The inaugural class of inductees into the Presque Isle High School Athletic Hall of Fame will be honored Feb. 4 during a banquet at the Northeastland Hotel in the Star City.

Ten former student-athletes at the school — a group that ranges from a national champion cross country runner and an Olympic baseball player to All-Maine basketball players — will be recognized after the 5:30 p.m. social hour and 6 p.m. buffet-style meal.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students.

The inductees also will be honored the next day at the high school gymnasium between games of a girls and boys basketball doubleheader between Presque Isle and Old Town. They will be more permanently recognized with brass plates featuring their names placed on a large oak board located in the superintendent’s conference room at the school, according to Jim Carter, co-chair of the hall of fame committee.

Members of the first class to be inducted into the Presque Isle Athletic Hall of the Fame are the following:

Hal Cheney ’33, played baseball and basketball for two years at Presque Isle after transferring from Easton, and later played in the Boston Red Sox organization for five years.

Kim Condon ’97, led Presque Isle to the 1997 Class A state championship in girls basketball and was named Miss Maine Basketball, the Maine Gatorade Player of the Year and the USA Today Maine Player of the Year before going on to a 1,000-point career at Colby College.

Malcolm Dempsey ’41, led Presque Isle to a state cross country championships in 1940 and 1941, setting a course record in the 1941 state meet and going on to finish third at the New England championships before winning the National Interscholastic Cross Country Championship.

Bob Duprey ’61, a two-time All-Maine basketball player and four-year starter in baseball who went on to lead the nation’s NAIA and NCAA ranks by shooting 91.6 percent from the free-throw line while playing at Husson College in 1965.

Bill Hanscom, the school’s boys basketball coach for 26 years who compiled a 369-188 record and led the Wildcats to the 1932 state championship, he also coached the Presque Isle baseball team to a 236-148 record and an Eastern Maine title in 1951. Hanscom also coached football at Presque Isle.

Wayne Hartford ’61, a four-year letterwinner in basketball and baseball who was two-time All-Maine choice in baseball and had a 19-2 career pitching record while averaging more than 13 strikeouts a game. He went on to star in both sports at Husson.

Hubert Shaw ’32, a three-sport star at Presque Isle who late was named to the 1936 U.S. Olympic baseball team, for which he started at first base and was credited with hitting the first home run in Olympic play.

Barney Smith ’65, earned 13 letters in basketball, baseball and track at Presque Isle, then went on to Duke University where he walked onto the Blue Devils’ freshman basketball team and started at second base for the school’s baseball team.

Ron Staples ’54, led Presque Isle to a 54-12 record and an Eastern Maine title during four years of baseball, and later spent five years in the Boston Red Sox organization.

Ralph Sweetser ’32, led the Wildcats boys basketball team to the 1932 state title and the 1931 Eastern Maine crown, and also won track state championships in the discus and shot put — an event in which he still holds the Aroostook County record.

Cheney, Hanscom, Shaw, Staples and Sweetser will be inducted posthumously.

OT to host Hopla clinic

One of the nation’s foremost basketball shooting coaches, Dave Hopla, will conduct a clinic at Old Town High School from 1 to 2 p.m. on Jan. 30.

Hopla has worked with numerous NBA, WNBA, college and high school teams and players, and has served as a shooting consultant for the Toronto Raptors and as an assistant coach for player development for the Washington Wizards.

His clinics include shooting mechanics, shooting drills, proper footwork, hand and elbow positioning, two-eyed shooting, shooting off the dribble, shooting off screens and  free-throw shooting.

Admission to the clinic is $3. More information on Hopla is available by visiting

Scoring from long distance

On the topic of shooting a basketball, Brandon Bouchard of Van Buren made a half-court shot to win $500 during halftime of the Fort Kent at Van Buren girls basketball game on Jan. 6. Several schools throughout northern Maine are selling 50/50 raffle tickets at home games for the chance to shoot from half-court, and this marks the second time that Katahdin Trust Co. has had to come up with the cash for a successful attempt.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...