AUBURN — Julie Johnson didn’t think of herself as a hall of famer.

Those feelings were magnified for the former Lewiston High School and Clemson University soccer standout when she recalled a late mentor who preceded her in the Twin Cities’ shrine of athletic excellence: Mike Berticelli, who built the men’s program at Notre Dame.

“That’s the person I think of when I think of the Hall of Fame, so I certainly was honored and not expecting to be in it because I think of him as what he is, such an accomplished person,” Johnson said. “Mike Berticelli for me is the person that I know that was an idol and a mentor to me. To have that in common with him, that makes it such an honor.”

Johnson is one of four star athletes and coaches of the past, all with connections to Lewiston High School, who will be inducted this year into the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame. The class was announced Friday at Gipper’s Sports Grill.

Longtime LHS and Bates football coach Edwin “Skip” Capone, LHS and Bowdoin football lineman and kicker John Delahanty, and the late Ronald “Pep” Gagne, a 1950s basketball great, will be received at the 33rd annual ceremony at Ramada Inn on Sunday, April 24.

“Growing up in Lewiston, I’ve known a lot of people who have been inducted, either because my father or mother talked about it, or reputation, or playing with some of them or watching others,” Delahanty said. “It was a long time ago when I played at Lewiston and Bowdoin, but it’s a special honor.”


Johnson was an athlete for all seasons at Lewiston, achieving all-state status in soccer and all-region recognition in softball. After graduating in 1994, she started all four years on the pitch at Clemson. The Tigers traveled to the NCAA tournament each season, capped by an Elite Eight appearance in Johnson’s senior campaign of 1998.

She completed her graduate study at North Carolina and never fully retired from the game, catching on as a member of Team USA in international sand soccer tournaments in 2013 and 2015. Johnson teaches and coaches at Thornton Academy in Saco.

“I was honored. I wasn’t expecting it,” Johnson said. “I remember going to the banquet (as a President’s Award winner) when I was in high school. I kind of forgot there was a bigger honor.”

Delahanty was part of Lewiston’s football championship dynasty in the 1960s as a member of three state title teams. At the time of his graduation, nobody in Maine had ever kicked more extra points in a career.

His success with the straight-on, square-toed style carried on to Bowdoin, where he set single-game, single-season and career records for both extra points and field goals. All that, often while breathless from having made a key block on the previous play.

“I played under some great coaches. I was a lineman who got some notoriety by being a kicker, but if we didn’t score touchdowns, I didn’t kick,” Delahanty, who later graduated from law school at Boston College, said. “I had to depend upon a lot of people.”


Capone, a native of Portsmouth, N.H., graduated from Plymouth State and bounced around as an assistant coach at several schools before accepting his first head coaching post at Lewiston in 1983.

He anticipated that it would be another whistle stop for his young family. Instead, he coached at Lewiston for 14 years and is entering his 20th season as an assistant at Bates. The Devils reached two state finals under Capone’s guidance, falling to Cheverus in 1985 before winning the 1987 final over Mt. Blue.

“It’s very humbling to be recognized by basically an adopted community, because I didn’t grow up in Lewiston-Auburn. My history starts in 1983. When you think about it, that’s a relatively short time,” Capone said. “As you have kids and get ingrained in the community, it becomes more difficult to leave, and you know, you roll a seven every once in a while.”

Gagne started all four years on the hardwood for Lewiston, completing his career with 1,207 points. He also was all-state in football and played catcher and shortstop for an undefeated baseball team in 1957.

“He and I were 15 years difference. My memories are hanging out with him and reading his scrapbooks. He had a scrapbook this thick,” Gagne’s nephew, Norm, said. “The thing they told me when I first presented him (for induction) was that he hadn’t done anything in college, but boy, he was great in high school.”

After briefly attending the University of Maine, Gagne served in the United States Army. Norm Gagne said his uncle’s nickname was a Franco-American term of endearment that honored the leisurely pace at which he performed most tasks.


“He was a ‘Last-Minute Joe.’ And when you’re French and old and slow like I am now, I’m a ‘pepe,’ you’re called pepe even in your teens,” Gagne said. “So they cut it short to Pep.”

Coaches from the staggering eight state championship teams at Lewiston, EL and St. Dom’s in the past calendar year will be honored with President’s Awards, along with four college athletes and nine high school competitors.

The list includes: Lysa Laverdiere (LHS cheering), Mike McGraw (LHS boys’ soccer), Paul Soracco (LHS boys’ outdoor track), Jamie Belleau (LHS boys’ hockey), Bob Blackman (SDA baseball), Paul Gosselin (SDA girls’ hockey), Dan Pontbriand (EL girls’ indoor track), Jodd Bowles (EL boys’ alpine skiing), Ahmed Abdel Khalek (Bates squash), Jack Allard and Hannah Jeffrey (Bates lacrosse), Joe Sullivan (LHS grad, University of Maine at Farmington baseball), Matt Charest (LHS swimming), Brendon Croteau (LHS hockey), Sarah Hammond (EL soccer), Emily Jacques (EL basketball), Adela Kalilwa (LHS track), Brooke Lever (EL skiing), Austin Roy (SDA hockey), Abdi Shariff-Hassan (Lewiston soccer) and Ben Steele (EL hockey).

Tickets for the banquet are available at the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce office, 415 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, or by calling 783-2249.

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