding students, as previously stated, have to pony up more money than local students. Do you think these students’ parents, with this amount of wealth, are worried about their students playing basketball, perhaps to get a college scholarship? With that kind of money, the thought surely isn’t crossing their minds. They go to Lee for an American education, at a private school because public schools have strict policies about “exchange” students.

    People should learn more about the school before making rude comments!

    • Anonymous

      I agree that the reason that Lee Academy, Washington Academy, GSA and John Babst are getting students from away is financial.  I still believe that they take into consideration these kids abilities when they admit them.  Bottom line it puts the private schools at a disadvantage.

      • I agree with you that athletic abilities must cross their minds. I’m sure when the headmaster met the tall Chinese student the thought of basketball crossed his mind. If anyone saw a freshman that tall the thought of sports would have to have crossed their minds. No different than if you see a tall rugged 200+ pound man, you think football player.

        I’m sure that the primary reason for admitting students to Lee is for academic ability and potential. It would be idiotic to take an athlete over a great student. Winning sports championships is not what makes more international students come to your school for a great education.. having a great educational program does that on its own.

        • Anonymous

          You assume the truth without investigating: how do you know that “the primary reason for admitting students to Lee is for academic ability and potential”?? In small town Maine, winning at sports is often a hallmark of the school.  This is the concern: that it has gotten out of control. You “know” that it hasn’t; HOW do you know that??

        • Guest

          it is not a matter of being tall and athletic it is a matter of the parents having thousands of dollars to send their child to Lee Academy for a world class education. Lee Academy is not depending on the town of Lee to stay afloat, they are a stand alone school. Too bad more schools could not say that.

          • Anonymous

            world class education !?!?  We are still talking about Lee – right ?

    • Anonymous

      Look, you are being disingenuous here.  The question is whether or now Lee (or any other school) is deliberately going out there, looking for good basketball players.  Is that their primary search parameter? Or even one of the top ones?? That is what people are asking.
      Do they ever give scholarships based on athletic ability?? That is another important question.
      The black players at Lee this year were not from foreign countries.

      • Lee has only given one scholarship in recent memory. This was to a chinese student who had great academic potential but didn’t have the family wealth to attend a school like Lee. He was not an outstanding athlete, only an outstanding student.

        No one gives not to the 95-99% (I don’t remember the exact number) of graduating students that go on to college the next year. No one ever thinks this could be a reason why these students choose to attend Lee Academy.

    • Anonymous

      Did you ever hear of benefactors. Try tyo find out who pays for their tuition and board. 

      • Guest

        their rich Chinese parents…

    • Anonymous

      Well said , I went to Lee Academy 32 yrs ago , with coach Harris. no body pays to go to lee to play basketball – it’s the American education- charliy michaud class of 1980

      • Guest

        thanks, Charliy….

    • Anonymous

      “You will not see a student complaining about these “others” being on their sports teams.”

      I completely disagree with with this statement. Lee Academy students have been complaining about the special treatment given to dorm students for DECADES.

  • What else would you expect an admitted friend of Coach Harris to say?  The Lee player blew them out of the water after the game when he flat out said that Coach Harris called him. So get over it. Lee recruits and the MPA doesn’t seem to care so they get away with it. It’s a joke and if the MPA doesn’t step in now and put a stop to it, then they are an even bigger joke.

    • Julie Bullock

      DJ explained his interview and whether you believe him or not the personal attacks on the Coach, his family (which is my family) and some of the kids on his team is just wrong regardless of what you think of the school and what they do within the MPA rules.

    • James Leavitt

      the question to ask is was the call placed while he was a student at Hampden Academy or Isleboro or  in fact did the call come after Randy was aware that he had transferred to Lee Academy?  I didn’t catch the interview unfortunately and haven’t been able to find anything word for word from the interview.  Do you have any link to the comments?

    • Anonymous

      bangor recruits like crazy too ,glenburn kids etc.any town that doesnt have a high school

  • Guest

    Nicely spoken, Coach. I would gladly have my children on your team as I see that you would teach them to compete at a top level (double overtime!) and to lose with grace. I’ll bet your teams have character! Good luck, Coach, and thank you.

