Norsworthy-Hartman played varsity soccer, basketball and softball all four years at Presque Isle High School before graduating in 2007. She was an All-Aroostook player her junior and senior years in all three sports.
She made the Maine Soccer Coaches all-state team as a senior and made the all-Penobscot Valley Conference first team her final two seasons. She finished her soccer career with 33 goals and 17 assists.
In basketball, Norsworthy-Hartman made the Big East Conference first team as a senior after making the second team her junior year. Also during her senior season, she was named Big East Conference Player of the Year and was a McDonald’s Class A/B Senior All-Star and was a Miss Basketball finalist. She averaged 20.1 points and 6.1 rebounds her senior year.
Norsworthy-Hartman went on to play basketball collegiately at Husson University for one year before transferring to the University of Maine at Fort Kent, where she played four years of soccer and was named to the NAIA All-Conference team her first year. Her team won USCAA national championships twice and went 70-8-1 overall during her time there.
She also played on the Bengals’ basketball team for three seasons. UMFK won Sunrise Conference titles and made it to the NAIA national tournament two of those years. Norsworthy-Hartman is a registered nurse clinical supervisor in the OB/GYN and Midwifery office at The Aroostook Medical Center. She and her husband, Carson, reside in Presque Isle, and they have two daughters – Norah and Quinn.
Olore, who graduated in 1979, played two years of varsity basketball and was an outstanding baseball player for the Wildcats, playing all four years. He was an All-Aroostook pitcher for three years and finished his career with 274 strikeouts. Olore was the All-Aroostook MVP as a sophomore, team MVP as a senior and was the recipient of the Jim Dyer Award as the outstanding player in Aroostook County his senior season.
He went on to star in baseball at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, making the All-District first team. He was inducted into the university’s athletic hall of fame in 2009. He played semi-professional baseball for the Presque Isle Sonics and the Woodstock Shiretowners.
Olore went on to coach the Wildcats’ varsity baseball team for 28 years. He was a three-time Big East Conference Coach of the Year and his teams won 266 games and qualified for the playoffs 23 times. Presque Isle was the Class A Eastern Maine runner-up in 1991.
Under his leadership, the Wildcats captured five conference championships. He coached 79 conference all-stars and two Maine Mr. Baseball finalists.
He is an eighth-grade social studies/English teacher at Presque Isle Middle School and is an umpire with the Northern Maine Baseball Umpires Association.
Olore has coached basketball in the SAD 1 system for 33 years, 28 with the eighth-grade basketball team at Presque Isle Middle School and five with the JV boys’ basketball team at PIHS. He and his wife, Carole, reside in Presque Isle during the school year and Florida in the summer.
Pulcifur Fleming was a standout track and field performer for the Wildcats who won the state championship in the javelin as a senior with a school-record throw of 116 feet, 1-1/2 inches. She also placed fifth in the discus and graduated as the school record holder in that event. Fleming was also an all-conference soccer and basketball player at Presque Isle and was part of a state championship team in basketball as a senior. She went on to attend Colorado State University, where she lettered in track and field for two years and ranked among the top 20 all-time in the javelin before transferring to the University of Maine. She set a UMaine record in the 4-kilogram hammer throw (158 feet, 9 inches), while placing third at the 2001 New England championships. Fleming also was the 2001 America East Conference runner- up in that event and seventh in the javelin, and lettered for two years in both indoor and outdoor track. She subsequently spent five years in the Army and today is a registered nurse with Aroostook Home Health Services.
Burnett earned 14 varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball and track for the Wildcats. He was a two-time All- County football player and in track set the County record for the 100-yard dash in 1931 as well as breaking the broad jump mark with a leap of 20 feet, 2 inches. He also played third base in baseball and hit better than .300. In basketball, Burnett was an Eastern Maine all-tournament guard as a junior and senior and earned all-state honors his senior year. He was the Wildcats’ second-leading scorer as a sophomore and senior and teamed second-leading scorer as a sophomore and senior and teamed with Verdelle Clark in what was considered to be the best backcourt tandem ever to play at Presque Isle at the time. Burnett, who passed away in 1992, went on to work as a purchasing agent at Presque Isle Air Force Base and also served as a baseball umpire in the Maine-New Brunswick League.
Eugene Fitzgerald parlayed his athletic success in the 1950s at PIHS into a brilliant collegiate basketball career, and later served as a teacher and coach for nearly 40 years Fitzgerald served as co-captain of the Wildcat baseball and basketball teams his junior and senior years and also competed in track and field at PIHS. On the baseball diamond, Fitzgerald had batting averages of .483 as a junior and .450 as a senior. In basketball, he was second team All-Aroostook and was a consistent double-digit point scorer during his two years on the varsity. He was also an outstanding student who was active in many organizations. Fitzgerald attended Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. and was named to its Athletic Hall of Fame after starring in basketball and also playing baseball, soccer and touch football. He was a vital part of three consecutive North Atlantic Christian College championship teams in basketball and was the NACC’s MVP in 1962. He scored over 1,400 points during his career with the Fighting Scots and had a team-high 192 rebounds as a senior. He taught history and physical education for 39 years and coached many of those years, including 18 at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Ga., where he resides. He officiates basketball at the middle school, high school and collegiate levels.
Andy Packard was one of the dominant figures in the Maine high school basketball scene during the 1969-70 season, culminating with a berth on the All-Maine second team.
Despite standing at just 6 feet, 1 inch, Packard was a double-digit scorer and top-flight rebounder throughout his three-year varsity career and put up some astounding numbers his senior year. He averaged 18 points and 15 rebounds per game and recorded individual performances of 31 points and 24 rebounds against Fort Kent, 20 points and 14 rebounds against Caribou, 31 points and 17 rebounds against Houlton and 28 points and 15 rebounds against Old Town. He is believed to be the second-leading rebounder in Presque Isle High School varsity basketball history, behind only fellow Hall of Famer Eric Wieder.
Following the success on the court with the Wildcats, which also included an all-tournament team selection in 1970, he attended the University of Maine for one year before transferring to the University of Prince Edward Island, where he starred in basketball and ended up having his number 42 retired in 2012.
At a school that played just 12 regular season games each season, Packard accumulated 733 points and 404 rebounds during his three-year career with the Panthers. He was a dominant post player and an intense defender, known for his spectacular fundamentals and amazing hands and footwork. His field goal percentage of 50.4 was tops in the nation at the time. He was a perennial all-star, a two-time team MVP and finished in the top five in scoring in the Maine Maritime Intercollegiate League in 1972-73. He was named UPEI’s Male Athlete of the Year that season.
Packard is now retired and resides in Brackley Beach, PEI.
