SUBMITTED PHOTOMike Laverriere after receiving the Fitzpatrick award.

SUBMITTED PHOTOMike Laverriere after receiving the Fitzpatrick award.

Prior to Art Leveris being named the James J. Fitzpatrick winner in 1991, Thornton Academy has not had any other recipients, until last Sunday when that changed. Michael Laverriere won the 46th Fitzpatrick Award on Sunday at the Holiday Inn in Portland.

The Trojans were overdue for this award with such a dynasty in recent years. Andrew Libby was sidelined and became a spectator as a result of tearing his ACL in the first game of his senior year. Libby was named the Gatorade player of the year the previous season and was an early Fitzy favorite. Likewise, Austin McCrum was the runner up last year. McCrum not only led Thornton to two consecutive state championships, but also was viewed by many as the best player in the state. Some may say he got snubbed.

After all is said and done, the committee, which consists of coaches and media around the state, got it right. Dylan Bolduc of Portland and Trey Wood of Brewer both put up numbers, but neither finalist had a more impressive career than Laverriere, a component in deciding who wins the Fitzpatrick trophy. It’s not meant to just be about the finalists’ senior season. Fittingly, Michael was a huge factor in achieving back to back state championship as he started on both sides of the ball.

Michael has been a four year player for Thornton; he was competing against seniors as a freshman. Since the start of his tenure he has earned all of the following first team Class A South awards: offensive utility player (2014), defensive utility player (2015), quarterback (2016), in addition to second team defensive back (2016). 

Similarly he was awarded numerous accolades this season which helped pave the way for him being the recipient of this year’s Fitzpatrick award.

If Michael had been injuried, TA would’ve been lucky if they made playoffs and for that reason he is the most valuable player. Moreover, Michael is the ultimate teammate.

Laverriere said, “my favorite part about playing is being with the teammates all the time. And having the ball in my hands when a big play is needed. Love having the pressure out on myself. Playing in high school is all about the atmosphere, so playing in front of huge crowds at home is one of the best feelings.”

Furthermore, Laverriere maintained a 3.5 GPA, something that is considered to be a factor and relevant when electing the Fitzpatrick winner. Laverriere had a smooth and effective transition under center for his senior season. He nearly never came off the field and did the most he could with what he had. With two key subtractions from the returning team this season (Tyler Lynn and Rome Pura) there was more pressure on Michael than ever. Michael responded to the adversity by being the best player he could.

Laverriere’s teammates took notice of his hard work, like senior captain Cam Caddorette who said, “Mike is the type of guy where you know that he’s going to give 110 percent every play he’s out on the field. The type of guy that makes those around him better. He deserves the Fitzy because of all the countless hours he’s put into training off the field in the winter, spring and summer.”

If the ball is in Mike’s hands, the Trojans had a chance and for that reason the expression came about, “In Mike we trust.” Michael showed he can do it, week in and week out, as a dual threat QB rushing for 1384 yards. He finished with 20 rushing touchdowns and seven scores and threw the ball with 813 yards under his belt. It’s been a pleasure to watch number 16 perform at such a high level these past few season and no one deserves this trophy more than him. At the end of the day Michael will go down as one of the greatest Trojans ever.

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