July 18, 2019
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Fort Fairfield selects six for athletic hall of fame

Kevin Sjoberg | BDN
Kevin Sjoberg | BDN
Fort Fairfield baseball coach John Ala shares some advice with senior Jon Bernard during a recent home game. The Tigers, the No. 1 team in Class D North with a 14-0 record, hosts PVHS of Howland Thursday at 4 p.m. in the playoff quarterfinals.

Multisport athlete Charlene Cyr and skiing standout Barry Gill will represent the decade of the 1970s next month when they are inducted into the Fort Fairfield High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

The duo will be joined by coaches Robert “Bob” Osterblom and John Ala, contributor and coach Tim Watt, and the Tigers’ 1972 track and field team in this year’s class.

Fort Fairfield’s sixth hall of fame class will be inducted Thursday, July 18, at Fort Fairfield High School. Tickets are available for the banquet and induction ceremony, which begin with a 5 p.m. social hour.

Only 125 tickets will be sold.

The cost is $30 per person for a dinner that includes a choice of prime rib or baked stuffed haddock along with twice-baked potatoes, buttered peas, macaroni salad, dinner rolls and dessert. For tickets contact Larry Gardner at 207-551-5001 or at lgardner@msad20.org

Previous inductees and the recipients of the $1,000 athletic boosters club student-athlete scholarships also will be in attendance. A video presentation will be included, and inductees will receive jackets and plaques.

The “Team of the Year” will be presented to Fort’s 1972 regional championship track and field team coached by the late Eugene “Sam” Babineau.

Ala has been a successful head coach of boys soccer, baseball and girls soccer at Fort Fairfield. He is a 1998 graduate of Caribou High School and a 2003 graduate of the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

Ala coached boys soccer to a 118-90-14 record from 2005 to 2017, winning a Class D state championship in 2015. His baseball teams own a 151-105 mark from 2003 to present, including a north title in 2017.

He is the girls varsity soccer coach and girls JV and assistant varsity basketball coach.

Cyr, a 1977 Fort Fairfield graduate, earned nine letters in softball, field hockey and basketball, playing all four years in each sport. She also played volleyball from 1974 to 1977 and was a two-year captain.

Cyr was named a high school softball All-American in 1977 after the center fielder and pitcher hit 26 home runs and batted .504. She and her brother Wilburt are the first brother and sister to be inducted into the hall of fame.

Gill (Class of 1974) earned seven letters letters competing in skiing and golf. His ski teams won two Eastern Maine titles and claimed the state championship his senior year where he won the slalom and ski jumping, and was second in the giant slalom.

Gill also placed sixth in cross-country en route to being named the 1974 State of Maine Skimeister for the best combined score in the four events. He has been a pilot for American Airlines since 1979.

Osterblom (Class of 1965) is a 1969 UMPI graduate who spent 25 years at Fort Fairfield Middle School. He coached boys basketball for 15 years, boys and girls cross-country for 10 years, and was the athletic director for 10 years.

In 1976 Osterblom began a 31-year career as Fort’s first girls varsity track coach, and guided the boys and girls the past few years. He coached girls varsity basketball from 1994 to 1998, the last team reaching the EM semifinals.

Watt, a 1981 graduate of Limestone High School, began his teaching career in Fort Fairfield in 1985 as a middle school health and physical education teacher. He coached of varsity boys soccer, freshman boys basketball and middle school baseball.

In 2000 he was hired as Fort’s assistant principal and athletic administrator. He received the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s Special Achievement Award in 2013 and 2018. He has also been President of the Aroostook League since 2012.

 



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