  • Anonymous

    I do not agree with Lee getting the players they do, because of the way they get there.  However, I could not agree more with Coach Hamlin, there is no place for what was said to and about Coach Harris and his players, they are not the problem the system is.  BTW Coach Hamlin and his team beat Lee during the regular season and had a chance to win in the tournament, they should be proud of there work.

  • Maine Guy

    People can have different opinions on whether these type of schools should be playing public schools in tournaments, just remember it is not the kids fault.
    If you have exchange students coming to your school, and they are good enough to start or play, then as a coach they need to start them or play them.  I don’t care if anyone says “but my daughter or boy grew up here and has earned it” tough luck.  These exchange students did not get to be good without putting in there time either, just because they move does not mean they should be punished.  You wouldn’t want me as a coach, because the best 5 would be on the floor, I don’t care if they are all from the Moon!  Each and every kid gets to where they are by practicing, effort and god given talent.  It is not up to us to judge if these kids deserve the talent they have. 

  • Anonymous

    Thank you BDN for deleting all those comments.  Much appreciated.

  • James Leavitt

    How about we not forget that student athletes have transferred schools for athletics before. Whether its for sports, education or for their own personal reasons this does happen in other school districts.  I know of  a family who moved from East Millinocket to Millinocket so her son could play football, i know of an athlete leaving Stearns to go play at Schenck who had a better boys basketball team.  You’ve had Socoby leave Houlton and go to Bangor, even i believe Sanderson?? leave Houlton and is now play hockey for Bangor.  It is not uncommon for people to make a choice of schooling based on their athletics, look at students who have the options in the Bangor area, making the choice of John Bapts over and Orono or Bangor.  Lee Academy from my knowledge is a Semi-Private school who does go to other areas of the world and “recruit” students for the education.  Surely your going to have to some athletes within the students coming in.  I guess the way i look at it is, if you got 100 students coming in from all over the world and you got 6 kids who are athletes, its going to happen.  Its like people are trying to say athletes cant be smart students.  They only go there so they can play Class C Eastern Maine Basketball!!!!!  How come no ones up in arms complaining about  Foxcroft Academy and MCI dominating the Math League with the foreign students and how the American students aren’t placing because they are out matched???????  Are we going to say that the Math team is less important then the basketball team???? 

    • Anonymous

      James,

      While much of what you say is true, Parker Sanderson did not leave Houlton for Bangor because of hockey.  His family moved because his father received a good job opportunity and because they wanted to move closer to his sister, who attends and plays basketball at Husson.  Please don’t throw allegations out there unless you are 100% sure what you are talking about.

      ps.  A kid moving WITH their family is different than a kid moving AWAY FROM their family to play sports.

      • James Leavitt

        hey newsreader, you must read plenty of things so you should understand that if someone writes a comment in such a manner as ”
         You’ve had Socoby leave Houlton and go to Bangor, even i believe Sanderson?? leave Houlton and is now playing hockey for Bangor.”  I was grouping Houlton athletes who have left and relocated in Bangor and had an impact in athletics not the lesser known educational achievements.  If you follow along you will see how it runs into the options of schools in the Bangor area.  Socoby and Sanderson had the choice of more than one school but they went to Bangor I feel more for the athletics than education.  I never intended to have you read what i said and get the impression that i was saying Socoby or Sanderson moved to Bangor for the sole purpose of athletics, just using them as an example.  This in no way was an allegation as you claim, it was a statement based on facts.  Answer this, True or False, Did Socoby and Sanderson leave a Houlton Athletic program and relocate to Bangor High School while having a noticeable impact on the respective program?????  That would be True and that’s all my statement was, a factual statement, you my friend put the twist of false accusations  from adding things that weren’t there…..

        PS  In response to your differences and this is all in my opinion.  Whether you move with a family or away from their family, the decision for an athlete on which school they attend is more based on the athletic programs rather than the quality of education.  