Katie Delong McQuade
Thanks to her speed and competitive nature, Katie Delong McQuade goes down as one of the top all-around athletes to go through Presque Isle High School. She garnered post-season accolades all three sports seasons and went on to play collegiately in soccer at the Div. I level.
Delong McQuade scored a school-record 57 goals in her four soccer seasons with the Wildcats, gaining all-conference, All-Eastern Maine, All-State and All-New England honors. She made the Maine Soccer Coaches Class B all-star team her sophomore, junior and senior years and capped off her career by being named MSC Class B Player of the Year,.
She led her Presque Isle basketball team to a state championship her senior season and made the Bangor Daily News All-State first team, while also being one of three finalists for the Miss Maine Basketball award. Delong McQuade was also named Big East Conference Player of the Year after leading the league in assists (4.6) and steals (4.7) and also averaging 14.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. She had also received Big East all-conference recognition during her sophomore and junior campaigns.
On the softball field, she was a standout outfielder who made All-Aroostook her final three seasons.
Delong McQuade went on to play soccer at the University of Maine at Orono for two years. She made the America East Academic Honor Roll and was named a UMaine Academic Rising Star.
He was the first Presque Isle High School wrestler to ever place in the state championship, then Peter Fields went on to become a decorated collegiate wrestler before embarking in what has been a lengthy and successful career in athletic administration.
Fields was on both the Wildcat golf and wrestling teams, but it was on the mat where he excelled. He was a two-time team MVP and won the Eastern Maine regional championship his senior year. He also placed third at the state meet his junior season.
He went on to attend the University of Maine at Presque Isle and competed in the heavyweight class and served as captain all four years. He won numerous tournament championships and was a four-time qualifier for the NAIA National Championships. He was a District V All-NAIA wrestler all four years. In 1979, he was selected to the Maine AAU All-Star Wrestling Team and also selected to compete against TheNetherlands Olympic Team. He was inducted into the UMPI Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
Fields embarked in a lengthy career as an athletic director beginning in the mid-1980s. He began as an assistant athletic director for finance at Kent State University (three years) and the University of Toledo (eight years). He then spent six years as associate director for athletics at the University of Missouri before moving on as the director of athletics at Montana State University for 14 years. Last fall, he accepted the position of senior associate director of athletics for development at Santa Clara University in California.
Kilpatrick enters the PIHS Athletic Hall of Fame posthumously after a brilliant career both at the high school and collegiate levels.
His best sport at Presque Isle High School was baseball, but he also played a year of basketball and a year of football. Don led his team to the state baseball tournament as a junior and was an offensive catalyst and an excellent defensive center fielder. He spent the summer pitching for the American Junior Legion team.
Kilpatrick was a National Honor Society student, played in the band and orchestra and was the senior class president. A brilliant student, he began his collegiate studies at the University of Maine at Orono at the age of 16. He also played football, basketball and baseball for the Black Bears and during his baseball playing days was known as the “smoothest fielding first sackers the university has had” by sportswriter Jack Moran.
Following his college graduation, Kilpatrick enlisted in the military and served his country as a bomber pilot, flying missions over France and Germany, including one on the day of the great Allied Normandy Invasion. While returning from his 15th bombing mission over Bernburg, Germany, his plane was hit by cannon fire. He was able to bail out but was later killed as a result of the battle. The Donald Kilpatrick Memorial Trophy was established by the Northern Aroostook League in 1946 to be presented to the Aroostook League baseball champion every year.
Deschene was one of the top all-around athletes to every attend PIHS. She lettered in soccer, basketball and tennis all four years and was a standout in all 3 sports, capping her career with the Outstanding Senior Athlete Award.
In soccer, she was two-time Maine Soccer Coaches Eastern Maine Class B All-Star and was an All-State honorable mention. She made the Penobscot Valley Conference second team as a junior and the first team as a senior and she was All-Aroostook three years. Deschene was the recipient of the Butch Shaw Memorial Award as the top Aroostook County player in Class B.
For basketball, she made the Big East All-Conference first team her junior and senior seasons after gaining honorable mention as a sophomore. As a senior, she was named Big East Conference Player of the Year, was selected to the Bangor Daily News All-State Third Team and was voted to play in the Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star Game.
On the tennis court, as the Wildcats’ first singles player, she made All- Aroostook her final three years and was a state singles tournament finalist as a senior. Deschene excelled academically, making the National Honor Society as a junior and graduating in the top 10 of her class. She garnered academic awards all four years.
She went on to Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts and played point guard for the Div. III Engineers, helping the team to the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship. She set a school record for the most minutes played her senior year and finished with career averages of 7.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
She is currently a senior engineer for National Grid and resides in Marlborough, Mass.
Dean was an outstanding basketball and baseball player with the Wildcats, playing each sport three years. He enjoyed a dominant senior year. In basketball, he made the All- Aroostook First Team, the Bangor Daily News All-State Second Team and the Eastern Maine All-Tournament Team.
As a baseball player, Dean made the All-Aroostook Team and received the James Dyer Memorial Trophy as the outstanding player in Aroostook County. He batted 400, led the Wildcats in hits (22), runs (20) and runs batted in (25). Dean was also an academic standout and was inducted into the National Honor Society his junior year.
He attended the University of Maine at Farmington and played both basketball and baseball throughout. He is sixth on the all-time Beaver assist list and finished with 660 career points and 356 rebounds. He was an all-conference choice in 1979-80. On the baseball diamond, Dean pitched and played first base and carried a 7-5 career pitching record and a .263 batting average. He made the all-conference team as pitcher his senior year.
Dean was inducted into the UMF Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. A certified basketball official since 1989, Dean is a systems consultant at UNUM Life Insurance in Portland
Dr. Jack Belden
Belden is credited with organizing the effort to make hockey a varsity sport at Presque Isle High School in the early 1990’s. Belden lead a group known as the Presque Isle Hockey Supporters, which was called upon to raise nearly $100,000 to fund the program for its first three seasons before the school district would take over and fully support it financially. Direct donations from corporations were solicited and a hockey week was held to raise a bulk of the funds. “We scraped the barrel at time for the rest of the money – everything from selling hot dogs and soda at soccer and baseball games to bottle drives, a spaghetti dinner and 50-50 ticket sales, ”
Belden was quoted in an article that appeared in The Star Herald. “We ran the gamut in terms of fundraising, not only to get the money we needed in place, but also to increase the visibility of the program. Hockey became an official varsity sport at PIHS during the 1991-92 school year and has been a successful program in the Class B ranks for the past 20 plus-years, making the playoffs most seasons and earning an Eastern Maine championship in 2009.A prominent Presque Isle orthodontist, Jack and his wife Cindy raised their four children locally and supported them through their education and extracurricular activities at P.I.H.S. Not only did Dr. Belden play a key role in organizing the Presque Isle hockey program, he also mentored numerous local youth as they worked to hone their hockey.
