A variety of thoughts and emotions have rushed through Stefan Porter’s mind this week.

The Lewiston High School graduate has been thinking about football, some of his firsts and some of his lasts. His participation this week as a member of the East Squad in advance of Saturday’s Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl has provided Porter a crossroad of sorts. He’s putting the finishing touches on his high school career in anticipation of the next step of his football life soon to follow.

“I remember when I started when I was 11 years old and playing FLY football,” Porter recalls. “I started off as a tight end and on the line and now I’m a defensive back.”

He’s a pretty good defensive back, too. He could be a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball, but some of his biggest highlights for the Blue Devils were his numerous picks. That’s something he hopes to make happen Saturday when his East team plays for bragging rights at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford.

“I’m definitely thinking about a pick six,” Porter said. “That would be my dream. I’m hoping to not leave the field without at least one pick. I’m determined.”

It’s been an exciting week of preparation for Porter, who has spent the last two athletic seasons running track for Lewiston. After his senior football season ended last fall, he was a standout for the Blue Devils indoor track team as well as the outdoor squad.

He won the triple jump and finished ninth in the long jump at the indoor state championships in February. Last month, he was second in the triple and fifth in the long jump at the state outdoor track championships. Still, football was always in his mind.

“I love football,” Porter said. “I definitely want to play at the next level. I’ve been excited to play in this Bowl. It’s cool to know that I can be called one of the best in the state.”

Porter was so determined and excited about making the Lobster Bowl roster that he badgered coach Bruce Nicholas last fall about whether he’d been chosen. When Porter learned he made the team, he spent the track season in great anticipation for this opportunity.

“It kind of benefited me,” Porter said. “I kept running and I kept up with my exercises. So I’m in pretty good shape. We don’t do a lot of running here. It’s more about learning plays and footwork and stuff like that. They told us to be in shape on our own.”

Porter not only worked on his conditioning in anticipation of this summer but also tried to bolster his football knowledge and skills. He went to the Boston College Football Camp last month. He already feels great improvement compared to the football player he was last fall.

“I feel a lot better,” Porter said. “I learned a lot just from the football camps. The coaches here are amazing and they teach you stuff every day. It’s little stuff that helps make what I already know better. They’ve done a lot to help me out with that.”

Porter’s football dreams don’t end this week. After the game Saturday, he’s got an event in Boston with Bridgton Academy. He’ll get a schedule and instructions for the upcoming season. He moves into school in late August and begins football season at the same time. His hope is to ultimately land a spot at the University of Maine.

He’s excited about being challenged this week as the next stage of his life looms. He’s surround by some of the top talent in the state and that kind of competition is only making him a better player.

“This team compared to my hometown team or everyone’s hometown team is so much better,” Porter said. “Everyone kind of pushes you to be better. Everyone’s always trying to pick everyone else up.”

He says its been an amazing experience so far. There’s plenty of competition but great camaraderie as well. Coming in, he knew only a few of the other players and played against many more.

“We made friends pretty quick,” Porter said. “Right from the first day, everyone kind of felt like family, like a football team should feel.”

So even though Porter is excited about his future opportunities after high school, he’s reveling this one last chance to live the high school life and play one last time.

“This game right here, I did have my last high school game, but with high school kids at the high school level, this will be my last game,” Porter said. “I’ve kind of been thinking about that. It’s crazy.”

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