Even as he battled cancer this winter, Chad Perry’s love for the game of basketball never went away, and his spirit never dampened.
As a result, Perry was honored with the Josh Titus Spirit of the Game Award at Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star banquet on Friday in Bangor.
The Patrick Thibodeau Spirit of the Game award went to Mt. Ararat of Topsham senior Rusty Wilkins.
Perry, a senior captain at Narraguagus, had his basketball career put on hold when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, prior to the start of the season.
He subsequently began chemotherapy treatments, which made him ill and weak and caused him to lose weight.
But Perry, who hails from Harrington, never wanted to be away from his teammates. He was able to sit on the bench in uniform on two occasions this season, and led his teammates onto the court during Senior Night, scoring the first basket of the game before subbing out.
“Chad has remained positive, has made some hard decisions about his health and has supported his team and shown true courage,” Narraguagus Principal Lucille Willey said.
Wilkins, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around, has served as Mt. Ararat’s boys basketball team manager the last two years, and has also managed the baseball and field hockey teams.
He has never missed a basketball game, home or away, in his time as manager. Wilkins is an honor roll student in the Functional Life Skills program at Mt. Ararat.
Wilkins is active in Maine Special Olympics and recently won a gold medal in the assisted ski slalom event. He has also participated in more than two dozen 10K road races and completed two marathons pushed in a specialized wheelchair by his cousin, James. Wilkins raised more than $5,000 to purchase the chair.
He is currently organizing a 5K to support the American Cancer Society.
The awards are named in honor of the their first recipients: the late Joshua Titus, a team manager at Edward Little High School who had autism, and Patrick Thibodeau, a team manager at Greely High School who has Down syndrome. The award winners receive a plaque and a $500 Spirit Scholarship to assist with their higher education needs.
DeTroy, Strauch earn academic scholarships
Isabelle Troy of Gray-New Gloucester High School and Dexter’s William Strauch were each presented with a $2,000 All-State academic scholarship during All-Star weekend.
The scholarship recognizes a girl and boy from the All-State Academic teams.
DeTroy is her class valedictorian and has served as captain of the Patriots’ basketball and soccer teams the last two years.
Strauch, who is Dexter’s valedictorian, started the last two years. He has also starred in cross country and tennis, sings in the chorus and plays the saxophone in the school’s pep and jazz bands.