Thursday, April 17, 2014
On June 22, The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram will honor the state's best high school athletes at our annual banquet. A player of the year for each sport will be honored and we'll name our male and female Athletes of the Year. What makes this year so special is that it's the 25th year of honoring Maine's best, so we will be catching up with all our Athletes of the Year since the first banquet in 1988. Today, we honor the winners from 1994.
CINDY BLODGETT, Lawrence
IN HIGH SCHOOL: A four-time Maine Sunday Telegram MVP for girls' basketball who led Lawrence to four consecutive state titles on the way to becoming the state's all-time scoring leader, male or female, with 2,596 points.
SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Led the University of Maine to four straight NCAA tournament appearances, scoring 3,005 points and setting 20 school records. Played professionally in the WNBA and overseas. Coached at Boston University and Brown before returning to Maine as head coach. Currently an assistant at Rhode Island.
WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: "It was quite an honor, as every year there are so many well-deserving athletes from every single sport, whether team or individual. I was fortunate that we had tremendous team success. When a team is successful, people look to the individuals who make up that team."
JAMIE COOK, Kennebunk
IN HIGH SCHOOL: Starred in football, basketball and track and field, winning a Class B state title in football and being named Maine Sunday Telegram Male Athlete of the Year twice -- in 1993 and 1994.
SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Became the Big Ten decathlon champion at Penn State and competed in the 2004 Olympic trials. Coached at Penn for 10 years before joining the staff at the University of Oregon in 2010. Married with two children, Calvin, 6, and Sara, 2.
WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: "I always prided myself on working really hard and maximizing my potential. I saw a few people win it who were decathletes -- Rob Pendergist and Ryan Werner -- so I thought it would be cool if I could win it, too."