The Seahawks-Wolverines cross-country teams met for an evening of accolades, awards and farewells Nov. 13. Coaches Nick Scott of Boothbay Region High School and Josiah Winchenbach of Wiscasset Middle High School gave season highlights and gave out the much anticipated end-of-season awards.
Scott recapped the season and spoke at length about each athlete and their growth throughout the season and their cross-country careers. Scott praised BRHS senior Will Perkins' success at Mountain Valley Conference championships, regionals and states. Perkins was MVC cross-country athlete of the year and a 2nd Team All State selection by Maine Track & Cross Country Coaches Association.
Seahawks-Wolverines Captain Graham Harris explained his disappointment for not being able to participate in the state championship after an incident with meatloaf left him with lung complications; however, the sidelined athlete was not deterred from cheering on his teammates and coming up with a brilliant idea for an award at the end of the season: the Victory Gatorade.
Before states, Harris discovered one last Gatorade in his refrigerator at home. He came up with the idea to spray-paint the beverage gold and award it to the athlete who could best persevere in ascending Twin Brooks' dreaded “Pain Cave,” a hill with about a 45 degree incline.
“It's not really fair to give it to whoever crosses the finish line first, because he’s going to get a medal anyway. So the Victory Gatorade goes to whoever goes up Pain Cave the best.”
Playing clips of each athlete at states, Harris commentated on facial expressions, running form and their aggressiveness, or lack thereof, in making it up the hill.
“The Victory Gatorade right here, painted gold, has got everyone's times, places and signatures, but one signature it doesn't have is Connor (Robertson)’s, so come up here and sign it.”
Scott and Winchenbach announced the winners of nine awards – six for Seahawks and three for Wolverines – and Scott spoke about why each athlete earned their respective awards:
Ava Schlosser, Coach's Award, BRHS – “I appreciate her ability to go out there and recruit people for the team. Beyond that wonderful air she gives, she is a hard worker. She’s focused, she's driven, she's got her eye on the big prize coming down the road, too. And she has a lot of ambition.”
Lily Yeaton, Sportsmanship, WMHS – “She takes accountability for her actions, and is just this pleasant. polite, wonderful young lady. She worked really hard and was really conscientious about what it is that she needed to do.”
Emme Harris, Most Improved Player, BRHS – “Emme just continually ran PR (personal record) after PR after PR ... You could really tell that she dug down to find whatever was left in that tank. So, when she finished a race, I had no doubt that that was everything she had on that particular day.”
Bryan Gagnon, Most Improved Player, WMHS – “I was just really impressed how he went out there and did what he was supposed to do at practice every day and he just seemed to really step it up and go after it. It was impressive to watch as a coach and I'm very excited to see where the next three years take him.”
Glory Blethen, Most Valuable Player, BRHS – “Glory is all around a phenomenal athlete (with) an excellent leadership skill-set that I think is going to just serve her really well in the future. She's also an individual who understands the importance of training and how A plus B really does equal C … It's all leading up to a big senior year.”
Lucas Hardwick, Most Improved Player, BRHS – “Lucas is very, very deserving of this award … The jump we saw between freshman year and sophomore year, especially the end of the season, I thought was really, really awesome. He improved not just time-wise, but maturity-wise and the ability to see down the road.”
Nathan Chatterton, Coach's Award, BRHS – “The character Nathan displays I think is the epitome of what we look for in this sport. He's hardworking, well liked, accountable, and he's not afraid to put in the work and do what is necessary for him to be better. As coaches, we're really proud of him and appreciate the effort he puts in.”
Nathan Gilliam, Outstanding Team Player, WMHS – “He has a fantastic set of leadership skills … This guy was the pit crew captain and … (this) responsibility is not to be taken lightly. We don't just hand it out … He took this on and did a really fantastic job and I think that just describes his role, who he is: a fantastic young man and we're really lucky to have him.”
Will Perkins, Most Valuable Player, BRHS – “Early on in my career, I had the pleasure of coaching Chase Brown who was fantastic. He was able to just go out there and do amazing things on the cross country course … I thought, ‛Will I ever have the opportunity to coach another Chase Brown?’ … There were some prospects along the way, but then enter Will Perkins … (Will) was on a year-long mission. About the middle of last year, he was like 'You know what? I think I can be a state champ.' I said 'I like that.’ It’s fantastic ambition … Stating that verbally is a big thing to do, not just 'maybe' – boom, goal, here it is. From that point on, he was on this relentless pursuit for that objective. Unlike anything I have ever seen, he just crossed the t's and dotted the i's like a machine.”