BATH, Maine — Troy Cunningham is the poster boy for just how near and dear Morse High School remains in the hearts of its alumni.
Cunningham might live in Florida, but he’s been leading the drive to get the school’s shipbuilder mascot state and national recognition. At last glance, Morse had won the state competition in the USA Today Best Mascot contest, and is shooting to win the regionals. A victory there would put Morse in the nationals.
“I posted a link to the alumni site on Facebook — the link to vote in the USA Today contest,” said Cunningham, the historian for the Bath High School Alumni Association, for which he also takes care of public relations. “I’ve urged other alumni to follow suit. We’ve had several individuals who were very persistent and, low and behold, we won the state championship.”
Thanks to all that hard work of voting and re-voting, the Morse Shipbuilder won the state with 18,260 votes. The Houlton Shiretowners were a distant second with 12,856 votes.
Bath, of course, is home to Bath Iron Works, a giant shipyard that designs and builds ships for the Navy.
Now, the Shipbuilder moves on to the Region 1 competition voting, which ends on Thursday. Region 1 consists of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey.
Cunningham, who comes up every year for the Morse Alumni Weekend and still subscribes to The Times Record, remains hard at work.
“I’ve put out requests to alumni all over the country,” he said. “At this point in time, it’s not just a school thing, it’s the state. I’ve got alumni in England, Germany and Chile working on this. I’m trying to get hold of an alumni in Greece right now. We’re just voting away.”