AUBURN — Rick Lashua has been to Gippers in Auburn more times than he can count.
He’s rocked back in his chair and looked around in the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame room at the restaurant, but he’s never really looked all that closely.
Lashua, a 1980 graduate of Edward Little High School and four-time participant in the College Baseball World Series with the University of Maine, is one of five athletes being honored this year as part of the 27th class inducted into the hall, bringing the total number of athletes so honored to 120.
Lashua joins Marty Dow, Mike Fennessy, Barry Richardson and John Theberge in the hall’s class of 2010.
“Now, I look up in this room, and I say, ‘Oh, yeah, I know who that is,’ or, ‘I remember him.'” Lashua said. “It’s great. Some of the other guys nominated (this year), I’ve heard their names, like Marty Dow when I was up at Maine, and Barry Richardson was always someone we knew of here, and the Fennessy name from Lewiston for basketball. It’s an honor to be in there with them.”
Lashua earned all-state recognition in football and baseball at Edward Little, and played for four seasons under John Winkin at the University of Maine, where he was named the Division I player of the year in 1984. He dabbled in minor league baseball for a year before returning to Auburn, and he’s currently active with youth sports.
Dow was a standout baseball player at Cony High School in Augusta and at the University of Maine. In his senior season at Maine, he posted five wins and an ERA of 1.20, and he continued his career playing semi-professional baseball with a variety of teams around the state, including the Auburn Asas in 1951 and 1952, where he helped the team to a league title.
Fennessy is a 1990 graduate of Lewiston High School where he found success in basketball and baseball. On the hardwood, he helped lead the Blue Devils to a state final, and was an all-state pitcher on the diamond. In college at USM, Fennessy set a basketball scoring record with 47 points in a game as a freshman, was on the Little East All-Conference team three times and was the conference player of the year as a senior.
Richardson, another EL star, graduated from Princeton University in 1973. A multi-sport athlete, Richardson excelled in football, where he was all-state and won the Dionne Trophy, in baseball, where he helped pitch the Eddies to a league title, and on the ski hill as a jumper. At Princeton, Richardson started at defensive back for three years and was second-team All-Ivy League. In Maine, he is best known as one of the founders of the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl, for which he also served as General Chairman and Athletic Director.
Theberge was a three-sport athlete at Lewiston High School and Bowdoin College in Brunswick. In hockey, he won three state titles and a New England championship with the Blue Devils, and was the school’s football quarterback. At Bowdoin, he helped lead the Polar Bears to two CBB titles, and was twice an All-New England first team selection in football, while in hockey he accumulated more than 100 points over four years, including 44 as a senior.
Also announced Friday were this year’s recipients of the Chamber of Commerce’s President’s Awards, given annually to seniors in high school and college for outstanding achievement. This year’s college seniors being recognized include Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan, Amrit Rupasinghe and Ben Stein of Bates College, Laura Martel of Maine and James Spaulding at the University of Southern Maine.
High School honorees include Mark Anthoine, Mike Butler, Emilie Cloutier, Alexandra Desjardin, Abby Downs, Mat Gordon, Yusuf Iman, Chantalle Lavertu, Ben McDonough, Josh Pelletier, James Philbrook and Kirsten Prue.
Five area coaches — Bob Blackman (St. Dom’s baseball), Ron Chicoine (Lewiston boys’ tennis), Matt Erickson (St. Dom’s boys’ soccer), Rebecca Hefty (EL girls’ track and field) and Anita Murphy (Lewiston girls’ tennis) — will be honored for winning state championships in the past year, and the 1975 Edward Little baseball team will receive the annual Flashback to Fame team award.
In addition, former Bates College coach Raymond “Ducky” Pond will receive the Pioneer Award.
The annual induction ceremony will be at Lost Valley on May 2, and is open to the public at a cost of $30 per person. Tickets are available at the Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce, and must be purchased in advance.