STANDISH, Maine — Clark Noonan, a former All-Maine basketball player and soccer standout at Bangor High School, was killed early Saturday morning in a single-car crash near Saint Joseph’s College.
Noonan, 20, was a passenger in a Mazda 626 automobile that was traveling north on the Chadbourne Road, also known as Route 35, near the Saint Joseph campus when it veered off the road, rolled over several times and became entangled in a chain-link fence, according to reports.
Noonan, a sophomore business management major at Saint Joseph’s who also was a member of the school’s basketball team, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bangor High School boys varsity basketball coach Roger Reed was asked about Noonan early Saturday afternoon shortly after learning of his death.
“What a waste of a great life, because he was such a great young man. He had unbelievable drive and determination,” said Reed. “I can’t explain how saddened I am by this.
Reed said he called a couple of Noonan’s former teammates to tell them and they were devastated by the news.
“It’s a shame that a kid like that has been taken from us,” Reed said.
Two other passengers and the driver, also Saint Joseph’s students, suffered injuries that were not life-threatening and were taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland.
The accident remains under investigation and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department is working with the district attorney’s office to determine if any charges are warranted against the driver, reported to be 19-year-old Tyler Hall of Pittston.
The other passengers in the car were reported as James Philbrook, 20, of Auburn and Terence Cullen, 21, of Iowa.
Noonan was a two-year varsity basketball player at Bangor High School, where as a senior in 2010 he earned Bangor Daily News third-team All-Maine recognition as well as All-Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference first team, all-defensive and all-academic honors.
“I think of [him as] a very unselfish, hard-working, team-oriented basketball player,” said Reed. “He was my kind of player, and I loved him as a person.”
Two years ago, Noonan averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per game while leading the Rams to a 17-3 record and a berth in the Eastern Maine Class A semifinals.
“He didn’t even start playing basketball until the eighth grade, but once he did, he made up for it big time,” Reed recalled. “He had a motor that just never quit and he was great to coach. He absorbed everything and was a very versatile athlete.”
He also helped the Bangor boys soccer team advance to the Eastern A championship match as a senior and was named to the KVAC and Maine Soccer Coaches Association all-star teams.
“He’s literally and figuratively larger than life. He’s a great kid who’s incredibly competitive, but also at the same time very compassionate. His teammates absolutely adored him,” said Bangor High boys varsity soccer coach David Patterson. “He was a phenomenal teammate and someone you wanted to be around.”
Patterson, who has coached the boys varsity soccer team for four years, said Noonan was a unique study in contrasts.
“Someone like Clark played like he was invincible. He competed really, really hard even in practice, but was also a kind, gentle soul. You don’t find that type of person often,” Patterson said.
Noonan played in 51 games over two seasons with the Saint Joseph’s College men’s basketball teams, including 37 starts.
As a freshman, the 6-foot-6-inch center averaged 5.0 points per game and ranked second on the team with 4.4 rebounds per contest. He was listed on the MMBCWA Weekly Honor Roll three times and garnered Great Northeast Athletic Conference honors on two occasions.
This past winter Noonan started in 19 of the Monks’ 26 games, averaging 4.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest.
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Dave Hall, who is handling the case, was off duty until Monday and unavailable to update the status of the case, or whether any charges may be pending.