Hews is known as one of the founding fathers of soccer in Aroostook County. He became familiar with the sport while studying physical education while attending Springfield College and made soccer a part of the physical education program at Presque Isle High School in 1963.
Working closely with Caribou High School Athletic Director Dwight Hunter, he helped organize a Presque Isle vs. Caribou soccer game in 1964, which was the first one ever played in Aroostook County. A league began that fall that included teams from Presque Isle, Caribou, Fort Fairfield and Fort Kent and Hews was the first Wildcat coach. He spent six years at the position.
Hews grew up on a potato farm in Ashland and became a longtime educator, coach, guidance counselor, athletic director, principal and basketball official. He began his education career in Ashland, serving as a teacher and coach, and then moved on to Presque Isle High School, where he organized the physical education and health programs for all grades.At PIHS, he coached the Wildcat boys’ basketball team to the 1961 Eastern Maine title. Hews went on to become an outstanding basketball official. Dana and his wife, Virginia, have seven children and many of his children went into coaching.
Keenan was the SAD 1 athletic administrator from 1983-91 and made a huge impact by upgrading the school’s athletic program during his tenure. Keenan developed the basketball teams’ schedule after four Aroostook League schools dropped the Wildcats from their schedules. He was a force behind the development of the Eastern Seven League, which included Presque Isle, Caribou, Old Town, Brewer, Hampden Academy, Nokomis and Stearns and was eventually expanded to include all sports. The league developed into what is now the Big East Conference.
The creation of the successful Wildcat hockey program also came during his years on the job. Keenan helped oversee the construction of what is now the Dr. Gehrig T. Johnson Athletic Complex, a facility that houses two grass and one turf soccer fields, a track and baseball and softball fields. The complex was completed in 1991 — Keenan’s final year as athletic administrator.
Along the way, Keenan upgraded all the team’s uniforms, worked with coaches to improve the competitiveness of each athletic team, helped make improvements to the Athletic Boosters Club and got involved in numerous Maine Principals’ Association committees to make sure PIHS and other schools were treated fairly in decisions affecting athletic programs. He served on the MPA’s interscholastic management, basketball, classification, golf, ad hoc sportsmanship and professional management committees and was the chairperson of several of them. Keenan also was on the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association executive committee. He was honored with the Big East Service Award for his contributions made to the league.
He was also inducted into the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors. Keenan went on to become assistant principal and principal at PIHS, then served several years as superintendent of schools in Easton before retiring.
Cunningham’s induction was a result of his behind-the-scenes support of athletics during his tenure as high school principal from 1923-65.
Cunningham attended Patten Academy and later went on to Bates College, where he received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He served as principal at Mapleton High School for four years before beginning his lengthy tenure at PIHS, where he had a profound impact on student-athletes. He served in numerous capacities, including math teacher, guidance counselor and athletic director. He promoted athletic excellence by developing challenging schedules that included downstate powers Bangor, Cony of Augusta, Deering of Portland, Westbrook and University of Maine freshman teams.
No one was a bigger sports fan than Cunningham, who firmly believed in the old adage that sports builds character. He rarely missed a local basketball game and went out of his way to attend Wildcat games when the teams were playing in tournaments away. After each home game, he was known for giving each player a quarter, which went a long ways in those days. Cunningham was the administrator when the boys basketball team captured its only state championship in 1932.
He was very active in the community. He was the first honorary member of the Presque Isle Rotary Club and received a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. Cunningham was presented the Outstanding Citizen Award by the Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce in 1966. He served as treasurer of the Northern Maine Fair for 25 years and was president of the Aroostook Teachers Association and the Maine Principals’ Association. He was on the Maine Basketball Committee for nine years Cunningham died in 1977 at age 82.
In 2004, he was inducted posthumously into the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors
Drummond was an exceptional Wildcat athlete during the late-1980s, playing four years of varsity soccer and three years of varsity basketball. He was renowned for his skills on the basketball court. As a junior, he was a key member of the Presque Isle basketball team that made an improbable run as a No. 8 seed to advance all the way to the Eastern Maine Class A championship game. That season, he made the Bangor Daily News all-tournament team, was voted co-MVP of Aroostook County, made the Big East all-conference team and was a Bangor Daily News all-state honorable mention choice.
He eclipsed the 1,000-point mark as a senior and the postseason accolades kept coming as his team once again reached the regional finals. He was an Aroostook County all-star, made the Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star Team, was again a BDN all tourney selection and Big East all-conference player and was voted to the BDN all-state second team.
In soccer, Drummond helped his Wildcats to a combined record of 25-5-2 his sophomore and junior seasons. A talented midfielder, he finished in the top three in the career scoring list at PIHS and was an All-Aroostook first team selection. Drummond was named PIHS’s male athlete of the year to culminate his successful career.
He went on to play basketball for two seasons at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and after earning his bachelor’s degree in physical education and health, coached several subvarsity teams in Presque Isle before embarking on a teaching, coaching and administrative career that included stops at Penquis Valley Middle School, Noble Middle School, Noble High School and Portland High School. Drummond currently serves as athletic director for RSU 14, which serves the communities of Windham and Raymond.
Chris Casavant – 1990
Chris Casavant’s impressive varsity athletic career at Presque Isle High School spurred success at the collegiate level and beyond, where he has become a highly-regarded basketball coach and baseball umpire.
Casavant lettered in soccer and basketball for three seasons each at PIHS, and in the spring played baseball as a freshman, sophomore and senior and tennis as a junior. He enjoyed great success in all four sports. He was the Butch Shaw Award winner as the top Class A soccer player in Aroostook County his senior year. Casavant was a Big East Conference Al-Star and Bangor Daily News All-State honorable mention selection in basketball. In baseball he was an all-conference first team choice. The one year he opted to play tennis in the spring, he was the Aroostook County singles runner-up and qualified for the state tournament.
He went on to play basketball collegiately – one year for the Maine Central Institute Post-Grad program before settling in at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, where he played for four years. He is fourth all-time on the Owl’s scoring list with 1,541 points. As a senior, Casavant made both the All-Maine and all-conference first teams and received honorable mention as an NAIA Div. III All American in 2004.
A high school physical education and health teacher in the Caribou school system, Casavant who has coached varsity basketball for 16 years, is beginning his 12th season at the helm of the Viking boys’ team. He has been named Big East Conference coach of the year on three occasions.
Chris and his wife Angel (Saucier) reside in Mapleton with their two daughters, Meg and Mia.
Debbie Lennon – 1982
Known for her fearless style of play, Debbie Lennon excelled in field hockey, basketball and softball for the Wildcats in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Lennon was a three-sport star all four years, played volleyball for three seasons and added track and field to the athletic resume her junior and senior years and finished with 13 varsity letters, but it was basketball in which she received the most notoriety .
