Morgan Gustin of Smyrna Mills and Southern Aroostook Community High School of Dyer Brook and Taylor Watson of Mount Vernon and Maranacook Community School of Readfield were named state winners of the 2011 Wendy’s High School Heisman Award on Friday.
The two seniors now will go on to compete for the national award that celebrates their hard work, dedication and exceptional records in athletics, academics and community leadership.
“The Wendy’s High School Heisman Award celebrates high school seniors across the country who excel in academics, athletics and community service,” said Archie Griffin, two-time collegiate Heisman Trophy winner. “Morgan and Taylor are inspirations to others in their school and community, and we’re honored to welcome them into the Heisman family.”
Awarded in conjunction with the collegiate Heisman, the Wendy’s High School Heisman, now in its 18th year, has set the standard for high school student-athletes and gained tremendous prestige among universities and colleges nationwide.
Gustin and Watson were chosen from 48,000 applicants, surviving rounds that narrowed contenders to one male and one female winner from each school, and then to Maine’s group of 20 state finalists.
Other schoolgirl state finalists were Yesena Aguilar of Windham, Amanda Allen of Limestone, Paula Arias of Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Brandy Carle of Calais, Nicole Cyr of Madawaska, Crystal Dacosta of Madison, Casie Frederick of Hermon, Abigail Homer of Ellsworth and Lauren Schassberger of Winslow.
Other boys finalists from Maine were Conner Bourgoin of Winslow, Vance Gustin of Southern Aroostook, Quinn Harris of Hodgdon, Jordon Hersom of Leavitt of Turner Center, Adam Mahar of Telstar of Bethel, Jake Palmer of Gardiner, Seth Sweet of Madison, Lukas Temple of Cheverus of Portland and Brad Wilcox of Bangor Christian.
Gustin and Watson will compete against winners from other regions across the country for a chance to be named one of 12 national finalists in Wendy’s annual quest to find the nation’s top scholar-athletes. The 12 finalists will go on to compete for the national award, to be presented in New York City on Dec. 9. National finalists will be featured during a televised ceremony on ESPN networks and will receive gold medals and $2,000 awards for their high schools. One male and one female national winner will each receive a Wendy’s High School Heisman trophy and a $10,000 donation from Wendy’s to their respective high schools. Additionally, the winners will be recognized during the collegiate Heisman Trophy broadcast Dec. 10 on ESPN.
Created in 1994 by Wendy’s and the Heisman Memorial Trust, the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award recognizes outstanding high school seniors nationwide who excel in athletics, academics and in the community. Students can nominate themselves for the award online, in addition to being recommended by principals, teachers, guidance counselors and coaches.
LEGENDS HOOP CLINIC AT THOMAS COLLEGE
Four of the most successful basketball minds in Maine history will gather Friday for the first “Legends of Maine Basketball” coaches clinic at Thomas College in Waterville.
The clinic will feature former Colby College coach Dick Whitmore, former Medomak Valley of Waldoboro and Westbrook coach Art Dyer, current Cheverus of Portland coach Bob Brown and former Morse of Bath coach Tom Maines, who recently was named the new girls basketball coach at Scarborough.
These coaches have combined for more than 2,000 career victories.
These longtime friends for many years met annually at a camp in the woods of Maine for several days of talking basketball, challenging each other’s teaching process and beliefs about the sport in order to develop their craft.
From this gathering came the genesis of the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches and the McDonald’s Senior All-Star Games — as well as numerous championships at both the high school and collegiate levels.
The clinic will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Mahaney Gymnasium on the campus of Thomas College. For more information, contact Thomas men’s basketball coach T.J. Maines at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FREE GIRLS HOOP CLINIC MONDAY
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes will be conducting a Free High School Girls Basketball Clinic on Monday at the William S. Cohen Middle School on Garland Street in Bangor.
The event, which is open to girls in grades 9 through 12, will run from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It will be directed by former University of Maine basketball player Amanda Tewksbury and former UMaine assistant coach and college head coach Sandi Thomas.
“It’s just to build relationships and help get the girls excited for their season,” Tewksbury said.
“We’re going to be doing a lot of basketball skills, defensive drills, offensive drills for all the skill levels and helping them with their fundamentals.”
Tewksbury said they did a similar event recently at Brewer High School for players in grades 4-8 and deemed it a success.
For information, contact Tewksbury at 951-6360 or via email at email@example.com(.)