        • Anonymous

          Ok, but while you still claim you weren’t making allegations you continue to write “Socoby and Sanderson had the choice of more than one school but they
          went to Bangor I feel more for the athletics than education.”  That is not a fact.  That is your opinion and it is incorrect.  As stated previously, Sanderson moved with his parent to BANGOR, so it would make sense for him to go to school there.

          You also add “It is not uncommon for people to make a choice of schooling based on their athletics”.   I guess I’m not sure how I’m supposed to interpret that, other than the way I’ve already stated.  If I’m missing something, help me out here.

          • Anonymous

            ps.  For the record, I agree with your stance regarding this situation.  I’m just trying to make sure that another innocent kid doesn’t get caught up in all of this garbage that has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with adults (not named Randy).

          • Anonymous

            if you live in bangor you go to bangor unless you want to pay big bucks at bapst

          • James Leavitt

            you still have an option though correct??  

          • Anonymous

            Yes but last I knew I think like 10 years ago it was like 3 grand a year can’t imagine how much its gone up since not much of a choice for most people

            —– Reply message —–

          • James Leavitt

            thanks for the info!!!

          • Anonymous

            Based on that logic every high school student in the state has a option if their family is willing to pay tuition.

          • Anonymous

            If they did relocate to Bangor or Orono than they actually would not have a choice, unless they wanted to pay tuition to attend John Bapst. At just under $10,000 a year for towns that do not offer to pay tuition the choice is usually made for academic reasons and not sports.

          • James Leavitt

            I hear your point.  I guess my opinion differs in this situation as I feel that when someone moves for a job in Bangor, they are not locked into living in that specific city unlike more rural areas.  I just feel from the quotes from the article that Bangor was the school selected because of its hockey team rather then its education.  Certainly there are many people who live in the surrounding communities (Orono, Old Town, Hermon, Hampden) that work in Bangor.  I will post quotes from the article that just gave me the opinion that Bangor was selected based on the Hockey program: 

            ” They said if we moved, it would be like the full package: I’d get to go to a good school down here and play hockey for Bangor, [in] Class A. It’s a lot bigger, better and faster,” said Sanderson, who acknowledged that he was in favor of the move.He said Class A teams have a lot more depth talentwise and the speed of the game is noticeably faster.“In Class B, [most teams] have one good line and an OK line. In Class A, everybody has two good lines. We have three solid lines that can produce,” said Sanderson, who added that he enjoys attending Bangor High School.I mean no disrespect to Bangor High School, the Sanderson Family or anyone else who might feel offended.  Just reading an article and forming an opinion, just like anyone else does.  I respect your comments and opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Shot clock

  • Anonymous

    Tony is an honorable and respected man in all of HS basketball.     He played against my own uncle  but neither of them placed winning before honor.   The essence of the game has changed,  it’s no longer a contest based upon sportsmanship, skill and leadership. Technique or repetition, organization or effort:   it’s all based on winning.   Randy Harris knows that, and he wins;  which makes him a good coach. My Uncle’s last name is Draper, Tony, you played against him and I played against your teams as well, you can figure out the rest.

    • Maine Guy

      Sports has ALWAYS been about winning at those levels, don’t fool yourself otherwise.

      • Anonymous

        Sports, especially at this level,   is not about winning.   It’s about balance.   Balancing what you want (to play sports) and balancing what you need (your diploma).   It’s also about representing yourself and your community.   Winning  just puts the pressure on ,   ask Coach Hamlin or Coach Harris; both I’m certain require their player’s to maintain graduation standards, so what comes first?    

        I’ve played at the level, I also played in college. Guess what the big high school star becomes when they enter onto a college playground?…….nothing but another body, you are just another tryout whose hoping they impress the coach enough to earn some play time. How does winning in HS fix that?

        • Anonymous

           Yeah, it’s not about banners. It’s about participation trophy’s. That’s how the occupy movement started.