Lennon helped lead the 1982 team to an Eastern Maine Class A title. She was an All-Aroostook and All-State first team choice her junior and senior campaigns and made the Senior East All-Star Team. In the summer of 1981, she was selected as one of the 15 female basketball players from throughout the state to pilot an exchange program with Nationalist China. She was chosen Presque Isle’s Outstanding Female Athlete her senior year.
Lennon’s talents earned her a scholarship to play basketball at Div. I Boston College, but she instead chose to attend the University of Maine at Farmington, where she made a huge impact during her only season. She was second on the team in both scoring (11.l points per game) and rebounding (5.4 per game). Lennon also shot 70 percent from the foul line as the Beavers finished as the District V runner-up and ranked No. 1 in the State.
Debbie remained active in sports following her playing days, participating in competitive softball and basketball leagues, while also enjoying racquetball, bowling, tennis, volleyball, and golf. She currently owns a cleaning company in Belgrade Lakes, where she enjoys quilting, gardening and woodworking.
Melissa participated in varsity cross country, track and basketball while at Presque Isle High School.
At the 1999 County Track Meet she won four events; 100, 200 & 400 meter dashes and the 4 X 400 relay team. Was the meets top scorer and won the Howard Lello Oustsanding Female Performer Award. In the Eastern Maine Regional she was third in the 400 meter and fifth in the 200 meter. At the State Meet she finished third in the 400 meter dash. Was top scorer in the 2000 County track meet winning the Howard Lello Outstanding Female Performer Award; winning four events including the 100, 200, 400 and 800 meter runs. At the Eastern Maine Regional she won the 800 meter, second in the 400 and fourth in the 100. At the State Meet won the 800 meter, second in the 400 meter and fourth in the 100 meter. She qualified for the New England meet and was 6th in the 800 meter. In 2001 she set the PVC record for the 1600 meter run and also won the 800 meter run. At the State Meet she broke the Class B State record in the 1600 (5:01.10), she also won the 800 with a time of 2:20.88. Qualified for the New England track meet in 2001 finishing fourth in the 1600 meter run an was seventh in the 800 meter. Melissa holds the Lady Wildcat records in the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600 meter runs; holds the State records for Class B girls 800 and 1600 meter runs. She received the PIHS Outstanding Senior Athlete award. Blackstone was also a standout in Cross-country and the lead runner her senior year. She placed third in the EM Class B Regional and fourth in the Class B State meet. She was nominated for the seventh annual Wendy’s Heisman Award, the award recognizes young men and women who demonstrate excellence in three areas: academics, community service and athletics. Melissa had a 96.9 grade average.
She attended Liberty University where she ran track and cross country. In cross country her best finish at the Big South Cross Country Championship was 12th in 2002. She made the Big South All – Academic Team in 2003.
In track and field she earned All-Big South honors twice, finishing second in the mile at the 2003 Big South Indoor Track and Field Championships and second in the 1800 at the 2005 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Other top finishes in the Big South meet included: 2002 indoor 4th in the 400; 2003 indoor 4th in the 800; 2004 4th in both the 800 and 1500; 2005 indoor 4th in the mile; 2005 outdoor 4th in the 1500. She was part of five Big South Championship teams. She still holds one school record. She ran the third leg of the Lady Flames’ 4X1500 meter relay team which clocked 19:15.14 on March 19, 2004 at the Florida State Relays. She ranks second on Liberty’s all time list in the indoor 1000 (2:55.12 and the indoor 4 X 800 relay 9:15.23.
Melissa is currently a professor of Health Services at Liberty University.
Steve Smith – 1961
Smith, who graduated in 1961, was one of the school’s top all-around athletes, earning 13 varsity letters in basketball, baseball, cross country, and track and field.
He helped the Wildcats to a cross country State title as a senior, finishing among the top 10 runners at the state meet.
That winter, he was an all-state selection in basketball. Smith was also nemed to the All-Aroostook basketball team and the Easstern Maine all-tournament team both in 1960 and 1961.
In the spring of his senior year, he batted .490 for the PI baseball squad. He also played American Legion baseball for three years, with his teams winning tow Division I titles to advance to the state tournament.
As a track and field athlete, Smith was second in the 220 at the state meet and set a County record in the same event at 22.2 seconds.
Steve was the recipient of the Herky Adams Memorial Award in 1961. He participated in Junior Classical League, French Club and Dirigo Boys’ State. He was student council and senior class president and also claimed National Merit honors. He went on to play four years of basketball at Brandeis University, playing for Celtics legend and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer K.C. Jones as a senior. He also competed in indoor track while at Brandeis, breaking the 50 second mark in the quarter mile in his one year on the squad. He placed fourth in the Greater Boston track meet.
Smith competed for the U.S. Army basketball team while stationed in Hawaii, with the roster also including one NBA player and two collegiate All-Americans.
He later coached varsity basketball at Belfast High School for several years. He currently resides in Stockton Springs.
Paul Plissey – 1983
Plissey, a 1983 graduate, was a standout in both cross country and track and field, lettering in both sports all four years. He won a state championship in cross country as a senior and also collected three Eastern Maine titles during his career. He also owns a state championship in the 5,000 meter run as a track athlete.
While competing in the AAU National Cross Country Championships for the 15-16 year-olds in Amarillo, Texas in 1981, Plissey turned in a second-place performance. He was honored back in his hometown with a huge welcome and received a key to the city. Later in the AAU National Junior Olympics in Bonner Spring, Kansas, he placed seventh in the 17-18 year-old division while taking 12th at the Eastern Division of the Kinney Race.
While in high school, Plissey was a member of the National Honor Society, played in the high school band and stage band four years. He also sung in the chorus and made All-Aroostook all four years while achieving All-State status in 1982.
He received numerous scholarship offers, but chose to attend Boston College and was captain of the Eagles’ cross country team. His time of 30.18/50 in the 10,000 meter run remains the fourth fastest in school history and he stands ninth all-time in the 5,000 meter run and third in the 4X1600-meter relay. As a freshman, he placed seventh in the 10,000-meter run in theTAC Junior National Track Championships in Los Angeles, Calif. His career was cut short by a knee injury sustained during his junior season.
Plissey, who resides Charlottesville, Va., is in the midst of a very successful career in the music industry under the stage name of Ellis Paul. He is a singer/songwriter and folk musician who has released 17 albums and has won 14Boston Music Awards. He has sung the National Anthem at Fenway Park. Two of his songs have appeared on the soundtracks of the movies “Me, My-self and Irene” and “Shallow Hall.” He is the recipient of the 2004 Boston College Arts Council Alumni Award for artistic achievement.
