Seth Wescott’s two epic rides for Olympic snowboardcross gold will be relived in Augusta Sunday as Maine’s two-time gold medalist headlines this year’s Maine Sports Hall of Fame class.

Long before Wescott was born, however, football players like Fairfield’s Pete Cooper, who still coaches the running backs and defensive ends at Bonny Eagle, were earning their places in Maine sports lore.

Wescott will be among six inductees honored at noon Sunday at the Augusta Civic Center. The others are: Cooper, Art Dyer of Orrs Island, Dick McGee of Fairfield, Doug Roberts of Springvale and Harold “Tank” Violette of Winslow.

Cooper, a halfback for the University of Maine, once broke his nose on the opening kickoff and played for the remainder of the game.

“I went to block a linebacker and made the mistake of not keeping my head up,” said Cooper, who played for Harold Westerman. “He gave me a forearm, broke my nose.

“I had just started playing and wasn’t about to sit out. The game was on a Saturday afternoon and I went down to Eastern Maine to get it set on Monday and came back to practice that day.

“In those days a broken nose was nothing.”

Cooper, an icon among Maine high school football coaches, was considered the winningest active coach in Maine high school football from 1969 to 1996 with a 205-96-6 record at Lawrence and Madison.

Dyer, a high school boys’ basketball coaching legend, led Westbrook High to nine tournament appearances, four Western Class A finals and one state final, an 88-66 victory over Lawrence for the championship in 1984.

He started his career at Medomak Valley, leading the Panthers to four Western Class B championships and two state titles.

“I was certainly surprised and humbled by it,” said Dyer. “When you have an opportunity to do something you like doing and then get recognized for it, that’s certainly very gratifying.”

Dyer retired in 1998 after moving to the college ranks as an assistant at Fairfield University.

He compiled an overall record of 336-109 in 20 seasons.

“When I first got done I used to wake up thinking, ‘Did I make the right decision?’ many times,” said Dyer. “As the years roll by it’s less and less. But I do stay involved in a different perspective.”

Dyer has former players among the state’s high school coaching ranks, some of whom were former peers.

McGee, a former high school football coach at Lawrence, went on to coach college football at Bowdoin and Colby, where he went on to become athletic director.

Roberts, an all-state basketball player at Rumford High, became a college standout and high school basketball coach at Rumford and Sanford. In Sanford, his teams went 216-126.

Violette, nicknamed Tank at the University of Maine, was an All-Yankee Conference player his senior year and became a coaching legend at Winslow High, where he went 152-52-2 from 1969 to 1985.

He also coached hockey, wrestling, golf and baseball.

Wescott, who won the first gold medal in the sport of snowboardcross at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, repeated in 2010 at the Vancouver Games, becoming Maine’s first two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

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