Three players who led their teams to state championships are among this year’s 12 semifinalists for the 49th Fitzpatrick Trophy, given annually to the top senior in Maine high school football.

Zach Maturo of Class A champion Bonny Eagle is one 12 semifinalists for the 49th Fitzpatrick Trophy Adam Birt / American Journal

Zach Maturo, a dynamic runner, receiver and returner for Bonny Eagle; powerful fullback/linebacker Justin Bryant of Marshwood; and play-making two-way end Camden Jordan of Leavitt were the leaders for the Class A, B, and C state championship teams.

The other nine semifinalists, in alphabetical order, are Ryan Connors, RB/LB, Kennebunk; Connor Crawford, RB/QB/LB, Ellsworth; Jarett Flaker, RB/WR/safety, Scarborough; Kobe Gaudette, QB/DB, Thornton Academy; Garit Laliberte, QB/LB, Maranacook; Payton MacKay, RB/LB, Wells; Anthony Poole, QB/DB, South Portland; Owen Richardson, FB/LB, Brunswick; and Sean Tompkins, RB/DB, Cheverus.

Leavitt’s Camden Jordan. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The semifinalists are chosen by the Fitzpatrick Trophy selection committee. Each head coach can nominate one player. The selection committee uses a process where 70 percent of the judging criteria is based on football performance and 30 percent is based on academic/citizenship efforts.

The state’s head coaches and members of the media have until Dec. 10 to vote for their top three choices in a ranked-choice format. The finalists are usually announced in mid-December. The winner will be revealed at the annual James J. Fitzpatrick Awards banquet scheduled for noon Sunday, Jan. 19 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.

Four of the state’s five football classifications are represented. Maturo, Flaker and Gaudette are from Class A. Bryant, Connors, Poole, Richardson and Tompkins played in Class B. Jordan and MacKay are the Class C representatives. Crawford and Laliberte are the first eight-man football semifinalists for the award – this was the first season Maine sanctioned eight-man football.


Maturo, who is also an all-state basketball player, rushed for 1,256 yards and scored 25 touchdowns. In the Scots’ Class A 34-21 championship win against previously unbeaten Thornton Academy, Maturo rushed for 112 yards and two scores, blocked an extra-point and returned a kick 71 yards to set up another score. He volunteers at a variety of youth basketball and football camps.

Marshwood’s Justin Bryant. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Bryant was a four-year starter at fullback for Marshwood and finished the season with 1,500 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns after gaining 218 yards and scoring five times as the Hawks won the Class B title for a third straight season, 48-28 against Brunswick. Also a captain of Marshwood’s basketball and lacrosse teams, he plans to enlist in the United States Marine Corps.

Jordan, an imposing 6-foot-5 player, was a threat catching and rushing the football and was even better defensively as he led the Hornets in tackles, tackles for loss and blocked kicks. Jordan also participates in Unified sports, runs track and is active in youth sports camps and community service projects.

Connors of Kennebunk scored 17 touchdowns and averaged 11.6 yards per carry as a running back, with another 264 yards receiving. He also handled all of the Rams’ kicking duties and returned kicks. A member of the National Honor Society, he is an Eagle Scout and a candidate for appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Crawford is a three-year captain at Ellsworth where he gained over 1,400 yards and scored 25 touchdowns. He also plays basketball, runs track and belongs to the National Honor Society.

Flaker was Scarborough’s top offensive threat as a runner and receiver. He rushed for 1,195 yards (12.1 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns and also caught six touchdown passes and returned three kicks for scores. The New England high school 200-meter champion is a frequent volunteer in elementary classrooms and youth track and football programs.


Gaudette led Thornton to a 22-game win streak as a dual-threat quarterback and developed into a strong defensive back this season. He rushed for 654 yards and eight touchdowns while throwing for 1,153 yards and 14 touchdowns. A varsity basketball and lacrosse player, Gaudette is a volunteer at a local food pantry and with youth programs.

Laliberte of Maranacook passed for 897 yards and 16 touchdowns, rushed for 1,105 yards, and also returned four kicks for scores. He also plays basketball and lacrosse.

MacKay rushed for 1,589 yards and 24 touchdowns, making 82 tackles on defense with two interceptions. MacKay is involved in a number of environmental initiatives and several other community projects, including the Barbara Bush Foundation reading program.

Poole led a resurgent South Portland program to a six-win improvement with 2,061 total yards and a combined 28 rushing and passing touchdowns; on defense he made 45 tackles. He is a member of the National Honor Society, and volunteers with substance abuse prevention, youth football and Honors physics.

Richardson rushed for 1,789 yards and 23 touchdowns, including three scores in the state final. Defensively he made 29 solo tackles and had two sacks. Richardson has run indoor and outdoor track, assists in community learn-to-read and physical therapy programs.

Tompkins averaged over 15 yards per carry while piling up 1,308 yards and 19 touchdowns, 14 of which were 45-plus yard scores. He also made 35 tackles. He is among the state’s top sprinters in indoor and outdoor track, works part time and volunteers in his school’s campus ministry.

Comments are no longer available on this story