Danielle Donovan – 1997
A 1997 PIHS graduate, Johnson captured four Aroostook League championships, three Eastern Maine Class A titles (1993, 1994, and 1995) and two state championships (1993 and 1994) during her cross country career.
She participated in the National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championship for 13-14 year-olds and garnered a third-place finish to earn All-American status.
In track and field, Johnson owns the County record for the 1,600-meter run at 5:24, established in 1996, and also set school records as a freshman in the 400 (1:02), the 800 (2:23.9) and the 1600 (5:08.24). She finished as high as second in the state in both the 800 and 1,600 and 3,200 and was part of the victorious 4 X 400 relay team. She was a state runner-up in both the 800 and 1,600.
Johnson was also the starting point guard for the state champion basketball team in 1997 and was a Big East Conference honorable mention. She also was a starter her sophomore and junior seasons.
She went on to compete in track and field at the University of Maine at Orono and ran all four years, serving as captain as a senior. She was part of the 4 X 800-meter relay team that established a school record in both outdoor and indoor track and she is also ranked seventh all-time in the 800 outdoor, sixth in the 1,000 and 10th in the 1,500. Johnson earned nine varsity letters and made the America East Academic Honor Roll six times. She received the University of Maine Scholar-Athlete Gold Award.
She graduated with a degree in Spatial Information Science and Engineering. Danielle now teaches science and is an assistant cross country coach at Hampden Academy.
Brianna Blanchard Rodgerson – 2000
Rodgerson was one of the top girls basketball players in the state during her era. She graduated in 2000 and was a freshman (and teammate of fellow inductee Danielle Donovan Johnson) when the Wildcats won the state title in 1997.
She became an All-State player both her junior and Senior seasons and was a Miss Maine Basketball finalist as a senior. Rodgerson was a three-time Big East all-conference selection and was on the all-tourney team on two occasions. She finished with 1,502 career points and her 540 points as a senior is a school record.
Rodgerson also was a two-time all –state selection in soccer and set school records in the long jump, high jump, shot put and 4 X 400 relay while competing on the Wildcats’ track and field team.
Brianna attended St. Anselm College and was the Northeast-10 Rookie of the year in 2001 and that season made the NCAA Div. II All-American freshmen team.
She made either Northeast-10 all-conference or received honorable mention three seasons and despite missing 20 career games due to illness and injuries, still finished with 1,220 career points, 400-plus rebounds, 400-plus three point field goals, 175 assists, 160 steals and 40 blocked shots.
Rodgerson served as an assistant basketball coach at both PIHS and the University of Southern Maine. She currently resides with her husband, Derek, at McChord Air Force Base in Washington State and the couple have two children.
Eugene Hunter – 1940
Was a standout basketball and baseball player at PIHS playing three years of varsity basketball and baseball. He was captain of varsity basketball and baseball teams his senior year; His 1938 baseball team played in the State Championship game at Lewiston. He also played on the American Legion team during the summers, they won the County Championship in 1938, 1939 and 1940. Latin Club two years, class vice-president junior year, member of student council junior and senior years, president senior year; varsity club three years, Hi-Y club president senior year, band three years, orchestra three years and a member of the National Honor Society
Played semi-pro baseball for the Presque Isle Indians in 1940, ’41 and ’42 and was selected to the League All-Star team. He managed the Indians during the 1947 season. Enrolled at Colby College in the Fall of 1941. As a freshman he was captain of the baseball and basketball teams. His sophomore year his basketball team won the Maine State Championship and he earned selection to the “All Maine Team”. He was twice selected All-New England in basketball and baseball. Played baseball for the Old Town IICF semi-pro baseball team in the Eastern Maine League and was selected to the All-Star team.
During WWII Hunter served in the 78th “Lighting” Division, participating in three major campaigns in Europe. He had a distinguished career in education which began at Houlton High School. As a basketball coach he won State Championships at three different schools, Morse High School, Portsmouth High School and South Portland High School. He is the only Maine high school coach to win State Championships in two different states. He serve 10 years as athletic director at So. Portland High School. He has been recognized as Maine High School Coach of the Year, and by his induction into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame, Maine Sports Hall of Fame, Maine Sports Legends Hall of Fame and New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
James Lyford – 1950
As a student Jim Lyford was an outstanding track and cross country athlete. In track he had held the County record in the 880 for several years, breaking the record set by Emery Plourde of Caribou with a time of 2:02.2 and finished third in the State Cross Country meet his senior leading his team to the State Championship. That same year he won all of the dual meets and finished third in the intersectional run.
Mr. Lyford served Presque Isle High School with distinction as a coach/teacher, he coached boy’s cross country for 20 years and was track coach for 15 years. As the cross country coach he won eight County championships (1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970); four Regional Championships (1960, 1961, 1962, 1964); three State Championships (1960, 1961, 1962). As track coach he won seven Atoostook League Championships. He has won more State Championships than any other coach at Presque Isle High School
Lyford was a member of the Boy’s Scouts, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout; he owned City Dry Cleaners in Presque Isle and served two terms on the City Council.
Mr. Dyer began his teaching career at Presque Isle High School in 1946. He was an outstanding Math teacher and also served as Asst. Principal to Franklin Cunningham. He began his coaching as the JV boys baseball coach, when Bill Hanscom retired he became the Varsity boys baseball coach and continued at that position for 15 years.
A champion coach he led his team to the Aroostook League title five times and shared the title twice. His teams never finished lower than second. He officiated high school basketball from 1950-1968 and built a reputation of being one of the best officials in Eastern Maine.
Coached JV boy’s basketball and baseball during the 1950’s without compensation. Headed the Presque Isle Recreation Department baseball program for several years. He umpired baseball games at various levels. Was chair of the PIHS Math Dept.Jim was an outstanding athlete at Bowdoin College where he captained the basketball team four years, played three years of football and starred for four years on the baseball team. In 1940 he was selected to play on the U.S. National baseball team in the World Series of Amateur Baseball which took place in Cuba with eight other countries. He starred in the outfield and behind the plate for the American team which lost in the finals to Cuba. He has been inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Fame and the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
Jim Carter – 1964
Jim has made significant contributions to the athletic department over the last several years: He chaired a fund raising effort in 2004-2005 for the class of 1964 raising $10,000 of which 9,000 went towards the purchase of the new scoreboard currently in the gym and a $1000 gift to the PIHS library .
He has also been active in obtaining recognition for former outstanding athletes of PIHS by writing numerous articles about former athletes and having them published in the Star Herald. He has written a book on the history of PIHS basketball covering six decades, 1950-2009.
He was instrumental in the founding of the new Presque Isle High School Athletic Hall of Fame and is currently co-chair. Through his efforts close to $5000 has been raised to fund the Hall of Fame.
