RUMFORD — The local athletic boosters club is expected to name a committee of seven Thursday night that will, for the first time, choose outstanding athletes from the area to be honored in a new Hall of Fame.
The idea for a Rumford-Mexico Hall of Fame to honor local athletes, coaches and others crucial to the area's athletic programs, came from Jeff Sterling, a past, strong supporter of Rumford Point Community Athletics, former school board member, and father of three children who have gone through or are in the schools of Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10.
“It's one of those things that people would really appreciate. Many have a lot of great memories from athletics, band, other (high school) activities,” he said.
He first got the idea when he attended a game in Orono where his eldest son was coaching the high school football team. Each year, several former athletes were honored and their names placed on the school's Hall of Fame.
“A guy came all the way from Illinois with his family to be inducted. If someone can come back from Illinois with his family, it must mean something,” Sterling said.
The Mountain Valley High School Athletic Boosters approved the new Hall of Fame in November, and named Sterling chairman.
“The Rumford-Mexico area has such a deep tradition of athletics,” Sterling said.
As proposed, a local Hall of Fame includes:
* A seven-person committee that will choose the honorees from all nominations. This committee would include the boosters club chairmen, MVHS Principal Matt Gilbert or his designee, the school's athletic director and three at-large booster members.
* The committee would name up to five honorees each year: one from MVHS, one from the former Mexico High School, one from the former Stephens/Rumford High School, and two at large. To be considered, a prospective honoree must have graduated a minimum of five years ago.
* Nominations for each year would end around June 1, and those honored would be named by mid- or late-June.
* The honorees would be inducted into the Hall of Fame during half-time at the annual homecoming game which generally takes place in late September or October. Thoughts include the possibility of having the inductees participate in the homecoming parade.
Recipients would receive plaques. Any funding needed would come from the boosters.
Male or female participants from any sport are eligible to be considered as a Hall of Fame nominee, as are coaches and others important to sports programs.
Nomination papers for possible Hall of Fame inductees will be made available to the public at Mountain Valley High School soon after Christmas.
Gilbert looks forward to learning more about the program. But he is convinced the school has plenty of potential Hall of Famers.
“We have enough alumni who have made significant contributions,” he said.
The boosters will meet at 6 p.m., Dec. 9, in the MVHS library.