          • Anonymous

            OK,    whatever.     I certainly hope that you will be able to gather up enough reality to understand that one is about education and it’s environment and the other is about a nationally organized political movement.

            I believe in one and one only,   and it’s not the political movement.

        • Maine Guy

          Who cares what you think it should be about, as I said, at these levels it is about winning, period.  I never said my belief if it is right or wrong, I am just telling you it is about winning when it comes to those programs.  If that’s not true, then 95% of the coaches fired would not be fired!

          • Anonymous

            There are many, many different  meanings of the word winning.   These programs are athletic, yet equally responsible for assuring that their athletes are passing their classes,   it’s not about winning,   a game.    It’s about being able to have two disciplines that require equal attention.

            You really have no idea do you?……..

      • Anonymous

         The racial comments have no place. That is pure ignorance. NOW, compare this. What the Lee Academy girls did in that great run was far more impressive than what the guys are doing. 

  • Anonymous

    Shot clock

  • Anonymous

    Shot clock?

    • Anonymous

      Shot clock.  Definitely.

  • Anonymous

    Not enough private schools to have there own conference. Let Lee play Bangor, Mt. Blue, Lawernce. I bet they have a hard time making the tournament in class A. They need to play up. Only fair.
     

    • James Leavitt

      Where would we draw the line???  As it is they only reclassify every so often.  Dont know if you caught the Eastern Maine Class C girls finals but Stearns has 190 students and Central was i believe 347.  Most of the class C teams in the tournament had over 300 students, Lee has 164 students and is Class C while Penobscot Valley with 171 and Schenck with 160 students is Class D.  Ya know, where will it end, as it is they arent even close to evening out the field throughout the state and thats with using numbers.  

  • Anonymous

    I couldn’t agree more with Coach Hamlin about the comments to the coach and about the team. There is no place for them.

    The real issue that most people have with Lees boys team is the fact that Lee has a PREP Team, which they do in fact recruit for.  Many outstanding athletes come to LEE with no guarentee that they will make that  team and in fact some do not make it. Those kids fall to the High School Team. It may be just a player or two each year- but it does happen. Most of these players stay around just one year, because they either graduate or realize that they won’t make the Prep Team the following year.

    Most people understand that Lee has a boarding school and will attract people from all over. Most People probably know that LEE has a school in China, so they will in fact always attract Chineese students. Most people know that LEE offers many advanced classes to prepare students for college that other schools do not offer. Players on the LEE Teams still have to pass these classes in order to play.

    I do not believe that Randy Harris recruits or even needs to. He just knows that since the PREP Team has been a part of LEE ACADEMY, that there will always be some surplus talent available to him.

    But he still has to mold that talent into a TEAM, which is much more difficult than it may seem. His teams are never as disiplined as Coach Hamlins ( for example ) because he has a lot of kids who have individual agendas. In some ways this makes his coaching accomplishments of recent seasons much more impressive.

    I can understand the frustrations of many when they see the LEE team take the floor each season; but I can also feel for Coach Harris. He knows that no matter what, his team is going to hear from the fans.

    There is no place for racist remarks or threats to coachs or players in High School basketball. In fact there really is no need for remarks like that in any walk of like- but they can and do happen in this world.

    To my knowledge, MCI and LEE are the only two schools in Eastern Maine with BOTH PREP and High School Teams. I have never happened to see this issue pop up with MCI. What is the difference??

    At any rate: Good Luck to Lee Academy this Saturday. Bring The Gold ball Back To The East!!!

    • Julie Bullock

      Waistwatcher –  Just a clarification….you stated that if the kids don’t make the Prep team they fall to the high school team – that is FALSE.  That is not allowed..hasn’t been and won’t be.