He recently nominated four former PIHS graduates for induction to the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. Two were inducted in July of 2010 and another in July of 2011.
Compiles stats for the Big East Basketball Conference for both boys’ and girls‘ team.
Does play-by-play for local high school basketball for WEGP radio, prior to that did color commentary for several years for Time/Warner broadcasts. He also wrote a historical article on the history of Presque Isle High School which was published in the Star Herald.
Prior to moving back to Presque Isle in 2005 Jim taught in Caribou for 25 years where he coached boys’ basketball for 21 years at various levels, girl’s cross-country for six years and baseball at the middle school, junior varsity and varsity levels. His cross country teams won six County Championships, three consecutive Eastern Maine Regional Championships, and one state championship. He was named the Big East Coach of the Year in 1998 and Girls Cross country coach of the year by the BDN in 1989.Jim was inducted into the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors in 2014
Steve Condon – 1971
While attending PIHS Steve played three years of varsity basketball and two years of varsity baseball. He was a three year letter winner; selected to the All Eastern Maine Tournament in1970 and 1971; All State 3rd team 1970, All State 1st team 1971. During the EM Tournament Condon averaged 19 ppg and 13 rpg. Captain of the 1971 team. 1971-named Gatorade Player of the Year for the State of Maine.
Attended Leicester Jr. College in Ma. from 1971-73 where he averaged 12 ppg. Leicester was the no. 1 Jr. College in New England. He entered the University of Maine Orono in the fall of 1973 and started for UMO for two years. His junior year he averaged 11.7 ppg. He was named captain of the Black Bears his senior year and averaged 15.9 ppg and had a .512 field goal percentage. Set the school field goal record for one game (90%) hitting on 18 of 20 FG attempts versus Virginia Commonwealth. Condon led Maine to an upset win over Virginia Common Wealth, a nationally ranked team, scoring 37 points. He was selected to the ECAC weekly honor roll for his performance.
Selected to the first team Maine All State College Division his junior and senior years. A third team All Yankee Conference selection his junior year and first team All Yankee Conference his senior year.Steve currently serves as Aroostook County Sales Representative – Denis Food Service.
Darci Collins McCrum – 1989
While attending PIHS Darci played four years of varsity soccer, four years of varsity basketball, four years of varsity soccer and three years of volleyball.
She was All State Soccer 1988 & 1989; All Eastern Maine Class ‘A’ All Star, All County 1988 & 1989, Received the Butch Shaw award as the outstanding Class A soccer player in Aroostook County. Softball All-State 2nd team 1987, 1st team 1988 & 1989) her senior year she had a batting average of .655 with 24 stolen bases and 21 rbi; Basketball: 1989 Bangor Daily News second team All-State & Portland Press Herald 1st Team All-State, Big East All Conference 1988 & 1989, All Tourney 1989. East-West Senior All-Star selection 1989; 1987 led the team in scoring, assists and free throw percentage; 1988 she was in the Big East top 10 in scoring, free throw percentage, assists and steals. 1989 led the team in scoring with 14ppg. Darci may be the only Presque Isle High athlete to be selected All-State in three different sports, basketball, soccer and softball.
Darci attended Husson University and played basketball leading the team in assists her junior and seniors years and was also second in steals pg. Helped to lead the team to the 1992-93 NAIA Fabulous Four in Oregon where they came in third, her 20 assists set a record for the most assists in a National tournament. At Husson she ranks 2nd All-Time in games played, number 1 in 3 pt F G percentage, 6th in assists and 9th in steals. She received the Coaches Award for her 1991-92 season. She was inducted into the Husson Hall of Fame Sept. 9th, 2004.
Darci graduated from Husson University in 1993 with a Bachelors degree in Business Management. Employed at Hannaford Brother’s doing Pharmacy Scheduling for New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Staci Hafford Barnes – 1990
Staci played four years of varsity soccer and basketball while at Presque Isle High School
In basketball she was selected Big East All Conference 1989, 1990; Eastern Maine All-Tourney; 1989 & 1990, All-State Honorable mention 1990, Portland Press Herald All-State selection. Maine Sports Hall of Fame Class A State Final MVP in 1990, MacDonald’s Senior All-Star. 1989 averaged 13.3 ppg., 1990 averaged 11.9 ppg despite recovering from a broken leg.
She began her college career at Thomas College and transferred to Husson University in the Spring of 1992. She scored 1,094 points, had 208 career steals and 376 rebounds in her collegiate career. Staci was named MAC Player of the week Feb. 18, 1994, MVP at the Star City Shootout, 1994-95. During her senior year she scored 35 points against Emmanuel College which ranks her 9th in most points scored in one game at Husson. She was inducted into the Husson University Hall of Fame 2006.
Received her B.S. in Business Administration in 1995. She works at Bollinger Insurance and lives in Edison, New Jersey with her husband Ken and two sons.
Harold “Hal” Cheney – 1933
Transferred from Easton High School his junior year and played basketball and baseball. He was a member of the 1932 State Championship basketball team and was selected as the All-Aroostook pitcher in 1933 indicative of being the best pitcher in the County. That same year his pitching led the team to the County Championship. He pitched Legion ball for the Presque Isle Midgets from 1931-33 and semi-pro baseball for the Presque Isle Indians from 1933-37, his pitching dominated the Aroostook League, he was named an All-Star each year and the league MVP in 1934. During the 1934 season he demonstrated his brilliance going 15 innings, allowing five hits and striking out 17 hitters. After the eighth inning the big right hander did not allow a hit. He was selected to the All-Star team to play against the Red Sox and Boston Braves in 1935. Was offered a tryout with the Red Sox in 1937 and was placed under contract and sent to the Ohio State League. He played five seasons in the Red Sox organization. In 2001 he was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
After graduating from Presque Isle he attended Ricker College and Presque Isle Normal School. He operated a farm in Presque Isle from 1946-1965. He has been called the best baseball pitcher ever developed in Aroostook County. Walter Reed Jr. said “his determination and graceful skills, combined with a fierce, competitive spirit, helped him excel in basketball, football and baseball.
Kim Condon – 1997
Kim participated in varsity cross country earning two letters, varsity soccer earning two letters and also played varsity softball. She excelled in basketball earning EM Tourney honorable mention in 1995; 1996 & 1997 All Tournament selection; 1997 EM Tournament MVP; Big East 1994 honorable mention; 1995, ’96,’97 Big East All Conference; Bangor Daily News Maine All-State 3rd team in 1996; All-State first team in 1997; Miss Maine Basketball 1997; Big East Conference Player of the Year, U.S.A. Today “State of Maine Player of the Year”, Maine Gatorade Player of the Year. Holds the Class A record for most points scored in a State Final – 41. She is also a member of the 1000 point club at Presque Isle High School.
