It didn’t pan out this past high school football season, but playing for Cheverus is a good way to put yourself in the state championship conversation, at least.
And if you’re the Stags’ star offensive player, it’s also becoming the tried-and-true way to walk off with the Fitzpatrick Trophy.
Donald Goodrich, whose running legs guided Cheverus to a Class A championship in 2011 and the regional final in 2012, won the Fitzpatrick Trophy on Sunday at a banquet in Portland.
The award is presented each year since 1971 to an outstanding senior football player in Maine.
Goodrich is the second Cheverus winner in three years and the third straight finalist.
Former quarterback Peter Gwilym, now on the Ohio State roster as a slot receiver, captured the award two years ago.
Running back Spencer Cooke was a finalist last year, when Leavitt QB Jordan Hersom took home the statue.
Goodrich won out over Alex Shain of Sanford and Chandler Shostak of Cony in two rounds of voting that involved coaches and media from throughout the state. Those three were the top vote-getters from a list of 12 semifinalists.
The process wasn’t without controversy.
Jordan Whitney of Mt. Blue and Jared Jensen of Brunswick, each the player of the year in their division of the Pine Tree Conference, were not among the dozen semifinalists.
Whitney led the Cougars to a 12-0 season and the Class B championship as a quarterback and defensive back. Jensen rushed for more than 2,300 yards in a 10-game season for Brunswick, which reached the Eastern A semifinals.
In addition to football accomplishments, academics and community involvement are listed among the Fitzpatrick criteria.
Thornton denied Cheverus its third straight Class A championship with a victory in the Western Maine final. It snapped the Stags’ Class A record winning streak at 34 games.
Goodrich emerged in the playoffs as a junior after Cooke was sidelined with a broken leg. He rushed for more than 100 yards in a state final win over Lawrence.
That momentum carried over into 2012, when Goodrich rambled for 1,722 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Additionally, Goodrich was a defensive end and his team’s return specialist. He intercepted seven passes.