Sam Dexter will play in the Lobster Bowl on Saturday. It likely will be his last football game; he’ll play baseball at the University of Southern Maine.

Dexter, the Maine Sunday Telegram Athlete of the Year, was also a standout in football and hockey at Messalonskee High in Oakland. He was named player of the year in all three sports by the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference.

“I will miss football and hockey,” said Dexter. “But I have a little more love of baseball than the other sports. I want to take it as far as I can.”

Dexter called Messalonskee’s Class A state championship “a storybook ending.”

“I had a blast with the guys I was able to play with, especially my little brother,” said Dexter. “I hadn’t been on any championship teams in high school until this one. I could tell it was pretty special.”

The Eagles were 5-5 after losses on consecutive days to Brunswick and Brewer. A team meeting after those losses started the turnaround that led to the school’s first Class A title.

“Coach (Ray) Bernier asked the players what we should do differently,” said Dexter. “He asked what the coaches should do differently. Everyone kind of vented. We said what we needed to say and cleared the air. I think the thing that came out of it was everyone understanding their roles and that we were going to play as team. Everyone bought in.”

Messalonskee finished with 10 straight wins and beat Scarborough 6-3 for the state title. Dexter made a play at shortstop in the state final that symbolized his four seasons. He dove and caught a hard smash in the hole in the fifth inning, recovered and tossed to his brother, Jake, at second to start a double play.

While others raved about the play, Bernier said it was one of many such plays he watched Dexter make in four seasons.

“I’ve seen Sam make those plays for his entire career,” he said. “He’s the type of player who has the intangibles to move to the next level and beyond.”

Dexter finished his four seasons with a .460 average.

Dexter’s father, Tom, is a longtime baseball and football coach at Colby. Sam and his brother have spent countless hours at the school.

“Colby has been extremely helpful to our whole family,” said Dexter. “It’s been like a second home.

“Being around college players and being able to work out and practice with them with my father there has helped me tremendously. It’s helped me understand the game and improve.” 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

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Twitter: TomChardPPH