Kim attended Colby College graduating in 2001. She played basketball 2 ½ years as injuries hampered her career. She went on to score 1,000 points and is the 10th leading scorer at Colby. She captained the team during the 2000-01 season and helped lead her team to the ECAC New England Championship. She was named Honorable Mention All-American her freshman year. In 2001 she was the recipient of the Pamela Hoyt-Sanborn Award which is given to a female student/athlete based on inspirational Leadership and Sportsmanship.
Malcolm “Mac” Dempsey – 1942
Mac Dempsey was an outstanding cross-country runner at PIHS during the 1940 and 41 seasons. He led them to the state championship in 1940 and captained the team in 1941.
At the State Meet held at Orono Dempsey established a new course record which stamped him as probably the finest runner ever produced at Presque Isle High School. He knocked slightly more than nine seconds off the previous course record when he completed the 2.5 mile “muddy” course in 12 minutes, 11 seconds.
The Wildcats moved on to the New England Championship Meet held in Durham, New Hampshire. Five runners participated for Presque Isle: Dempsey, Markee, Hallett, Rediker and Smart. Dempsey, listed as the number one schoolboy harrier in the Pine Tree State, was one of the favorites heading into the New England Meet. He was a slightly built runner with great power in the piston-like movement of his legs.
Presque Isle finished third in the New England Meet behind Lasalle Academy of Providence, RI and Gardiner High School of Massachusetts. Dempsey finished fourth in the meet, logging a time of 13 minutes 30 seconds on the 2.6 mile course. The first four runners in the meet, including Dempsey, broke the course record.
The National Interscholastic Cross Country race was held Thanksgiving Day at the Seton Hall College Campus Course in Orange, New Jersey, with over 400 runners participating. Dempsey covered the 2.8 mile course in a fast time of 14 minutes, 52 seconds to capture the National title. He was the first Aroostook boy to win the National Interscholastic championship, bringing his running career to a brilliant conclusion. He was the first Maine runner to win the race since Maurice Toothaker accomplished the feat in 1938. At the time many coaches marveled at Dempsey’s running ability and referred to him as one of the greatest “hill and dalers” in Maine history. The Presque Isle team finished fourth in the National Meet.
Malcolm Dempsey was not only a fine athlete but was also a good student. He was a consistent honor student and very active in school activities. He was vice-president of the HI-Y club of which he was a member for three years, treasurer of the student council, member and past president of the FFA, Drama Club, basketball three years, track 3 years, varsity club three years, French Club vice- president. He ran cross country for three years and developed into one of the finest runners in the history of Presque Isle High School.
Robert “Bobby” Duprey – 1961
Bob Duprey was very instrumental in helping a beleaguered PIHS Athletic program into one of prominence which during his senior year compiled a record of 46 wins and 1 loss. He was not only a dedicated and outstanding athlete he was also an outstanding student. He was also a member of the French Club and attended Dirigo Boy’s State.
While at Presque Isle he lettered in varsity baseball 4 years and 3 years varsity basketball; 1959-60: First team All Aroostook, 2nd team All Eastern Maine Tourney, 3rd team All-State in basketball. 1960-61: 2nd team All- Aroostook, 1st team All-Eastern Maine Tournament, 3rd team All-State. Received Herky Adams Memorial Award, which recognized outstanding athletic/scholastic achievement. Played Jr. Legion baseball for three years, winning three division 1 titles and advancing to State play-offs. Started and played in every baseball game for four years. National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Examinations (National Level) 95 Percentile and above.
He continued his fine athletic career at Husson University where he was outstanding in baseball and basketball being inducted into the Husson Sport’s Hall of Fame in 1989.
While attending Husson University he lettered in varsity baseball 4 years and varsity basketball 3 years. Captained the basketball team 1963, 64 & 65; NCC All Conference 1963 &’64; in 1965 was second leading collegiate free throw shooter in the Country (combined NCAA/NAIA) at 91.6%. Hold Husson record for free throw shooting at 91.6%. Career total of 1070 points at Husson. 1989 Inducted into the Husson University Sports Hall of Fame. Played semi-pro basketball for Presque Isle Hummingbirds.
He experienced a great deal of success as an educator teaching in Caribou for 34 years where he taught Business Math, Marketing and was the DECA advisor. He coached JV basketball & baseball for 12 years; Co-director for many road races in Aroostook County.
Wayne Hartford – 1961
Hartford was an exceptional athlete who also excelled in basketball. In 1959 he was All Eastern Maine honorable mention and All Aroostook first team; 1960 – All State second team, All Eastern Maine first team, All Aroostook MVP and first team selection; 1961 – All State first team, All Eastern Maine first team Aroostook County MVP and All Aroostook first team. He also displayed his basketball skills at Husson University, scoring a career 892 points and averaging 12.4 ppg; he was also known for his fierce rebounding skills. He was also captain of the basketball team the 1962-63 and 1965-66 seasons.
Hartford, can legitimately lay claim to being the best Wildcat pitcher over the last 60 years. Hartford began his pitching career in the service club league ball fields of Presque Isle and showed promise of being an outstanding left-handed pitcher in his early years. At the age of 14 and just out of the eighth grade Hartford was selected to play for the Presque Junior Legion team along with friend and classmate, Bob Duprey. Hartford was blessed with a good fastball, a natural screwball and a curve.
His pitching also helped the Presque Isle Junior Legion team to three straight Northern Maine Championships in 1958, 1959 and 1960. In 1959 the local legion nine had an 11-1 record and lost a heartbreaker in the opening round of the State Tournament.
It did not take long for Hartford to become a significant member of the PIHS pitching staff during his freshman year. He concluded his first year on varsity with a 4-1 record and threw a no-hitter the last game of the year against Houlton at Mackin Field. In 1959 his sophomore year he again recorded a 4-1 record and while he pitched brilliantly, the Wildcats finished second in the Aroostook League. During the 1960 campaign the Wildcats won the County championship with Hartford leading the pitching corps with a 5-0 record and an era of less the 2.00. The hard throwing lefty struck out 10 or more in all of his starts. The Wildcats again won the 1961 County Championship behind a pitching staff head by Hartford. Entering his final season Hartford was considered one of the best high-school pitchers in Maine. During his high school career he averaged 13 strikeouts per game, recorded a 2.21 lifetime era and a record of 19-2.
During the summers of 1960 and 1961 Hartford pitched semi-pro baseball for the Houlton Collegians in the Maine – New Brunswick League. Hartford was also the winning pitcher in the annual Maine-New Brunswick League All-Star game held at Grand Falls.