      • Anonymous

        Actually that has been allowed in the past and I can give you the actual name of the player I’m talking about. His NJ AAU Coach knew Mr Lindburg and they got him to Lee. Upon arriving, forwhatever reason, it was decided that he was better suited for the High School Team….Now this is not second hand information, and it may have only been this ONE player- but he did in FACT find his way to Lee because of the Post Grad Team, only to end up on the High School Team….Now he may never have tried out for the Post Grad team when he got here, I can’t comfirm that, but that is the sole reason he came to Maine….so in this instance, we may BOTH be right….It is this PERCEPTION that outsiders have, that is most bothersome to me, and perhaps that is all it is.As long as Lee has a Post Grad team, there will always be questions by outsiders…..I have no bone to pick with Lee or their teams. I actually look forward to hearing what Randy has to work with each season then seeing the finished product.

  • Anonymous

    Who cares, the town of Lee has to have SOME reason for its meager existence….lol

  • Anonymous

    it sort of looks like some of the comments wer at least partly true. it is unfortuanate that private or semi private schools can compete in public school tournies. just saying what a lot of folks think. your comments are extremely charitiable and show great sportsmanship.

  • Anonymous

    Has nothing to do with the coach, family, or the kids. Anyone attacking those groups with slurs or racial epithets is a pinhead…However, it does have to do with Lee recruiting ringers just to win a basketball tournament which Lee kids could never hope to compete in and the MPA allowing this foolishness to continue.

  • Anonymous

    I watched the game, and it was great. Being from central Maine, i know it is always devistating to lose a tournament game, but even though it is hard, it is what it is….a game. Penquis had alot of heart,  the players did their best.  Don’t make yourselves (your school, your community) look  bad now, by saying rotten stuff about the other team…The time to voice concerns about fairness is before the game….
    just my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Well said, Coach. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    This has been going in Florida, Calif, Colorado, Texas, NJ and NY for many years.  The solution is simple..if schools are going to allow out of area athletes to attend their school to participate in sports, make them attend the school one year prior to participating and make the school play only schools that do the same thing……..they will have a hard time scheduling games with local school. Google  Mullen High School in Denver, there roster is filled with players from Calif and Texas……refuse to play them if they are going to “recruit”…..

  • Anonymous

    Please,,,,,,other states have dealt with this for 20 years.  NY, NJ, Fl, Calif, Texas, Ohio all have told the schools that use kids outside their district boundries to “play each other”……Local schools won’t play them and it becomes real hard to schedule games and gets real expensive……So stop whining and solve  the problem if you are that unhappy.   Mullen High School in  Denver, nationally ranked in the top 10, load their rosters with players from  Calif and Texas…… The above relates to football and check out Don Bosco High  School in Ramsey,  NJ…….

  • Anonymous

    As a father of 3 boys who have all played against Lee Academy in the past 5 years, my sons never complained of the talent at Lee. They all enjoyed the competition and looked forward to the rivalries. Unless you posters have facts to support the recruiting let it be. It is what it is.

  • Anonymous

    I had a Master’s degree class with Tony once and our political views were on opposite spectrums. However,he was intelligent, objective and had class about it. I came out of that class more respectful of him, even though we had different views. Not to mention, I have never seen a coach take an average bunch of kids to the levels he takes his. He is a basketball genius as a coach too!

  • Anonymous

    Coach Hamlin-
    These young men are fortunate to have you in their lives. At a time of seemingly unlimited political vitriol and endless trash-talking in all walks of life,  here comes a stand-up gentleman to give all a healthy dose of perspective. It is, indeed, only a game- a game played by high-school kids, irrespective of their accents or places of origin. It’s a game, people, and in five years more folks will likely remember the ugly aftermath than the result of the game itself- and I think that tells us a lot. Thanks to Coach Hamlin for such a classy and mature gesture. Let’s hope his players follow his lead as they go further in life.

  • Anonymous

    There is a photo of a parade in Milo in the 1920s which may shed some light on the past of the area and the forefather’s sentiments. It is good to see Hamlin address his fans.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t expect anything less from milo residents.  What a shithole!

    • James Leavitt

      1. Keep it civil and stay on topic2. No vulgarity, racial slurs, name-calling or personal attacks.You just broke the first 2 guidelines on posting on BDN, shame shame!!!

