More than 90 of the state’s top high school football players from the 2012 season are gearing up for one final game before they head off to the next stages of their lives.
Those players, all members of the graduating class of 2013, will meet at Hebron Academy on Sunday to begin practice sessions for the 24th annual Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic. That game will be played at 4 p.m. on July 20 at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford.
The East and West rosters are led by Don Goodrich of Cheverus High School in Portland, the reigning winner of the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy symbolizing the state’s top player-sportsman, and Kurt Massey of John Bapst in Bangor and Bobby Begin of Thornton Academy in Saco, winners of the Frank J. Gaziano Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards.
Goodrich, a running back and defensive end/linebacker, rushed for 1,722 yards on 8.65 yards per carry and scored 22 touchdowns last fall in leading Cheverus to the Western Maine Class A final. He also had 43 tackles and seven quarterback sacks on defense.
Massey, a four-year starter on defense and a three-year starter on offense at John Bapst, won the Gaziano defensive lineman award after a senior season when he led the LTC with seven quarterback sacks and ranked second on his team in tackles while earning all-conference honors for the second straight year.
Begin, the Gaziano offensive lineman of the year, was a two-year starter at center for Thornton Academy and an all-Southwestern Maine Activities Association middle linebacker who helped the Golden Trojans win their first Class A state title since 1988. He also was a team captain and a semifinalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy.
Among others slated to participate in the Lobster Bowl are the other two 2012 Fitzpatrick Trophy finalists, Alex Shain of Sanford and Chandler Shostak of Cony of Augusta, as well as Gaziano Award finalists Greg Duff of Bangor, Jack Lucy of Orono and Andy Martel of Bonny Eagle of Standish.
The Lobster Bowl rosters also include three players from each of the 2012 state championship teams, Class A Thornton Academy, Class B Mt. Blue of Farmington and Class C Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft.
Begin, Connor McCrum and Dakota Tarbox will represent Thornton Academy on the West squad, while Bradley Jackson, Chad Luker and Jordan Whitney of Mt. Blue and Don Boyer, Louis LaFache and Ryan Rebar of Foxcroft Academy are slated to play for the East.
The West holds a 17-6 lead in the Lobster Bowl series, including a 48-24 victory in last year’s game.
One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic benefit of the 22 Shrine Hospitals for Children across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Rebar leads Husson baseball recruits
The state’s recently named Mr. Baseball is among five Eastern Maine Class B high school standouts who will continue their playing careers on that sport next season at Husson University in Bangor.
Foxcroft Academy pitcher-shortstop Ryan Rebar, who last month was presented the Dr. John W. Winkin Award symbolic of the state’s top senior high school baseball player, will be joined on the Eagles’ baseball roster by fellow first-year players Cam Archer of Old Town, Dennis Meehan of Gardiner, Evan Pelkey of John Bapst of Bangor and Ben Walls of Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor, according to Husson head coach Jason Harvey.
Rebar was named the state’s Mr. Baseball after a senior season at Foxcroft where he went 6-1 on the mound with a 1.02 earned run average in 41 innings while batting .339 with nine doubles, 11 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in helping the Ponies compile a 15-3 record and advance to the Eastern B semifinals.
Rebar, also named the Penobscot Valley Conference Class B player and pitcher of the year this spring, plans to play baseball and football at Husson.
Archer, Pelkey and Walls joined Rebar on the All-PVC first team. Walls, a pitcher and third baseman, led MDI to the regional semifinals while Pelkey, a pitcher-shortstop, helped John Bapst finish the regular season as the top-ranked team in the division.
Archer, an outfielder-pitcher, also sparked Old Town to a postseason berth, as did Meehan, a pitcher-shortstop, for Gardiner.
Husson finished its 2013 season with a 26-18 record after winning its second North Atlantic Conference championship in the last three years and advancing to the ECAC tournament.