In 1963 Hartford joined the pitching staff of Husson University after spending one year at MCI. Hartford’s name is still etched in the Husson baseball record book. He holds the record for most wins for a pitcher in a career, 22; tied for most wins by a pitcher in a season, 8; most strikeouts by a pitcher in a game, 21; and was second with most strikeouts by a pitcher in a season with 121. He also had eight career shutouts. During his four years at Husson, Hartford helped lead the school to two Northeast College Conference Championships in 1964 and 1966 and also pitched a complete game no-hitter versus Thomas College.
Hartford also pitched in the Penquis semi-pro league in the mid 1960’s, hurling for Lamoine and Mattawamkeag. It was customary for Hartford to pitch the first weekend game on Saturday in Lamoine,, and on his Sunday return trip to Presque Isle, he would hurl for Mattawamkeag.
Hartford was offered a Class D contract to sign with Boston Red Sox; however he decided not to pursue a professional baseball career.
Hubert “Billy” Shaw
Hubert S. “Billy” Shaw was an outstanding student athlete a P.I.H.S. He participated in track and football for two years and baseball four years. He was outstanding baseball, playing an excellent defensive second base and his team’s offensive catalyst. He developed a reputation as a dangerous and timely hitter. He continued his outstanding baseball play in Junior American Legion Baseball performing for the Presque Isle Midgets.
He entered Bowdoin in the fall of 1932. While there he played halfback on the football team for two years and was a four member of the baseball team, serving as captain his senior year. During the summer of his college years he played for the Presque Isle Indians in the semi-pro Aroostook League. He was rewarded for his excellent play by being selected as one of th players in the state to play against the Boston Red Sox in Bangor in 1935, and was also one of the Aroostook All-Stars who played against the Boston Braves that same summer in Houlton. Shaw had a lifetime batting average of well over .300 and was selected to the Aroostook League All-Stars four times.
In the summer of 1936 he was invited to Baltimore to try out for the U.S. Olympic team. He was selected to the team and was their starting first baseman.
On August 12, 1936, the largest crowd ever to see a baseball game in Europe or the United States, numbering close to 100,000, jammed Olympic Stadium in Berlin to watch two American amateur teams play a demonstration game. The left handed hitting Shaw has the distinction of hitting the first homerun in Olympic play when he struck for an inside the park homerun in the first inning. After returning home from the Olympics he continued to play for the Presque Isle Indians.
He received a Master of Arts Degree in Biology in 1937 from Harvard University. He continued to play semi-pro baseball for St. Albans of the Northern League which was comprised of teams for Vermont and New York.
Shaw taught at St. Albans School in Washington D.C., was the Director of Admissions for 20 years at Bowdoin College and was the Chief of Policy and Regulations for the Federal Student Aid Programs in Department of Education.
Shaw was recently inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
Byron “Barney” Smith – 1965
Barney was an outstanding multi-sport athlete participating in cross-country, basketball, baseball and track and earning 13 letters which may be the most ever earned at P.I.H.S. He was a 1000 point scorer in basketball and was All-State Honorable Mention in 1964 and All-State Second Team in 1965. He averaged 24 ppg his senior year and 29.5 ppg during the Eastern Maine Class “A” Tournament for which he was named the MVP. Many of the top coaches of that era acclaimed Byron “Barney” Smith among the all-time greats of Eastern Maine tournament play.
In baseball he was a four year starter and hit over .400 for three seasons. In track he won the County titles in the 100 and 220 yard dashes and shares the County record for the 100 meter.
Smith attended Duke University and as a walk-on made the Duke Freshman basketball team where he received considerable playing time. He also played two years as the starting second baseman for the Duke Blue Devils and was one of their leading hitters. During his tenure at Duke he was scouted by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ron Staples – 1954
Staples was an outstanding baseball player for the Wildcats, helping his team to a 54-12 record in his four year career. As a sophomore he hit 10 homeruns in 16 games with 38 rbi and a batting average of .369. The Wildcats advanced to the Eastern Maine finals twice and the State Championship once with Staples. In track, he won the discus at the 1954 State meet and was third in the javelin. He also played on the varsity basketball team.
While still in high school the semi-pro Presque Isle Indians added him to their roster and he helped spark them to the Maine-New Brunswick championship.
He went to Colby College in the fall of 1954, where head coach John Winkin named him is starting catcher his sophomore year. Staples hit .338, with four homeruns and 16 rbi while throwing out 14 would be basestealers. The Mules and Staples were considered the number one collegiate baseball team in New England. He continued to play semi-pro ball, in 1957 for the Indians he hit .415 and was the MVP in the prestigious North East Invitational Tournament. Following the tournament Red Sox scout Larry Goodall signed him to a professional contract. He played five years in the Red Sox organization earning All-Star catcher status two of those years.
Staples was recently inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ralph Sweetser – 1932
Sweetser played varsity basketball and track at P.I.H.S. and received three varsity letter in each sport. He led the 1931 and 1932 basketball teams to the Eastern Maine championship game and the State title in 1932. Named to the All-Tournament teams in 1931 and 1932. He was named All-Aroostook for three consecutive years 1930, ’31 and ’32. He was considered the finest big man in Eastern Maine and led the Wildcats to a win over the UMO frosh.
In track, Swetser placed first in the shot put and second in the discus in the 1930 County meet. He set a state record for the shot put in 1931 and also won the discus, was third in the broad jump and tied for fourth in the high jump. At the 1932 County meet, he was first in the hammer throw, discus and shot put and tied for first in the broad jump and second in the javelin. At one time he held the County record in the shot put, discus and high jump and the Maine shot put and discus titles. He is still the County record holder in the shot put, a record that has stood for 78 years.
After graduating from high school Sweetser attended one year of college at Bridgton Academy. He was a standout there averaging 13 ppg despite playing on knee and ankle injuries. After this season Sweetser returned to the family farm on the Reach Rd in Presque Isle.
In his later years Ralph became an outstanding golfer competing in golf tournaments locally and statewide. He won the men’s Senior Championship, the 9th Annual Woodsman Open in 1982 and set a record for low gross.
Bill Hanscom – Coach Retired 1957
Hanscom was a longtime baseball and basketball coach at P.I.H.S., guiding the boy’s basketball squad for 26 years and a 369-188 record. He coached Presque Isle to the State Championship in 1932 and also collected two Eastern Maine Crowns; three Eastern Maine Runners-up trophies, 16 Eastern Maine tourney appearances and 13 Aroostook League championships.
In baseball, Hanscom tallied a 236-148 record, collecting Aroostook League titles in 1932, 1938, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952 and 1953. His squads won the Eastern Maine Championship in 1951 and were runner-up in 1953 and 1954.
He also coached football in the Aroostook Football League, collecting a championship in 1930 and co-champion titles in 1931 and 1932.
Hanscom was considered one of the finest coaches in the State and was held in the same esteem as Red Barry and George Wentworth.