Three players who have won state championships were recently selected as finalists for the Fitzpatrick Trophy, awarded annually to the top high school football player in the state.
Spencer Cooke of Cheverus, Louis DiTomasso of Wells and Jordan Hersom of Leavitt were the leading vote-getters among the 12 semifinalists who were nominated last month. The winners will be awarded the trophy Jan. 15 at a banquet at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.
Cooke is the second straight Cheverus player to be a finalist. Last year, quarterback Peter Gwilym won the Fitzpatrick Trophy after leading
the Stags to their first Class A state championship in 25 years. Cooke played a big part in the state final, scoring four touchdowns.
A running back/defensive back, Cooke rushed for 1,117 yards and scored 19 touchdowns this year. In the eighth game of the regular season
against Deering he broke a bone in his lower leg that kept him from the regional playoffs.
He made a brief appearance in this year’s state title game, which the Stags won going away, 49-7.
DiTomasso, a fullback/linebacker, led Wells to the Class B state championship in which the Warriors stopped Leavitt and Hersom, 21-13. He rushed for 116 yards in that game, finishing with 1,350 yards and 19 touchdowns for the season. He also recorded 133 tackles on defense.
Hersom was a four-year starter for the Hornets, moving to quarterback his junior year. He started both ways when the Hornets won the Class B state title his sophomore year and led them to state title appearances the last two seasons. Over that span, he’s 22-2. The quarterback/safety rushed for 10 touchdowns and competed 72 percent of his passes for an additional 16 touchdowns. Also had 56 tackles and two interceptions. Hersom’s cousin Jack Hersom won the Fitzpatrick Trophy as a quarterback for Lawrence High School in 2007.
Official’s shirt finds permanent home
The officiating shirt of legendary basketball official Tony Tammaro found a permanent home Wednesday night when it was officially retired at
Woodland High School. A longtime rules interpreter for the Downeast Board of Officials, Tammaro, who died in 2002 at age 82, refereed for more than 60 years in over 5,000 high school games. That included 37 straight years officiating games at the Eastern Maine tournament at the Bangor Auditorium.
He also officiated college games throughout New England as well as a Harlem Globetrotters game and a Boston Celtics game. He’s a member of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame and the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. Tammaro’s officiating shirt was originally retired in his hometown of Woodland in 2002. Since then it’s spent a year on display at eight other high schools — Calais, East Grand of Danforth, Jonesport-Beals, Lubec, Machias, Narraguagus of Harrington, Shead of Eastport and Washington Academy of East Machias.
Basketball off to frantic start
Just a handful of teams emerged unscathed following the first two weeks of the high school boys basketball season. In Class A West, preseason favorites Cheverus and Deering are the only unbeaten teams. Cheverus knocked off Portland, another preseason favorite, 49-41, while Deering squeaked past Marshwood 67-64. The two Portland schools are 4-0 and meet at Cheverus on Jan. 13.
Class A East, only Hampden and Lewiston remain unbeaten. Hampden had already knocked off Bangor and Mt. Blue, two of the preseason favorites, and Tuesday night posted another key win, beating Lawrence 49-47 in Fairfield.
In Class B West, Falmouth moved to the top of the standings with Tuesday night’s 46-42 win over previously unbeaten Yarmouth, which last week handed York its first loss. Leavitt and Spruce Mountain, which play in separate conferences, are also unbeaten.
In Class C West, Dirigo lived up to its preseason billing by opening the season with road victories against two strong opponents in Boothbay and Mountain Valley. In Class C East, Sumner leads the pack at 6-0 while Calais, Penquis and Fort Kent have yet to lose as well.
In Class D West, Valley looks like as if it may return to its glory days of 10 years ago and contend for a regional title, while preseason favorites Central Aroostook and Jonesport-Beals are unbeaten in Class D East.
Boys basketball top 10
1. Cheverus (4-0), As usual, the Stags rely on balanced scoring and team defense to beat rival Portland 49-41. A home date with Deering looms Jan. 13.
