AUBURN — While it will be wonderful recognition for both Verne Paradie Jr.  and his sister Tammy Paradie Thibeault, it will ultimately be an honor to their father.

Verne Paradie Sr. passed away last November. He had submitted the nominations for his son and daughter to be considered for the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame. So when brother and sister are inducted later this month, it will be a lasting moment in their father’s legacy.

“It would have been nice to have him here, but it’s a good tribute for him,” Verne Paradie Jr. said. “I think it’s fair to say that we were the athletes that we were because of him.”

Paradie and Thibeault are among five new inductees being recognized at the 31st Annual Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday, April 27 at Lost Valley. They will be joined by Kelly Bennett Brown, Ann-Marie Caron and Dan Maloney. All five were announced Friday at the A-L Sports Hall of Fame luncheon at Gippers Sports Grill, home of the hall of fame.

Paradie graduated from Edward Little in 1990. He was a standout baseball, basketball and football player. He played in the first Lobster Bowl and was an All-State pick in 1989. He was the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year and SMAA batting champion. He won state titles with the EL baseball team in 1988 and the 1990 American Legion team.

Back in February, Paradie learned of the honor before his sister did.


“I was sworn to secrecy,” he said.

Thibeault had been unable to return a call from Jack Kivus.When he left a message for her suggesting it was about the Hall of Fame, she started to have a hunch what he was calling about.

“At that point, I figured it out, but I didn’t know he was being inducted too,” she said.

Thibeault was a standout basketball player at EL and graduated in 1993. She was the first in the program to reach 1,000 points and was the leading rebounder and second in scoring in the SMAA in 1993. While attending Westbrook College, now the University of New England,  she was the Conference Player of the year as a freshman. In 1995, she led Westbrook to the 15th seed in the NAIA National Tournament and became the fastest woman in Maine college history to reach 1,000 points.

“I thought that it was going to be awesome,” Thibeault said of her first reaction to the news that she’d be joining her brother. “Not only is it a great honor, but to have my brother there with me, is special. And it was very emotional because of my dad.”

Brown didn’t even know she had been nominated. So it was quite the news when she learned she was being inducted.


“It was a great surprise,” said Brown, who is running in her third Boston Marathon Monday. “I’ve been getting ready for Boston on Monday. So that got me in a great mood and got me excited.”

Brown graduated from Lewiston in 1982. She was involved in basketball, track and cross country. She went on to run track at University of Southern Maine. She won the state and ECAC Division III 5K and qualified for the NCAA Nationals. She also won the USM Invitational, the Can-Am Invitational and the UMaine Invitational in record times. She was elected to the USM Hall of Fame in 1993.

“I didn’t hear anything about being nominated,” said Brown, who has also been running the Beach-to-Beacon since 1998. “So I was honored. I was at Lewiston for two years only. So I didn’t even know I could qualify.”

Maloney graduated from EL in 1981. He played football and basketball and ran track. He was a Mr. Downtown All-State Football selection in 1979 and 1980. He lettered at UMaine in football all four years and was a member of the Yankee Conference championship team in 1982. He was an All-Conference pick in 1984 and was honorable mention to the Associated Press All-New England team.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” Maloney said. “I’m honored, humbled and overwhelmed. There’s so many great athletes that have come through here and so many that are in the Hall of Fame. It’s probably going to be on the the greatest things that will ever happen to me. It’s something that I’ll always remember.”

Caron graduated from Lewiston in 1978 and excelled in softball and field hockey. She went on to play at Bates, where she also ran track. She earned four-year varsity awards at Bates and set several field hockey records. In 1981, she set a new indoor shot put record. She later went into coaching and worked with the Bates field hockey and softball programs. She also coached at Kents Hills, where she was the field hockey coach and assistant boys’ hockey coach.


“It’s a great honor,” Caron said. “It’s bizarre to be recognized for something I just enjoy doing. It’s almost a surreal type of thing to be recognized in the same realm with all the other athletes recognized in this hall.”

Caron is still active in competition today and learned of her induction after returning from an event. She was aware that she had been nominated but had not heard anything and thought nothing more about it.

“I had just come back from a Cross Fit competition,” Caron said. “I had a really great competition. I got back and there was a message on my machine saying that I was being inducted. It was kind of a good day that day.”

Also being recognized at the banquet will be recipients of the Chamber of Commerce President’s Award. High School coaches Kevin Cullen, Lynnette Morency and T. J. Niles will be honored as will high school seniors Mohamed Awil, Sheldon Bang, Reilly Bolduc, Marley Byrne, Sean Ford, Abdibaari Hersi, Taylor Landry and Kyle Lemilin. College seniors to be honored include Mark Anthoine Jr., Kailey Bubier, Katherine Harmon, Meredith Kelly, Andrew Kukesh, Chantalle Lavertu and Alex Wong.

Other awards to be presented will be the Pioneer Award to Abel Lizotte, the Earl B. Austin Award to Robert Pacios and the 1974 championship EL boy’s skiing team will be recognized with the Flashback to Fame Award.

Reservations are available for the banquet at the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce.

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