  • Anonymous

    The easy way out of this, is not to schedule to play them during the regular season. If they don’t play enough games during the regular season then they don’t qualify. for the tournament.

  • Anonymous

    Tony, well written!!!!

  • Anonymous

     Coach Tony Hamlin has shown considerably more class than many of the posters on this blog.  I must reiterate that, although I never attended Lee Academy or live in Lee, I know for a fact that neither Lee Academy nor Coach Randy Harris has EVER recruited players for the basketball teams.  Period.  Like many small, semi-private schools Lee Academy has had to struggle for survival in recent years.  The dormitories were nearly empty and, unlike bigger schools in more populous areas, the pool of potential students is limited.  This was exacerbated by the closure of the mills in East Millinocket and Millinocket, as many Lee residents who worked there had to relocate to find work.  The headmaster, with the approval of the Board of Directors, explored the possibility to attract foreign students and developed the program which ultimately led to the acceptance of students from China.  Shortly thereafter a satellite school was opend in China.  Lee Academy has also accepted students with disadvantaged backgrounds from inner cities.  Whether any of these students, Chinese or American, were basketball players has been purely conincidental.  As a matter of fact, most of them have never picked up a basketball.  The success Lee has had in developing this program is certainly not unique- George Stevens Academy, Foxcroft Academy, and others have follow suit and actively sought foreign students.  The people who have spewed such vitriol on this site and at the games this season ought to be ashamed of themselves.  The example they have set for their children teaches intolerance and is one more example of how political correctness has cheapened the pursuit of excellence.  I would also add that, given the amount of money we owe to China, these kids may end up working for Chinese bosses, so they need to learn more of the language and customs of the Chinese students.  Hopefully, this nonsense will end once the tournament is over.    

  • Anonymous

    Whatever, only one private school made states anyways…

    Class A: Hampden (public) vs. Deering (public)
    Class B: Gardiner (public) vs. Yarmouth (public)
    Class C: Lee (private) vs. Dirigo (public)
    Class D: Jonesport-Beals (public) vs. Forest Hills (public)

    • James Leavitt

      indeed you are correct.  Also to add to your info is that Lee Academy enrollment is 164 students 9-12, the lowest total in Eastern Maine Class C.  In actuality, Lee Academy has less students then Penobscot Valley, Woodland and Fort Fairfield which is in Class D.  

      • Anonymous

        They are over 200 that puts them in C. You stated 164 in about 3 or 4 comments, you are wrong. Watch the game on Saturday and before it starts it will show the enrollment. I think it is 230 or near that.

        • James Leavitt

          I get my numbers from the department of education enrollment numbers as of January 2012.  If they have falsely provided information that is out of my hands.  I would rather trust the Department of Education statistics on the web.  I will post the link to where i got the 164 number. 
          http://www.maine.gov/education/enroll/resident/staterespriv.htm from there I went to by school & grade, 2010/2011.  There it says Lee has 164, I enjoy the broadcast of the games but don’t always trust their reporting’s.  If the departments statistics are wrong I do apologize.  

          • Anonymous

            They are around 250. The MeDOE figures don’t account for dorm students for some reason. Look at the numbers from Foxcroft and Fryeburg and you’ll see.

          • James Leavitt

            thanks, i’ll check on that!

      • Anonymous

        That is incorrect data as the MeDOE figures do not account for dorm students. They actually have around 250 students overall and are within Class C enrollment. The MPA confirms this.

        • James Leavitt

          is there any web links or reports that does include their total figures?  I don’t doubt your findings, just would like to see it to have on my record for future facts.  Thanks for the information.

  • Anonymous

    Well said Coach Hamlin.  Having worked with you for several years, I know you meant every word.  People need to realize that Maine’s schools are transitioning into something very different from what they remember from 20 or even 10 years ago.  It’s not only the “academies” that are educating foreign students.  Public schools across the state are starting international programs to attract students from abroad.  There will be more and more students “from away” playing on these schools’ teams.  As long as the rules of the MPA aren’t being broken, the international students are just as eligible to play as a local student.  If someone feels there is an eligibility issue with a student playing on a high school sports team, by all means file a complaint with the MPA.  It is time to remember that basketball is a GAME played for the enjoyment of its participants and its fans.  It’s not life or death, and it should not be the sole driving force that shapes a community.  Leave the coach and his family alone.

