AUBURN — Family was the word of the day at the 2014 Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Lost Valley Sunday afternoon.

The five inductees — Kelly Bennett Brown, Ann-Marie Caron, Dan Maloney, and brother and sister Verne Paradie Jr. and Tammy Paradie Thibeault — all spoke about how family played a part in their athletic achievements.

Brown made her mark in cross country and track and field at Lewiston High School and the University of Southern Maine. She finished ninth at the 1980 Class A cross country meet and was a SMAA hurdles champion as junior. At Southern Maine she won the ECAC Division III championship and finished 70th at the NCAA’s in 1986 in cross country.

She was  an outstanding basketball player with the Blue Devils, as well, being named an SMAA Conference All-Star.

She hopes to follow in her father’s footsteps and continue to run through her 60s and 70s.

“He beat me one time when he was 69, and I hope to be running as much as he did then,” Kelly Bennett Brown said. “He always told people this particular race he had beaten his daughter, but he didn’t mention that I was seven months pregnant.”

Brown continues to run with her brother, husband, and hopes to run a marathon with her youngest daughter in the future.

Caron was an all around athlete both at the high school and college levels. At Lewiston High School she played field hockey and softball. She played hockey in the winter with the L-A Girls travel hockey team, which she backstopped to the Downeast Girls Ice Hockey Championship in 1978. She won the Golden Glove award and was named the most outstanding player in softball.

She took her talents down the street to Bates College, where she lettered 12 times in field hockey, indoor track and softball. As a freshman she recorded nine shutouts as a goalie in field hockey. Caron finished her softball career with a .330 batting average.

Her memories growing up was her backyard turning into Fenway Park. She played baseball, football and hockey there with her brothers and kids in neighborhood.

“My brothers were also great facilitators as well for me,” Ann-Marie Caron said. “They were multi-sport athletes and they were coaches as well. Growing up with two older brothers who were very athletic, it only seemed logical to keep the family sports tradition alive.”

Caron also added that her parents were also athletic in various sports.     

Maloney played multiple positions with the Edward Little football team. He was named  to both the Maine Sunday Telegram and Mr. Downtown All-State teams in both 1979 and 1980. He continued onto the University of Maine, where he played on the offensive line and was a four year letter winner. He was a member of the 1982 Yankee Conference Championship team. In 1984 he was a member of the All-Yankee Conference and to the AP All-New England team as well as the recipient of the Sam Sezak Award as Maine’s Outstanding Offensive Lineman.

Going to EL games as a youngster with his father fueled his dream.

“Starting when I was around the age of six, my dad and I never missed an Edward Little football game at Walton Field,” Maloney said. “The crowd, the band, all those great teams, I was hooked. All I wanted to be was an Edward Little football player. It was a realization of a childhood dream and it was an honor and privilege to play for the legendary (Lawrence) Doc Hersom.”

Maloney also spoke about his business family along with his teammates.

Paradie and Thibeault spoke about their father, Verne Sr., who passed away in November and nominated both of them for the Hall of Fame.

“My mom and dad were very supportive of us, they carted us around places where we needed to be,” Paradie said. ” My dad would have been exceptionally proud to be here today to see my sister and I inducted into the hall of fame.”

Verne was a star baseball player where he won titles both at the state and regional level with Auburn’s Little League program. He also was a member of the 1990 State Legion title with New Auburn. At EL he was apart of the state championship baseball team as a junior. As a junior and senior he was a SMAA first team member and was Maine’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior.

In football he was a SMAA first team wide receiver and was selected to the first Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl.

Collegiately he made his mark at Southern Maine. As a sophomore at USM he was a member of the national championship team. He also won Wise-Scholar Award both his junior and senior years.   

Thibeault was first person – male or female – to score 1,000 points in EL’s basketball history. She was named to the Sunday Telegram All-State team both in her junior and senior seasons. She went on to play at Westbrook College, now a campus of University of New England, where she was the fourth fastest women in Maine college basketball to score 1,000 points.

As a freshman she was the Mayflower Conference player of the year and led Westbrook College to the NAIA National Tournament in Oregon. She then played a year at the University of Maine at Farmington and one semester at Central Maine Community College.

Her father was her biggest fan, Thibeault said.

 “I have to be honest, there were times, and my stepmom can vouch for this, I wish he wasn’t there,”  Tammy Paradie Thibeault said of her father attending game. “He would be the one voice in gymnasium that I can hear over everyone else, but he could be my biggest critic. But without his words of encouragement and critique, I wouldn’t be here today to accept this award. I want to thank my dad for everything he taught me and I dedicate today to him.” 

The ceremony also recognized many high school and college players. Chamber President’s Awards for high school athletes went to Mohamed Awil, Reily Bolduc, Kyle Lemelin, and Abdibaari Hersi of Lewiston. Sean Ford, Sheldon Bang and Taylor Landry were EL’s recipients, while Marley Byrne was St. Dominic Academy lone recipient.

The collegiate Chamber President’s Awards went to Mark Anthoine (Lewiston) a four year standout on the University of Maine hockey team; Alex Wong (Lewiston) who played four years of baseball at the Wentworth Institute of Technology; Kailey Bubier (Auburn) who played both field and ice hockey at the University of Southern Maine; and Bowdoin College athletes Katherine Harmon (Auburn), who is on the track team, and Chantelle Lavertu (Lewiston), who played tennis for Bowdoin.

Two Bates College were honored: Andrew Kukesh (Exeter, N.H.) who played football Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) who was a star basketball player with the Bobcats.

Three coaches were presented with the Chamber President’s Award. Kevin Cullen led St. Dom’s golf team to the 2013 Class C Championship. Lynnette Morency guided Lewiston to the New England Championship in cheering. T.J. Niles directed Lewiston to the boys’ Class A state championship in cross country.

The 1974 Edward Little State Championship ski team also was honored with a “Flahsback to Fame” award on its 40th anniversary. The Pioneer Award went to Abel Lizotte, who was born in Lewiston whoappeared seven games with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1896. Robert Pacios was awarded the Earl B. Austin Jr. award for his service to the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame and to local sports.


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