High school football programs continue popping up throughout Maine while schools and the sanctioning body do their best to keep pace.

As for starting a college program from scratch, well, the prevailing theory for years has been “good luck.”

The University of Southern Maine submitted such a plan for community consumption at least twice in the last decade. One of the state’s highest-profile NCAA Division III athletic programs is no closer to putting on the pads and airing out the pigskin than when the discussion started.

And all the while, Husson College has rewritten the blueprint.

In the space of four years, varsity football at the Bangor institution has gone from wishful thinking to a winning season.

The Eagles capped their independent, small-college schedule on the plus side of the ledger for the first time with a convincing 28-3 victory Saturday over Becker College.

Three accomplished local products were building blocks of that speedy success since the program started in 2003, and each also played an integral role in the one-sided road victory last weekend.

Husson (6-4) scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter.

Senior quarterback David Chase of Sabattus (Oak Hill High School) was responsible for two of those scores. He tossed a short touchdown pass to P.J. Dowe to make it 14-3 before capping the half with the Eagles’ third score on a 1-yard sneak.

Chase, a three-year starter, completed 16-of-27 attempts for 187 yards in his final collegiate performance.

The diverse and winding athletic road of Lisbon’s Jeremy Shorey, now 25, continues to enjoy a happy ending at Husson. Shorey, a former high draft pick and pitching farmhand with Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers, caught two passes from Chase for 40 yards to cap his sophomore campaign.

Shorey wasn’t the only Lisbon product to make two catches against Becker.

Junior Jon Tefft did his work in the defensive backfield, returning both interceptions for long yardage. He also logged a tackle.

The Eagles reached the .500 mark at 4-4 in 2005.

Ten other players with local ties suited up for Husson this season, including four graduates of Leavitt Area High School: freshman offensive lineman Mike Austin of Turner; sophomore defensive back Broc Hardacker of Leeds; sophomore fullback Anthony Witham of Greene; and freshman receiver Corey Witham of Greene.

Joining Chase as a four-year contributor to the upstart program was defensive end Mike Simpson of Auburn (Edward Little).

Rounding out the tri-county delegation are QB Jonah Chappell and DB Pat Tweedie of Fryeburg, DB Dan Burk of Winthrop (Maranacook), RB Zac Eaton of Litchfield (Oak Hill) and linebacker Cory Smith of South Paris (Oxford Hills).

Husson wasn’t the only Division III school to enjoy a six-win season in the Penobscot River valley. Maine Maritime Academy capped a 6-3 campaign Saturday with a 21-13 win over Fitchburg State. Junior defensive standout Nate Bolduc of Farmington (Mt. Blue) prevented Fitchburg from a potential game-tying touchdown by intercepting a pass at the goal line late in regulation.

Mt. Blue’s Oakley named co-captain at USM

The University of Southern Maine announced this week that Mt. Blue High School graduate Foster Oakley of Farmington will co-captain the men’s basketball team this winter.

Oakley shone as a sixth man and spot starter in 2005-06, averaging 7.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. He also ranked fourth on the team with 24 assists and 21 steals.

Junior Josh Daniels of Everett, Wash., a graduate of the Maine Central Institute prep program in Pittsfield, is the other co-captain for Southern Maine. Oakley will be the Huskies’ lone senior.

Flagg honored again

Taryn Flagg‘s record-setting first season at the University of New England garnered headlines in this space last week. The good news kept coming this week for the Livermore Falls High School grad.

Flagg was named field hockey Rookie of the Year in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. She set single-season UNE records with 12 points and 29 assists, becoming the first UNE player ever named the league’s top newcomer.

Additionally, Flagg was chosen to the all-conference second team.



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