2. Deering (4-0), Swamped Noble on Tuesday, set to host a scrappy Sanford team Thursday.
3. Hampden (4-0), The Broncos have beaten three of the preseason favorites, including Bangor, Mt. Blue and Lawrence.
4. Camden Hills (4-0), The Windjammers reload after graduating several players. One-point win at Medomak worth loads of tourney points.
5. Lewiston (4-0), Flying under the radar, Blue Devils have one of the best teams in years. Thursday night showdown against cross-river rival Edward Little will tell a lot.
6. Lawrence (3-1), The Bulldogs lost lead in fourth quarter in two-point loss to Hampden.
7. Marshwood (3-1), Nipped Sanford in last game. Key contest at Cheverus on Dec. 30.
8. Falmouth (5-0), Nipped Yarmouth and Poland in recent games to move atop Class B West.
9. Ellsworth (5-0), The Eagles have yet to be challenged but that should change Thursday night at home against Presque Isle.
10. Bangor (3-1), After opening loss to Hampden, the Rams have bounced back with a big win over Mt. Blue.
Girls basketball top 10
1. McAuley (4-0), Defending state champs unchallenged so far. Tough to beat with two starters at 6-foot-3.
2. Scarborough (4-0), Squeaked past Windham by two points. Next up, Portland.
3. Nokomis (3-0), Defending Eastern Maine Class B champs rolling. Could be unbeaten when they meet Leavitt on Jan. 24.
4. Leavitt (5-0), Defending class B champions playing same uptempo style despite key graduations losses.
5. Cheverus (4-0), Topped Westbrook this week, Noble next.
6. Messalonskee (4-0), One of two unbeatens in Class a East. Key test Thursday vs. Hampden in rematch of last year’s regional final.
7. Thornton (3-0), The Golden Trojans have posted three close victories so far.
8. Cony (4-0), The Rams squeaked past Edward Little in double overtime and beat Oxford Hills by a point.
9. Lake Region (5-0), The Lakers are rolling behind 6-1 sophomore Tiana-Jo Carter.
10. Sanford (3-0), Nipped Gorham by three this week. Next up, Deering.
Boys hockey top 10
1. Thornton (3-0), The Defending Class A state champs off to a fast start. Beat Lewiston (4-1-0) in a rematch of last year’s state final.
2. Lewiston (1-1-0), Early wakeup call vs. Thornton. Play at rival St. Dom’s on Thursday.
3. Biddeford (2-1-1), Lost season opener to Thornton, later tied Greely.
4. Brewer (4-0-0), The defending Class B East champs beat Messalonskee 7-5 and rallied from four goals down to top Class A Falmouth 8-6.
5. Bangor (3-0-0), The Rams knocked off St. Dom’s 4-3 in overtime. They face cross-river rival Brewer on Jan. 4.
6. York (2-0-2), The defending Class B state champs have played to ties against Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth.
7. St. Dom’s (1-1), Beat Waterville, lost in OT to Bangor. Next up, a showdown with rival Lewiston.
8. Scarborough (3-0-1), Only Blemish a 2-2 tie against Cape Elizabeth. Next up, Kennebunk.
9. Cape Elizabeth (1-0-2), Beat Yarmouth before ties against York and Scarborough.
10. Messalonskee (2-1-0), Should be a force after dropping to Class B this season. Only loss was to Brewer.
Cross country: Leonardi, McClintock place in nationals
Kennebunk’s Abbey Leonardi and Madison’s Matt McClintock achieved All-America status after finishing among the top 15 runners at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego recently.
Leonardi finished fourth among the top 40 high school runners in the nations, completing the 5 kilometer course in 17 minutes, 35.3 seconds.
The best finish for a Maine schoolgirl had been fifth by Susannah Beck of Waynflete in 1985. Molly Seidel of Wisconsin won the race in 17:21.4. Leonardi will continue her track and cross country career on scholarship at the University of Oregon next fall. McClintock finished 15th to lock up the final spot awarded to All-Americans. The Maine high school champ finished in 15:31.3 to become the first Maine runner to achieve All-American status since Ben True of North Yarmouth and Greely High placed fifth in 2003.