Austin Dutremble’s coaches at Biddeford High say the senior treats everyone as a friend, be it a freshman new to the team, a teacher, a coach or a member of the custodial staff.

“I just feel like everyone’s trying to do their best at whatever they’re doing,” Dutremble said. “So, it’s always nice to have a conversation and not ignore people.”

Dutremble, 18, maintained his upbeat spirit despite athletic adversity. That’s why he was chosen as The Role Model.

In football, Dutremble had consecutive seasons cut short by injuries that required surgery. He broke his hand as a sophomore and his ankle as a junior.

“The road hasn’t been easy for him,” said Brian Curit, Biddeford’s football coach.

Both times, he was able to recover quickly enough to return in time for the basketball season – where a different type of pain awaited.

In Dutremble’s first three seasons, Biddeford went 0-18, 1-17 and 1-17. That’s 2-52. As a 5-foot-8 freshman, Dutremble was the best option at power forward, a position he continued to play.

“Anyone can be a good teammate when you win,” said Justin Tardiff, Biddeford’s basketball coach, who nominated Dutremble for the award. “He was always a good teammate. He was like the rock in our program and he kept other kids positive.”

Dutremble, now 5-10 and 185 pounds, had a smoother senior season. A two-way starter in football at inside linebacker and either receiver or running back, he earned all-Western Maine Conference honors and Biddeford (9-2) advanced to the Class B South championship, losing to Kennebunk.

“I think he’s a successful football player but more important, you won’t meet a nicer kid,” Curit said.

Cam Lantagne, a junior, said Dutremble was there for him when he broke his ankle this past season.

“He was telling me how to stay positive and get through it. That helped me a lot,” Lantagne said.

In basketball, the Tigers were much improved, going 8-11 and losing a quarterfinal game to Falmouth. Known as a defender and hustle guy, Dutremble scored 26 points in a key win against Cape Elizabeth.

“It was so tough those first three years,” Dutremble said. “It was a great feeling to finally get noted for all of our hard work.”

Dutremble, ranked 10th in his graduating class, will stay in his hometown and study medical biology at the University of New England.

He will also be part of the first freshman football class at UNE, expecting to play receiver.

“I think it’s really cool because we’ll always be known as that first team and the first players to start UNE football,” Dutremble said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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