Justin Bryant of Marshwood, Jarett Flaker of Scarborough and Zach Maturo of Bonny Eagle were announced Thursday as the three finalists for the 49th James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy, given annually to the top senior in Maine high school football.

Maturo and Bryant led their teams, respectively, to the Class A and B state titles. Flaker spearheaded Scarborough’s run to the Class A semifinals, where it lost to Bonny Eagle.

Bonny Eagle’s Zach Maturo rushed for 1,264 yards and scored 25 touchdowns. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographe

“My coaches told me at the beginning of this season, their expectations and goals for me (were to be a Fitzpatrick candidate), and obviously that was one of the goals I wanted to get,” said Maturo, a shifty, quick runner with surprising power. “It means a lot. That’s a cool award. I think it’s not all me, though. It’s my teammates, my linemen. They’re the ones that made it happen.”

Bryant was a bruising fullback who could also make the first man miss in tight quarters. “I was more concerned about winning the state championship, but definitely (the Fitzpatrick Trophy) was something I had in the back of my mind all year,” he said. “It’s such a big award. I figured if the team did well, it would also include me doing well.”

Flaker was an explosive playmaker who averaged 11.5 yards per carry while gaining 1,266 yards, with 16 touchdowns. He also had 17 catches for 314 yards and seven touchdowns, 470 yards and three more scores on punt and kickoff returns, and played defensive back. In track, he’s the New England 200-meter champion.

“It means a lot (to be a finalist) because, all of us, we all put the work in to get to the point we’ve come to,” Flaker said. “It means a lot to be recognized for the all the hard work I’ve put in.”


Flaker is undecided on his college plans and whether football will be in his future.

“That’s one of the things I have to decide, if it’s going to be football or track,” he said. “I love them both equally.”

Scarborough’s Jarett Flaker averaged 11.5 per carry and scored 26 touchdowns. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

The Fitzpatrick Trophy committee selected 12 semifinalists from coach-submitted nominations. Then, Maine’s high school head coaches and media members voted for their top three choices in a ranked-choice format. That vote determined both the finalists and the winner, who will be revealed at the Jan. 19 awards banquet at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.

Maturo, who is also a Varsity Maine All-State basketball player, rushed for 1,264 yards and scored 25 touchdowns. In addition, he was a shutdown cornerback, a receiving threat, a standout punt and kickoff returner, and the team’s punter.

In the Scots’ 34-21 championship game win against previously unbeaten Thornton Academy, Maturo rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns, blocked an extra point and returned a kick 71 yards to set up another score.

Maturo said he intends to play basketball in college.


Marshwood’s Justin Bryant had 1,500 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns this fall. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Bryant was a four-year starter at fullback for Marshwood and finished the season with 1,500 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns while also excelling at inside linebacker. He gained 218 yards and scored five touchdowns as the Hawks won the Class B title for a third straight season, 48-28 against Brunswick. He is also a captain of Marshwood’s basketball and lacrosse teams.

Bryant had intended to enlist in the Marine Corps after graduation but now plans to visit both Norwich and Maine Maritime.

“I was pretty set on going to the Marines, but a lot of people I respect as mentors, coaches and teachers thought I should look into going to college,” Bryant said. “And I’d get to play more football. At least this way, I have multiple plans and choices.”

The other nine semifinalists will also be invited to the banquet. They are Ryan Connors of Kennebunk, Connor Crawford of Ellsworth, Kobe Gaudette of Thornton Academy, Cameron Jordan of Leavitt, Garit Laliberte of Maranacook, Payton MacKay of Wells, Anthony Poole of South Portland, Owen Richardson of Brunswick, and Sean Tompkins of Cheverus.

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