The dust has settled from the high school football season as the four state champions were crowned just over two weeks ago. Left standing with the gridiron still on the brain are 13 seniors who have been named semifinalists for the 44th James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy as the baker’s dozen names were announced on Saturday.

Among the senior players chosen were Thornton Academy TE Kevin Barrett and Wells RB/LB Chris Carney. Also on the list of semifinalists are: RB/LB Peter Boyer, Foxcroft Academy; WR/DB Taylor Carrier, Cony; TE/LB Zach Davis, Windham; RB/LB Joe Fitzpatrick, Cheverus; RB/LB Kyle Flaherty, Oak Hill; FB/LB Tyler Frost, Dirigo; RB/LB Brett Gerry, Marshwood; WR/CB Milani Hicks, Scarborough; RB/S Maurice Johnson, Westbrook; QB/DE Ryan Ruhlin, Portland and QB/DB Matthew Stewart, Bucksport.

Barrett, Gerry and Flaherty all were on state championship-winning teams, but Winslow RB Dylan Hapworth ”“ who ran for over 200 yards and scored seven touchdowns in a Class C state championship victory over Leavitt ”“ was left off the list of semifinalists.

Barrett had 24 catches on the season for 479 yards and seven touchdowns. Those numbers came during a senior season that was his first as a varsity tight end, after moving in from the wide receiver position he played last year.

“He had great numbers catching the ball. But beyond that, obviously was the block that he gave us on the edge at the point of attack. We averaged 47 points a game, and over 300 yards a game rushing, and we won a state title,” Thornton head coach Kevin Kezal said of Barrett. “I think that was, offensively, the key to our season, him making that move; and not just making a move, but really kind of flourishing at that position.”

Barrett’s biggest game of the season came against Bonny Eagle in the Western Maine final, as he had over 130 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns. Windham made sure to key on him in the Class A state title game, and held him to just one catch for six yards, but Kezal said he was still a big part of the win.

“Windham’s game plan was to kind of shut him down. But you saw that opened things up for Corey and Ben,” said Kezal. “He still blocked very well.”

Carney’s Wells team nearly made a state title game of its own, but the Warriors fell a game short in the Western Class B regional final. Carney ran for 197 yards and a touchdown in that game and finished the season with more than 2,000 yards rushing and 30 touchdowns. He was also an active linebacker for the Wells defense, making 115 tackles during the regular season.

“He’s a stud. He’s the man. He worked hard for this,” Wells head coach Tim Roche said of Carney after the regional final loss. “It’s a pleasure to coach him. I’m going to say it again: He better be in that Fitzpatrick (Trophy) finalist category. He deserves it.”

Five of the 13 semifinalists are from Class A schools,  with three from Class B, two from Class C and three from Class D. Eight come from Western Maine schools.

The three finalists for the award will be announced later this month, and the winner will be anointed during the annual Fitzpatrick Trophy Banquet on Jan. 18.

— Sports Staff Writer Wil Kramlich can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.



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