January 20, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Cheverus' Goodrich wins Fitzy

By Bill Stewart bstewart@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND -- Chandler Shostak and Cony High School hoped to make history Sunday at the 42nd annual James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy award banquet.

click image to enlarge

AWARD WINNER: Cheverus High School’s Donald Goodrich was named the 42nd winner of the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy on Sunday in Portland.

Portland Press Herald photo by John Ewing

Instead, the prestigious award -- given annually to the top senior football player in Maine -- is returning to Cheverus for the second time in three years.

Cheverus senior Donald Goodrich took home the Fitzpatrick trophy at the Holiday Inn By The Bay, beating out Sanford running back Alex Shain and Cony wide receiver/safety Shostak.

Shostak had hoped to become the first Cony student-athlete to win the award.

"I'm not really disappointed," Shostak said. "I'm actually kind of glad it's over. It was nerve-racking. The experience was absolutely wonderful, though. I had all my teammates behind me. It was nice.

"To stand up there and give a speech for something you may or may not win was nerve-racking. It was nice to get this far. It was a tremendous honor to be a finalist."

Goodrich, a dynamic tailback/defensive end/linebacker, became the second Stag to win the Fitzpatrick Trophy in three years. Peter Gwilym won the award for Cheverus in 2010.

"It means everything to me," Goodrich said. "I wouldn't be up here though if not for my teammates or coaches. The other two guys (Shain and Shostak) deserve it as much or more so. I'm very humbled by this."

Goodrich, who transferred to Cheverus from York High School for his junior year, said he long dreamed of winning the Fitzpatrick Trophy.

Sunday, it became a reality.

Goodrich, who ranks 58th in his class of 122 students. Rushed for 1,722 yards and scored 22 touchdowns for the Stags this season. He averaged 8.65 yards a carry. He also had 43 tackles and seven sacks.

Cheverus coach John Wolfgram, whose team lost to Thornton Academy in the Western A championship game, introduced Goodrich before about 200 people at the banquet.

"Don Goodrich is an outstanding young man," Wolfgram said. "He represents all the qualities the Fitzpatrick Trophy stands for. He's an exceptional football player, he's an excellent athlete (and) he's a high-character young man.

"As a football player he's impacted every phase of the game -- kicking, offense and defense. He's very explosive, very much an impact player."

So, too, were Shain and Shostak, who led the Rams to the Pine Tree Conference Class A championship game for the first time in 20 seasons.

Shostak finished with 56 receptions for 853 yards and 12 touchdowns -- all Cony single-season records. He had 71 tackles, 11 interceptions and had 503 return yards.

He also helped restore the Cony football program, coach Robby Vachon said in his speech.

"I think what gets lost at times, and what I'd like to touch on about Chandler, is how good a football player he is, how special he's been to our football program and how he impacted the perception of the Cony football program in our community this year," he said.

A nervous Shostak delivered a short but poignant speech.

In 2 minutes, 26 seconds, he thanked his teammates, coaches and members of the Augusta community for their "overwhelming support."

"To be a finalist for an award bearing the name of such a distinguished and highly-respected member of Maine's athletic history is no less than flattering," Shostak said. "It's truly an honor to stand up here with two other outstanding student-athletes. However, in reality this nomination means more to me than I can describe. It brings tremendous satisfaction as it recognizes my hard work on the field as well in the classroom."

Bill Stewart -- 621-5640

bstewart@centralmaine.com

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