Oxford Hills’ Colton Carson delivers a pitch during his no-hitter against Skowhegan in the Class A North quarterfinals on June 6. Brewster Burns photo/Sun Journal

Colton Carson had little time to reflect on his accomplishments between sports seasons during his senior year at Oxford Hills, in large part because he helped the Vikings make deep playoff runs each season.

And now that his high school career is over, he can hardly believe it.

“It seems like it’s gone by really fast,” said Carson, a star athlete in football, basketball and baseball. “It’s really kind of been a blur.”

As a starting quarterback, Colton Carson led Oxford Hills to its first regional final in football in 19 years. Brewster Burns photo/Sun Journal

Carson played a critical role in making Oxford Hills better in all three sports. As a starting quarterback and safety last fall, he led Oxford Hills to its first regional final in football in 19 years. As ace of the pitching staff, he led the Vikings this spring to their first state baseball regional championship in nine years. He was the conference player of the year in both sports (Class A North for football, Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference for baseball).

In between those two seasons, the 6-foot-5 center led the basketball team to the Class AA North semifinals and signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Maine.

For his accomplishments, Carson is our choice as the Varsity Maine Male Athlete of the Year.

“I’m very thankful for every sport,” he said. “It’s given me life lessons, and all of the teammates I’ve had and all of the coaches have definitely made me a better person.”

Carson verbally committed to UMaine during the summer of 2017, in part to keep the college recruiting process from getting in the way of enjoying his final years in high school.

“I knew Maine was there after I left,” he said, “so I just wanted to leave with a good note in all of my sports and just give it my all.”

Carson was not surprised about the Vikings’ success, given the camaraderie on his teams.

“We hold each other to a standard, and we just play together like we’re brothers,” he added. “It’s something that’s amazing to be a part of. It just makes it that much easier to go out and have trust in everyone, in every sport.”

Oxford Hills football coach Mark Soehren said Carson is the first to earn that trust from teammates.

“When your best player is as unselfish as he is, the rest of your team has to be that unselfish,” Soehren said. “It’s not a coincidence that he’s unselfish and that our team is unselfish and we went as far as we did.”

A 6-foot-5 center, Colton Carson led the Vikings’ basketball team to the Class AA North semifinals last winter. Brewster Burns photo/Sun Journal

Although basketball was his third sport, Carson’s size, athletic talent and passing skills were such that Coach Scott Graffam to make him the focal point of his offense and defense for the past two years.

“He should have been a finalist for the Fitzpatrick Award (in football). He was named a McDonald’s All-Star (in basketball) and was a finalist for Mr. Baseball, ” Graffam said. “Obviously, that’s a testament to his ability.”

This spring he compiled a 7-0 record, including 2-0 in two playoff starts – a no-hitter in the quarterfinals against Skowhegan and, in what he knew would be the final start of his high school career, a gritty seven-hitter in a 3-1 win over Edward Little in the Class A North final.

“There was a little fire to him in that game that was a little different,” said Oxford Hills baseball coach Shane Slicer. “He just got stronger and stronger. I saw a focus. I think he realized, ‘This is on my shoulders now.’”

Carson believes he’s ready to shoulder the responsibilities of school and NCAA Division I baseball, but that will still have to wait until later in the summer after American Legion baseball is over. He wants to savor one more season with his friends.

“The past two years has gotten me ready and just made everything click easily,” he said. “It really came together this year, and it’s been really nice.”

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