Alex Shain of Sanford did not need another reason to get excited about last Friday night’s football game at Cobb Stadium against Windham.
But he got one.
Besides it being his last home game as a senior, Shain also knew his grandfather Rod Shain was watching. And that was a big deal. Rod Shain, a retired Sanford teacher, suffered a stroke last winter.
“We almost lost him,” Alex Shain said. “But he’s a fighter.”
Rod Shain used to watch every one of his grandson’s games, and Alex usually put on quite a show as one of the best running backs in the state. But Alex’s grandfather had not been able to catch a game this year while in rehabilitation.
But, with the help of Alex’s father, Jeff, Rod Shain was at Cobb Stadium on Friday night.
“My emotions were off the chart,” Alex said. “For him to be here, it really meant a lot to me.”
Shain was able to channel those emotions into another dominant performance — 275 yards rushing and five touchdowns, in Sanford’s 34-7 win over the Eagles.
“He is a special player and he’s a super good kid,” Sanford Coach Mike Fallon said. “He obviously makes a big difference for us.”
ONE OF THE PLEASANT surprises for the Cheverus football team has been the play of quarterback Liam Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick had to follow in the footsteps of last year’s quarterback Cam Olsen, who had to do the same after following Fitzpatrick Trophy winner Peter Gwilym. Both Olsen and Gwilym directed Class A state champion teams.
Fitzpatrick, a senior, has the Stags (7-0) heading in that direction again after Saturday’s 28-14 win over Thornton Academy.
Fitzpatrick is a good runner and passer. Early in Saturday’s game, he passed to tight end Ryan Casale for a 43-yard gain that set up Cheverus’ first score. On the opening drive of the second half, which established the tone for the rest of the game, he ran for 18 yards into Thornton territory. Three plays later, he connected with Casale for an 18-yard completion to the 4. Donald Goodrich scored on the next play.
Fitzpatrick continues to play his hard-hitting style and solid pass defense in the secondary like he did last season, but it’s his play at quarterback that has kept the Stags at a high level.
CALEB UHL of Yarmouth had a 99-yard run in Friday night’s 35-20 loss to Dirigo. The line of scrimmage was just outside the Clippers’ end zone when Uhl got the ball. Yarmouth had just stopped Dirigo on downs.
SILAS EASTMAN of Fryeburg and Kirstin Sandreuter of Greely won individual titles at the Western Maine Conference cross country championships on a cold and windy Friday afternoon at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.
Sandreuter completed the 5K course in 19 minutes, 28 seconds – more than a minute ahead of everyone except teammate Eva Bates, who was 20 seconds back.
Three boys broke the 17-minute barrier, led by defending champ Eastman (16:10). He was followed by Jack Pierce of Merriconeag (16:22) and Nate Madeira of Greely (16:56).
Sixteen schools took part in the event, which is broken down into large and small divisions. The Falmouth boys and Greely girls won the large school division and the Fryeburg boys and Yarmouth girls won the small school division.
Oddly enough, a combined meet would have given the Falmouth girls an overall title, even without No. 1 runner Madeline Roberts, who was out with a minor injury.
“If it had been the state meet, she would have run,” said Falmouth coach Jorma Kurry, who also said he expects the Cape Elizabeth boys to be much more competitive at next weekend’s Western Regional championships at Twin Brook.
“The Cape boys were missing a couple of their top runners,” he said. “When you put them back, they’ll either be just in front or just behind us.”
— Staff Writers Kevin Thomas, Tom Chard and Glenn Jordan contributed to this report.