April 24, 2013

Steve Solloway: They had that drive to succeed

(Continued from page 1)

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In this 2004 photo, NASCAR driver Ricky Craven talks before practice for the Nextel Cup Siemens 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H.



WHAT: Maine Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner

WHEN: 11 a.m. May 5

WHERE: Augusta Civic Center

TICKETS: Visit: mshof.com and click on Banquet Tickets link. (Deadline is Saturday)


Pick any of the inductees. Which one had the easier road to success? None.

When you think about it, the accomplishments of each is unbelievable.

For 30 consecutive years, Gary Fifield's women's basketball teams at the University of Southern Maine won 20 games or more. Paul Vachon's girls' basketball teams at Cony High School of Augusta lost 40 games out of nearly 500 from 1985 to 2008.

John "Skip" Robinson was tired of being skinny. So he transformed his body, winning numerous national and international power lifting and body building championships, two sports that are virtually ignored.

Dr. Doug Brown, a specialist in sports medicine. Paula Doughty, coach of the dominant high school field hockey program at Skowhegan. John Wolfgram, the football coach with state championships at four Maine high schools. Bob Russo, who is as much a mentor as he is a trainer to the dozens of men and women who have gone through his Portland Boxing Club. Manch Wheeler, the UMaine quarterback who caught the attention of the Buffalo Bills and old Boston Patriots.

Craven knows some in his induction class by name. Some he doesn't know. No matter. In his mind they're brothers and sisters, sharing that passion to succeed despite the odds.

Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:


Twitter: SteveSolloway

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