Gordon Beckwith of Lewiston, a running back and linebacker at Kents Hill for the last two years, is headed to the University of Maine to continue his football career. Submitted photo

It’s been a quiet first week in Orono for Gordon Beckwith.

The Kents Hill School graduate from Lewiston is working out, attending freshman orientation and his lone summer class, and getting to know his new teammates on the University of Maine football team. He’s also had time to reflect with family on how far he has come from the playgrounds of Lewiston.

“The other day, I was talking with my dad (Gordon) and it was just like ‘It’s crazy how you went from peewee football starting out and now you’re playing for the University of Maine,'” he said. “It’s pretty cool just thinking about it like that.”

Beckwith acknowledges he still has some work to do to get on the field. He hopes to add about 20 pounds to his 6-foot, 195-pound frame and prepare himself physically and mentally for his first college training camp.

Beckwith is a preferred walk-on, which means he has a spot on the roster when training camp begins in August. The team’s web site currently lists him as a linebacker with jersey number 49. Part Mi’kmaq, he is attending the school on the University of Maine system’s tuition waiver and room and board grant program, not on athletic scholarship.

Beckwith spent three years at Lewiston High School before transferring to Kents Hill. He repeated his junior year at the Readfield private school and became one of its best players as a running back/outside linebacker. Splitting time in the backfield with O’Shea HoSang, who has signed to play football at the University of Calgary in Canada, he rushed for 1,900 yards in 12 games over two seasons.

He ended his career at Kents Hill with four touchdowns and nearly 300 yards rushing in a win over rival Hebron Academy. Following last season, Beckwith was named All-Evergreen League and the Bonnefond Division’s co-player of the year.

Beckwith said the two-year stint at Kents Hill was vital to preparing him for the next level.

“The style of play was a lot faster and more competitive,” he said. “We had a lot of Division I athletes on different teams. I had another year there to mature mentally and physically.”

“The schooling part of it, with it being a college preparatory school, it really got me ready to come up here and live on my own,” said Beckwith, who will major in finance at Maine.

After considering other schools such as Stonehill College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Beckwith chose Maine in the spring. He said the school had been showing interest in him since his junior year at Lewiston and was his preferred destination all along, even after head coach Joe Harasymiak stepped down to become to become an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota. Offensive coordinator Nick Charlton was promoted to replace Harasymiak.

“The thing for me is it’s an opportunity to represent my home state. That’s always been a big deal for me,” he said. “Also, their coaching staff is young and very energetic. It’s a great environment.”

“The culture here has stayed the same,” he said.

Beckwith, who also played baseball and basketball at Kents Hill, doesn’t have to look far for help in immersing himself into that culture. He grew up in Lewiston with redshirt freshman quarterback Grant Hartley, who entered the program last fall as a preferred walk-on, and the pair remained friends while squaring off in the Battle of the Bridge after Hartley moved to Auburn and enrolled at rival Edward Little.

“I grew up with him, so we’re really good friends,” Beckwith said. “He’s helping me out with learning the offense and all of that stuff. It’s pretty good to have someone like that up here.”

Gordon Beckwith of Lewiston, a running back and linebacker at Kents Hill for the last two years, is headed to the University of Maine to continue his football career. Submitted photo

Gordon Beckwith of Lewiston, a running back and linebacker at Kents Hill for the last two years, is headed to the University of Maine to continue his football career. Submitted photo

 


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