Zach Maturo powers ahead in the state championship game against Thornton Acadamy. The Scots took the state title with their 34-21 win. Adam Birt / American Journal

STANDISH — If you’re reading this particular section of this particular newspaper, no doubt you know Zach Maturo’s name by now. If you don’t, the rest of us can only assume you’ve been living for the past several years under a rock (which, hey, is probably the safest place to be right now, so keep at it, at least into the foreseeable future).

Zach Maturo hustles against Bangor in the 2019 state basketball championship game. Adam Birt / American Journal

Maturo’s been an impressive athlete since he was young (well, younger). In his own words, after a little prompting: “I’ve been playing football and basketball my whole life. When I was younger, I always did stand out on the court and field. I think I was just quicker, faster and a pretty good-sized kid.”

Now a Bonny Eagle High School senior facing graduation, Maturo in recent seasons has been a fixture on the gridiron and the court – it’s hard to say where he’s the most dynamic, the most fun to watch. A finalist for the 49th annual Fitzpatrick Trophy, Maturo, at running back, helped lead the Scots football team to a state title last autumn. It was the squad’s first gold ball since 2016.

If you’ve done the math already, you’ll know 2016 (into ’17) was Maturo’s freshman year, which means he didn’t see much playing time – he’s a great athlete, but the Bonny Eagle football lineup is generally flush with strong players. Winning in ’19, then, felt special for Maturo, both because it was his final season and because the decisive, 34-21 triumph came against rival Thornton Academy.

“It was a whole different experience winning as a senior,” he said. “It just felt more right, especially playing TA in States for the first time.”

Traditionally, the Scots and the Trojans haven’t been able to clash in the State Final – only the Regional Final, since they’ve always been in the same Region (West, then South). Class A has now gone Region-less, though.

“Winning this year was one of the best feelings I ever had,” Maturo said. “When I jumped into Hump and Nate after that last play, (it) was very special to me. We’ve been on each other’s teams since fifth grade and dominating each year. We were dangerous this year, especially with Coop’s coaching and playbook; we finally ended up taking off in the last game – the State Game!”

“Hump” is junior Jake Humphrey, “Nate” is Maturo’s fellow senior Nate Ferris and “Coop” is legendary BE head coach Kevin Cooper.

Last winter, with Maturo at the helm, the Scots basketball contingent reached the State Championship – a bout they weren’t necessarily expected to reach, by the way, and one they hadn’t been to since 1995 (when they lost to Bangor 52-41) or won since 1970 (when they walloped Schenck 72-52).

Unfortunately, this winter, BE didn’t – oddly, since they lost all of one starter to graduation last June – explode like they clearly had the potential to do. The team went 11-7 through the regular season and succumbed 80-74 to the Trojans in the playoff semis. (The Trojans went on to lose the State Final 54-53 to Edward Little.)

Maturo nevertheless felt confident throughout the winter and enjoyed himself.

“I thought, even when we were losing close games, we’d still return to States, because we remained focused all season, worked hard and had fun,” he said. “I don’t know if it was a spark or anything that we lost, but in the last game it was awesome to see our whole team diving for balls, hitting shots and going for every rebound, down 20.

“We lost the game because it’s sports, and that’s what happens. But I’m proud to have played with the kids I grew up with.”

Still, winning is more fun than losing. Maturo reflects on BE’s biggest victory of the winter: “That being said, it was even better to win the big games, like the Scarborough playoff game. It was obvious we had the energy because we were (at home). One of the sparks we had was because of Elliot (Bouchard). He was hitting threes and almost caught a crazy poster.”

BE crushed the Storm 71-48 in the quarters.

Maturo finishes his tenure as a Scot with 1,308 points. He earned SMAA League MVP honors this year (and made the Senior All-Academic Team.)

Of the two sports, football and basketball, Maturo does have a favorite – or, he’ll pick one if you strong-arm him into it (as I sort of did).

“I would choose basketball to play the rest of my life,” he said, though he was quick to add, “But I would do anything to play with my football team from this past year. We were all fun kids that really worked as hard as we could every week.”

Obvious next question: football’s fall, basketball’s winter … what, no spring sport?

“I just play football and basketball,” Maturo said. “I used to play baseball in middle school, but didn’t enjoy it like the other two sports. I’m considering doing track, if we end up having school.”

Maturo’s got some decisions to make about his further future, too: “My plan is to play college basketball at the highest level I can, which I’m still figuring out.” He’s not flying entirely blind. For one, he’s learned, playing sports, more about life than just what it feels like to win and lose, so he’s got a core of lessons he can take with him everywhere.

“Sports have a taught me a lot,” he said. “I think, through these four years I’ve grown into more of a leader and a better teammate. I’ve played in many games, whether it’s school or AAU, and I experienced a lot. I believe I can handle any situation that comes to me in a game, and now I have the skill to do that in life as well.”

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