Instead of students, high school hallways were filled this past week with boxes and crates as teachers and administrators packed up for the summer.

At a few schools around the state, some of the items stowed away included trophies and other memorabilia that had to be pulled from a display case to make room for shinier hardware won in recent weeks in baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis or track and field.

The students who won those trophies this spring might return to their school in 20, 30 or 40 years to find their accomplishments not so prominently displayed, perhaps even collecting dust in some storage closet. In some cases, they might even be completely forgotten.

Jack Karkos was living in Rhode Island when he paid a visit to his alma mater, Lisbon High School, a few years ago. In 1955 and 1956, his freshman and sophomore years there, the Greyhounds won 24 straight games and back-to-back state football titles, with Karkos at quarterback as a sophomore.

Looking up at the banners that line tiny Manchester Gymnasium, Karkos noticed those two years missing from the football banner.

“I called (Lisbon co-curricular director Jeff Ramich) and said, ‘Gee, we’re not dead yet,'” Karkos joked.

Karkos sent Ramich some old newspaper clips, and Ramich checked some old yearbooks to confirm Lisbon’s mid-`50s football dominance. He moved back home in 2000, right across the street from the high school, and has been one of the Greyhounds biggest fans as they won the last two Class C titles.

“I met Jeff this year at homecoming, and he said, ‘I got that banner straightened away.’ Then he invited me to the reception they had for the team after they won (last November). I went over and looked up at the banner and there it was – 1955 and 1956,” he said.

The best way for Lisbon alums to jog their memory about past glories is to scan the banners hanging the gym. That’s because the school only has room for a couple of small display cases outside the gym in which to show off all of the hardware it has collected over the years.

And while some of the school’s more successful programs such as football and cross country have won enough trinkets in recent years to fill the cases by themselves, Ramich said it’s important to have every sport represented in some way.

“You still want to have something in there from hockey, something from cheering… so the kids can see that they’re not being overlooked,” he said.

Other student activities aren’t overlooked, either. About one quarter of the Lisbon display case is student art work.

Compared to Lisbon, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School could be a museum. Trophy and display cases are scattered throughout the sprawling complex, and the school takes advantage of the space.

“What’s unique is not only can we showcase all of our athletes, we can showcase all of our kids,” athletic director Jeff Benson said.

Athletic hardware is displayed near the gym, but so is a green-and-blue hood ornament made by a student in 2004. On the second floor, one can view a display from the rocketry program next to some track and cheering memorabilia. A whip and spoon from the culinary arts program sits near a hammer from the building trades program and a hand-crafted miniature toy skidder awarded to the Woodsman of the Year in the forestry program.

“That skidder is worth up to $300, and we cut it in half,” forestry teacher Brian Bean said with a chuckle. “We still have the other half.”

Mountain Valley High School used to be split in half – Rumford and Mexico high schools. When they merged in 1989, both schools already had numerous trophies to put to display.

But most of those have been crowded out by the 11 state championships, not to mention numerous other conference and regional titles, the Falcons have won in less than two decades of existence.

“When we got to that point where we had to start moving some trophies, we used (the merger) as a cutoff point for a lot of them,” athletic director John Bernard said. “We took a lot of those trophies that were pre-merger and loaned them out either to the Rumford Historical Society and the Mexico Historical Society, and they are displaying them there. Other than that, we dust them off and squeeze them in and do the best we can.”

Hebron Academy has had to do a lot of squeezing in after winning eight MAISAD championships this school year. The trophy cases inside Sargent Gymnasium are already overflowing with awards, trophies, plaques and cups dating back to early in the 20th century.

The private school’s most unique possessions, though, are those it picked up by beating rivals Tilton and Kents Hill in football last fall.

“We play for an old leather helmet against Tilton. Half of it is painted in Hebron colors and the other half is painted Tilton colors, and the winning team gets to keep the helmet for the year,” Hebron athletic director Leslie Guenther. “We also have a long-standing rivalry with Kents Hill where every year we play for a chair that goes into the headmaster’s office of the winning team and an old 50-yard yardage marker. There’s always a little ceremony after the game to award the chair and yardage marker to the winning team. The bottom of the chair is painted with all of the winning dates.”


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