  • Anonymous

    Nice article Coach Hamlin … Not too many people would even make the effort to make this a better world.  Congrats on a great season …. 

  • Anonymous

    Just enjoy the game; imported athletes are here to stay, whether African ‘refugees’ on Portland basketball and soccer teams; or Canadian hockey players in Orono.

    I’ve always felt I played my best when I competed against better players, regardless of where they came from. 

  • Anonymous

    All I know is this.  Bruce Lindberg was my Principal at Bucksport High School when I graduated in 1992.   I was one of the top athletes in school but I was far from a top student…I was lazy!  Bruce Lindberg personally went out of his way to work with me and teach me how to be a better student and ultimately a better person.  Mr. Lindberg was there for me at an age where I was looking for someone to challenge me, believe in me, and lead me in the right direction.

    I follow HS basketball and am not completely on board with how Lee and other private-semi private schools operate.  However, attacking a coach, headmaster, and players is completely out of line.  If Bruce Lindberg is guilty of anything, its wanting the best for Lee Academy, the community and his students.   Sorry, although I may disagree with what Lee and other schools are allowed to do it will never change my opinion of Lee’s Headmaster, Bruce Lindberg!

    • Anonymous

      I do believe that Bucksport High, has many kids come from towns, other than ones in it’s own district to play Football

      • Anonymous

        Actually, thats not the case at all. I would be interested to hear of 2-3 names you think might fall into that category…

        Back in the day we had some kids from Orland and Castine but thats no different than Orrington kids going to Brewer and Glenburn kids going to Bangor

  • Anonymous

    Lee Academy Pandas………….Pandas…….In Maine?  Very classy letter nonetheless.

  • Anonymous

    Well written Tony.  I went to school with Randy Harris and I know he is an upstanding individual.  Problem is…people like to pick at things because I’m guessing now, their kid sat the bench because of these transfer students or they were from the opposing school.  Folks, this is high school basketball and they are kids.  There is no easy solution  to this matter.  The only thing I can say is it stinks to lose, but, there are lots of life lessons to be learned from the game of basketball and how we handle ourselves during adversity.  Same thing to be said if we were working in a business.  Do we not allow foreign people to apply for jobs because they come from another country?  Bottom line, we are ALL foreign in this country…we need to learn to lose gracefully…and it’s not the kids I’m talking about.  The ADULTS.  Sometimes I think the kids take it better.  I have been to a lot of tournament games, sitting near adults that need to do some serious growing up.  It’s a sport and these are someone’s children.  If you wanted a gold ball, you should have earned one yourself instead of trying to get one through your children!  PS.  I believe it’s 3% roughly of the athletes in our country that make professional teams.  So relax, enjoy the time they have, because it goes by very very fast!

  • Anonymous

    Best thing to come out of Milo is an empty bus.

  • Anonymous

    Pretty sad when the moral compass of this town has to come from the likes of Tony Hamlin, one of the most dishonest and unpleasant individuals I know.  At least he ponyed up with the right sentiments this time.

    • Anonymous

      let me guess, your son didn’t make the team?

  • Anonymous

    Pretty sad when the moral compass of a town has to come from the likes of Tony Hamlin, one of the most dishonest individuals I know.

