Six former Orono High School sports standouts will be inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame Dec. 8.
The ceremony will take place in the gymnasium at approximately 4 p.m. between games of a boys and girls basketball doubleheader between the Red Riots and Ellsworth.
Comprising the 11th class of the Orono High School Athletic Hall of Fame are Molly Holmberg Brown, coach Dean Armstrong, Tom Philbrick, Dave Best, Tony Smart and Ray Wood.
Wood (1986) started on the 1983, 1984 and 1985 football teams that went a combined 30-5 and played in two state championship games. He was named to the All-LTC first team as a running back and place-kicker in 1984, then became just the second player in league history to be named named to the first team at four different positions (running back, defensive end, place-kicker and punter) in 1985. Wood, a sprinter and weight thrower, also was a key member of an Orono track program that was state runner-up in 1984 and 1985, and won the 1986 Class C outdoor state championship.
He played fullback at the University of Maine from 1986 to 1988 when the Black Bears were annual playoff participants. He now is self-employed at Wood Associates and owner of Safe Place Self Storage, and resides in Eddington with his wife and two children.
Philbrick (1974) became the first boys basketball player in school history to score 1,000 career points. The four-year varsity player was a first-team all-conference and all-tournament selection who earned BDN All-Maine second-team status as a junior and first-team accolades as a senior as the Red Riots captured the Class B state crown in 1973 and the Eastern Maine title again in 1974.
The 6-foot-6 Philbrick also played defensive end and tight end in football, and right field in baseball before moving on to Husson College in Bangor, where he helped the school’s basketball team compile a four-year record of 98-12, and win three conference championships, two NAIA District 5 titles, and trips to the NAIA national tournament in 1975 and 1976. He ended his career at Husson with 1,316 points and 826 career rebounds, and was inducted as part of the 1976 men’s basketball team into the Husson Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. Philbrick resides in Boothbay, and is owner and operator of Boothbay Lobster Wharf, Philbrick Lobster Co. and East Boothbay Lobster Pound.
Best (1992) was the defensive signal caller from his linebacker position on Orono’s 1990 LTC and Class B state championship football team, and helped the Red Riots win 20 straight games in 1990 and 1991. He was named the 1991 LTC Class B player of the year, and was an all-state choice and a 1992 Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl East team captain. He was a two-year starter on the boys basketball team that won the 1990 Eastern B title.
Best continued his football career at Bowdoin College where he was named captain in 1995 and earned first-team All-NESCAC recognition at linebacker and holds school season and career records for tackles. He resides in Lee, New Hampshire, where he is an technology marketing executive.
Smart (1983) captained the football, basketball and baseball teams as a senior at Orono. He was the starting quarterback and an All-LTC first-team honoree in 1981 and 1982, and was part of the run of football teams that won 48 consecutive games and five straight state championships. Smart played on two state championship football teams and another state title team in basketball, and was an all-Penobscot Valley Conference second baseman for Orono’s 1983 baseball team.
Smart played football and baseball at Springfield College from 1983 to 1986, and later coached football, girls basketball and baseball at Orono, helping the Red Riots win 1994 Class B state titles in football and baseball plus the 1996 Class B girls basketball state championship. Smart resides in Hampden and is an investment adviser.
Brown (Class of 1997) was a nine-time letter winner in soccer, indoor track, outdoor track, swimming and tennis. The two-year captain led the soccer team in goals and assists from 1994 to 1996, averaging 1.85 points per game. Brown was a four time All-Penobscot Valley Conference first-team selection, a three-time all-state choice and in 1996 was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association All-New England team.
Brown played soccer for four years at Middlebury College where she graduated as salutatorian of her class. She lives in Cape Elizabeth where she owns Mollymaps, which develops creative geographic and educational programs.
Armstrong is the winningest tennis coach in school history, having guided the Red Riots boys and girls teams from 1995 to 2008. His boys teams went 138-59 with three Eastern Maine championships. His girls squads compiled a 141-61 record with four EM titles. Armstrong’s teams had a combined record of 279-120 and the two programs qualified for postseason play in 27 of 28 seasons.