Bangor High School tailback Lonnie Hackett, who set a school single-season rushing record this fall while leading the Rams to the Eastern Maine Class A title, is one of three finalists for the 39th James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy.
Hackett, Jack Mallis of Windham and Nic Crutchfield of Dirigo of Dixfield are the three remaining contenders for the annual award, which recognizes the state’s senior high school football player.
The winner will be announced at the Fitzpatrick Trophy banquet scheduled for noon on Jan. 17, 2010, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.
The three finalists were selected by a vote of the state’s high school football coaches and media from a list of 11 semifinalists determined by the Fitzpatrick selection committee after a review of nominations made by coaches.
Hackett, the Pine Tree Conference Class A player of the year, became the first Bangor player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. He finished the campaign with 2,227 rushing yards while averaging more than seven yards per carry and 186 yards per game. Hackett also scored 28 touchdowns in leading Mark Hackett’s club to an 11-1 record and its first Eastern A title since 2004.
Hackett is bidding to become the first Fitzy winner from Bangor since Pat Philippon in 1979.
Mallis rushed for 1,686 yards and scored 26 touchdowns in leading Windham to its first Class A state championship.
Mallis scored four touchdowns, two rushing and two receiving, as the Eagles defeated Bangor 35-21 in the state final.
Mallis previously was named the Maine Gatorade High School Player of the Year, as well as the Southern Maine Activities Association most valuable player.
Crutchfield quarterbacked Dirigo to its first Class C state championship and first state title of any kind since 1975.
He passed for 1,544 yards and 22 touchdowns and rushed for 580 yards and 10 more scores while leading the Cougars to a 12-0 season.
The Campbell Conference Class C player of the year passed for 255 yards and three touchdowns in the state final as Dirigo defeated Foxcroft Academy 37-20.
Other semifinalists for the Fitzpatrick Trophy were Bill Wetherbee of John Bapst of Bangor, Ryan Stroud of Foxcroft Academy, Christian Powers of Lawrence of Fairfield, Ryan Backus of Mt. Blue of Farmington, Eric Theiss of Leavitt of Turner Center, Tom Foden of Cape Elizabeth, Ryan Curit of South Portland and Steve Trask of Thornton Academy of Saco.
Shaw a “Rudy” semifinalist
Jon Shaw of Freedom, a senior fullback and linebacker for the Mount View of Thorndike football team, has been named one of 30 national semifinalists for the High School Football Rudy Awards.
The “Rudy” is named for Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who lived out his dream of donning a Notre Dame football uniform and playing 27 seconds in a game for the Fighting Irish, a personal battle against the odds that became the subject of a movie.
The High School Football Rudy Awards honor similarly inspirational football players who best define what Rudy refers to as the “The Four C’s”: character, courage, contribution and commitment.
Shaw’s patient persistence was instrumental in the development of the varsity football program at Mount View, promoting the sport among students within the school, appearing before the local school board and even spending time with another teammate during the summer several years ago in front of the superintendent’s office with a sign that read “Honk for Mount View Football.”
Ultimately the school board approved football as a varsity sport, and when the team’s kicker fell ill before the Mustangs’ first game, Shaw became the first player in school history to touch the ball in varsity play by booting the opening kickoff.
Shaw went on to start at the varsity level during Mount View’s first three years of varsity existence and helped the Mustangs to a 2-6 record this season after they went winless for their first two seasons.
Shaw was a second-team All-LTC center as a junior, and he has been a member of the LTC All-Academic Team each of the last two seasons.
The winner of the High School Football Rudy and two runners-up will be chosen by a vote of a selection committee that includes Drew Bledsoe and Jim Mora Sr., as well as an online vote of fans that continues through Jan. 31, 2010. Fans are invited to vote on the Web site highschoolrudyawards.com as often as they like for their choice of the nation’s most inspirational high school player.
The Rudy winner and two runners-up will be announced on Feb. 3, 2010.
Bapst’s Lear wins 100th
John Bapst of Bangor senior wrestler Fred Lear recently achieved a milestone, earning his 100th career victory during a meet against Mount Desert Island and Fort Kent.
Lear pinned his two opponents during that three-way meet to reach the coveted win total for coach Joe Bowen’s Crusaders.
Lear wrestles primarily at 152 pounds, where he finished fourth in his weight class at the Class C state championships last season as well as fourth at the Eastern C championships and third at the Penobscot Valley Conference meet.
As a sophomore, Lear placed second at the Eastern C meet at 140 pounds and fourth at the PVCs.
Lear also is coming off a strong high school football season at John Bapst, where he was named a second-team All- LTC fullback in helping the Crusaders reach the Eastern Maine Class C final for the third straight year.