  • Anonymous

     Nice job Coach Hamlin.  A true friend and gentleman in writing this article.  Have never responded to any comments on MBR and or other social networks.  The half truths and negative comments have gone way beyond control.  My son played for Randy Harris 15-18 yrs. ago and he will tell you he is a better man today because of him.  Yes, Lee Academy needed the dorm/ international students to survive. With the dorms being closed for a few years for a time they are now a vital part of Lee Academy.  Students come to Lee for an education of wish sports are a role in that education.  I’ve heard no one complain of the several international students on the LA soccer team, or the fact several girls were on the LA basketball team.  Oh wait, girls were 0-18, soccer teams have won 0 championships, so it’s not a problem. 
    Someone said on here to look at the team picture  and see only one Lee member, guess they need to learn to count.  Sawtelle, Guido, D. Peters, K. Peters. B. Bourgoin, N. Thurlow, M. Richardson, S. Brown, my math that adds to 7 and I don’t have the picture to go by.
    With the dorm students Lee is playing up a class, loose them and back to class D.
    Mr. Harris is and has been a dedicated coach and mentor to all the young men that have played for him over the years and will be in the future.
    Thanks coach Hamlin and Coach Harris for all you do for the student/athletes of your school.  Look for to seeing your teams on the courts and fields in the future.
    Best wishes in the state game Lee Academy.

    • James Leavitt

      I agree, i looked at the enrollment figures and Lee has 164, 3 school which are in class D have more enrollment than Lee.  Lee beat a school with an enrollment of 356, that’s more than twice the amount, you don’t see any other school play in a division where the lowest total enrollment is more than twice the highest enrollment!

      • As you don’t see any other school Lee plays against recruits talent globaly either. Kind of funny how you fail to mention that as well….

        • James Leavitt

          I cant take away your opinion nor can i dispute what you claim.  Just like yourself , I have no factual evidence, report stating that Lee Academy recruits basketball players.  What i have heard is peoples opinions that they recruit.  Its only right to make claims to what is facts and reported.  I claim the numbers and classes because it was factually reported on the Department of Education web site.   I did on the other hand decide to leave out the information you claim because I cant find any website or concrete source that convicts Lee Academy other than peoples opinions.  I respect your opinion but as i was once told, a person who states an opinion based on no facts is named a fool!

  • I think its very sad some are now playing the race card and makeing up alleged attacks of race and against coach harris’s family? To say Lee doesn’t recruit is like saying the Pope isn’t Catholic. The majority of the public thinks Lee has a major advantage in recruiting players globaly. There have even been Lee alums who posted saying they are not happy with the direction the program has taken.  Most of the public sees nothing impressive about a school who recruits players globaly beating local small town high school teams. This is not a personal attack against Randy Harris its simply a fact he has won nothing as the head coach of Lee bball ever without the teams roster being made up mostly with imported players from many states and foriegn countrites. Fact not opinion. Kinda hard to say your program doesn’t recuit when a kid right after the game said the coach called him to play oopps? Time for the MPA to step in and put an end to this.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know what it cost to be a dorm student at L/A? I was told $27,000 for room and board at L/A, would this buy a nice car for transportation?

    • James Leavitt

      Not exactly sure what the cost has to do with anything.  I am a Stearns Alumni but I dont see anyone complaining about them playing against public schools while they try to recruit students from China.  Just because they didn’t have any Chinese students playing basketball it doesn’t change the fact that we have done the same thing that Lee has.  I guess it only matters if you win whether or not people complain.  

      • Anonymous

        James you missed the boat, Mr. Johnson’s first reason for leaving Hampden Academy was that he got in a car accident and didn’t have anyway to go back and forth to school. He decided he would go up L/A and live in the dorm and walk across the street to school. I was just saying it would have been cheaper to but a car, than pay 27 grand to stay in the dorm. Before anyone says CJ went to L/A to get use to dorm life, I say he has a habit of changing his stories, like when he said “I was wrong, L/A contacted me after I applied to got there” on MPBN.

  • Anonymous

    Why do most players in the HS tournament continuously wipe the bottom of their shoes during stop in play?  It seems that Larry Bird started this practice decades ago.  I understand the principle behind removing loose debris but is there any value or logic to this practice?  With technological improvements and regular maintenance, I would think that players should conserve their energy and stop this annoying mannerism which does not have any obvious  benefits.  With regards to Mr. Hamlin, he should not defend LA by stating that LA does not recruit.  With this remark Mr. Hamlin loses his credibility.

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