Of note: A two-way starter since his sophomore year who ran for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns last season to lead the Dragons to the Eastern Class B final. Has played four positions on defense and three on offense. “He has the ability to start at any position on the field on both sides of the ball,” said Coach Dan Cooper. “He’ll do whatever is necessary and asked of him for the team to play well.”
Of note: Terrific all-around athlete who is a threat to run as well as pass. Has a nose for the ball on defense, with six interceptions last season to go with more than 50 tackles. Also helped lead Messalonskee to state championships in Class A baseball and Class B hockey. Younger brother of 2012 Maine Sunday Telegram Athlete of the Year Sam Dexter, now playing baseball for the University of Southern Maine.
Bonny Eagle senior
Of note: His 30 touchdowns last season were split evenly between running and passing. His 6-yard scoring run in the final minute of the Class A state championship game gave the Scots a come-from-behind victory over Cheverus. On defense he had seven tackles for losses, one interception and a fumble recovery that he returned 71 yards for a TD. “In addition to being the perfect dual-threat QB,” said Coach Kevin Cooper, “Zach is a tremendous leader and person.”
Of note: Rushed for 1,937 yards and scored 32 touchdowns to lead the Stags to the Eastern Class A title. A physical player on both sides of the ball who also serves as the punter. Occasionally trains at the Portland Boxing Club and won a Silver Mitts New England novice welterweight title. Coach John Wolfgram describes Fitzpatrick as “very coachable” with “an excellent work ethic.”
Of note: A two-way starter since he was a sophomore. Ran for 1,167 yards and scored 17 touchdowns as a sophomore. Matched the touchdown total and ran for 1,019 yards as a junior despite playing a majority of the season with a ankle sprain. Also a two-time state wrestling champion. “Brett plays and practices as hard as any player I have coached,” said Coach Alex Rotsko, who noted Gerry can bench 300 pounds and squat 350.
Running back/defensive back
Of note: Winslow’s leading rusher and tackler as a freshman, an all-conference linebacker as a sophomore and an all-conference defensive back as a junior. Two-time winner of the New England Patriots Punt, Pass and Kick skills competition at Gillette Stadium. Capable of 50-yard field goals. All-purpose yardage in excess of 2,600 last fall. Led Eastern Class C in scoring. Also a talented baseball player.
Tight end/defensive end
Of note: A starter since his sophomore season who wreaked havoc on opposing offenses last fall as the Stags marched to the Eastern Class A title. A fine run-stopper who also collected nine sacks. Caught a 35-yard touchdown pass in the state final against Bonny Eagle. Also serves as place-kicker. Coach John Wolfgram describes him as an “outstanding leader” who is “very mature” and “aggressive on both sides of the ball.”
Of note: Dedication in the weight room and the ability to play a variety of positions have made Love valuable. “He has the ability to help the team blocking, receiving or carrying the ball,” said Coach Keith Noel. Highlight of last season was a powerful performance (148 yards on 24 carries) in a Western Class A quarterfinal upset of No. 3 South Portland. Also plays center in basketball and qualified for the outdoor track state meet as a shot putter.
Thornton Academy junior
Of note: Threw for 1,229 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore, completing 55 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 229 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. Did not play as a freshman because of a knee issue. “What makes Austin special is his knowledge of the game, his leadership skills and his work ethic, both in season and during the offseason,” said Coach Kevin Kezal, who had never before started a sophomore at QB.
Bonny Eagle senior
Of note: A big, bruising runner who averaged better than 10 yards per carry last season and racked up 633 yards on the ground despite seeing most of his time on offense at tight end. His 66-yard scoring run in the Class A state championship game set the tone in a 31-28 victory over Cheverus. “He’s going to have his hands on the ball a lot for us,” said Coach Kevin Cooper.
– Glenn Jordan