Three high school running backs who each rushed for over 2,000 yards have been named finalists for the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy, awarded annually to Maine’s top senior football player.

Chris Carney of Wells, Joe Fitzpatrick of Cheverus and Brett Gerry of Marshwood emerged as the top vote-getters from a group of 13 semifinalists in ballots cast by the state’s coaches and media members. The winner will be announced Jan. 18 at the Holiday Inn By The Bay in Portland during a noon banquet.

The Fitzpatrick Trophy, the most prestigious honor in Maine high school athletics, has been awarded each year since 1971. Criteria for the honor include onfield performance, academics and extra-curricular activities. Community involvement also helps.

Carney, Fitzpatrick and Gerry were selected to the Maine Sunday Telegram All-State football team. Gerry was selected as Player of the Year by the Telegram.

Carney gained 2,077 yards and scored 30 touchdowns for Wells (8-3) which reached the Western Class C finals. On defense, he made 115 tackles during the regular season.

“He’s very deserving,” said Wells Coach Tim Roche. “Chris is an all-around football player who did everything for us. He played on all special teams, was our leading defender and never left the field. It’s a great honor for our school, the program and the town.”

Fitzpatrick finished as the leading rusher in Class A with 2,071 yards. He scored 27 touchdowns. Fitzpatrick had four games in which he rushed over 200 yards and one game in which he rushed over 300 yards. He was selected as Eastern Class A Player of the Year.

“He’s certainly one of the best football players in the state,” said Cheverus Coach John Wolfgram. “His numbers were outstanding. He’s a complete running back and our go-to guy on offense. He can catch the ball and block.”

Fitzpatrick sparked Cheverus to an 8-2 record. The Stags lost in overtime to Windham 21-20 in the Western Class A final.

Gerry put up impressive numbers and was a force on defense in leading Marshwood (12-0) to the Class B state final. Gerry led the state in rushing with 2,263 yards and scored 32 touchdowns. He also was outstanding at linebacker.

Gerry broke the school’s single-season rushing record, averaging an impressive 12.3 yards per carry. He was third on the team in tackles. Because Marshwood was in control of games early, Gerry rarely played much in the second half.

“Our team and coaching staff are excited and honored that Brett has been selected as one of the Fitzpatrick finalists,” said Marshwood Coach Alex Rotsko.

“Everyone associated with our program knows how hard he has worked the past four years. Brett Gerry might be the best all-around football player I’ve coached in 35 years. He is an outstanding running back and linebacker. He also returned punts, kicks and long snapped when we needed him,” he said.

The other semifinalists also will be honored at the banquet. They are Kevin Barrett, Thornton Academy; Peter Boyer, Foxcroft Academy; Tayler Carrier, Cony; Zach Davis, Windham; Kyle Flaherty, Oak Hill; Tyler Frost, Dirigo; Milani Hicks, Scarborough; Maurice Johnson, Westbrook; Ryan Ruhlin, Portland; and Matthew Stewart, Bucksport.

Steve Knight, the 1989 Fitzpatrick winner from Marshwood High, will be the 25th-anniversary honoree.

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