Lewiston’s Eli Bigelow and Oxford Hills’ Eli Soehren have been selected as Fitzpatrick Trophy semifinalists.

The area players are two of the 10 semifinalists announced Monday by the award’s committee. The James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy is given to the top senior high school football player in Maine. The selection committee uses on-field performance, academics and citizenship of players to determine the semifinalists.

The winner will be announced on Jan. 15 in Portland. Three finalists will be announced after the Dec. 20 voting deadline for Maine coaches and media.

The semifinalists are, in alphabetical order:

Lewiston’s Eli Bigelow, middle, tries to avoid a tackle by Leavitt’s Dayton Calder during a September football game in Turner. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Eli Bigelow, Lewiston running back/safety: Bigelow gained more than 18 yards per carry and scored a touchdown every fourth time he carried the ball. Bigelow also plays basketball and lacrosse. He has a 3.8 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Tech Honor Society and works on community food drives.

Finn Caxton-Smith, Falmouth quarterback/running back/wide receiver/punter: Caxton-Smith took over as the Navigators quarterback in the third game of the season and finished with 964 yards rushing and 600 yards passing while completing 56% of his passes. He has a 3.6 GPA, runs track, volunteers at school events, and is a member of the Stock Market Club.


Kennedy Charles, Portland quarterback/wide receiver/defensive back: Charles became the Bulldogs’ quarterback in the fifth game of the regular season and helped them win the Class B South title. He finished the season with 1,583 yards rushing, an average of 8.8 yards per carry. He ran for 20 touchdowns, caught five touchdown passes, and threw nine TD passes. On defense, he made 53 tackles and had an interception. Charles, who has a 3.7 GPA, also plays basketball and is a soup kitchen volunteer.

Shea Farrell, Mt. Ararat running back/linebacker: Farrell ran for 1,025 yards and 32 touchdowns for the Eagles. He also returned six kicks for scores. On defense, he tallied 68 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. Farrell, who has a 3.3 GPA, also competes for Mt. Ararat’s wrestling and baseball teams, and volunteers with community activities.

Isaac Hainer, Mattanawcook quarterback/defensive back: Hainer carried the ball 267 times for 2,795 yards while scoring 39 touchdowns and 15 PATs. He also passed for 483 yards and six touchdowns. On defense, Hainer made 72 solo tackles and assisted on 40 others. He added five sacks, six forced fumbles and an interception. Hainer has a 3.95 GPA. He also plays baseball and is a state-champion wrestler.

Parker Higgins, Lawrence running back/linebacker: Higgins ran for 1,874 yards and 24 touchdowns on 199 carries. He also caught three touchdown passes, and on defense led the Bulldogs with 111 tackles. Higgins has a 4-plus GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society, is active in the community food pantry and Humane Society and works with youth sports. He also plays basketball and baseball.

Jaelen Jackson, South Portland quarterback/wide receiver: Jackson racked up 1,422 rushing yards and 1,222 passing yards — 2,644 yards of total offense — while running for 29 touchdowns and throwing for 13 more scores. On defense, he made 45 solo tackles, assisted on 56 others, and intercepted three passes. Jackson, who has a 3.3 GPA, also plays basketball, and spends time helping with youth sports.

Nick Laughlin, Cape Elizabeth wide receiver/defensive back: Laughlin caught 57 passes for 852 yards and 10 scores and ran for 17 touchdowns and 1,087 yards on 103 carries, an average of 10.6 per run. He also returned two kicks for TDs. On defense, he intercepted four passes and tallied 39 solo tackles and 47 assisted tackles. He has a 3.7 GPA and also plays lacrosse. He spends time as a volunteer for the youth football and lacrosse programs.


Dom Napolitano, Cony quarterback/safety: Napolitano racked up 2,000 all-purpose yards while throwing 11 touchdown passes and running for 13 scores. He also had three interceptions, scored two defensive TDs and made 49 tackles. Napolitano also plays basketball. He has a 3.8 GPA and is active in Key Club and volunteers with youth football and basketball.

Eli Soehren, Oxford Hills quarterback/safety/kicker/punter: Soehren led the Vikings to the program’s first Class A state championship this season. Despite missing a couple of games, he amassed 2,125 all-purpose yards while throwing for 24 touchdowns and running for six. He made 24 of 26 PATs. On defense, he made two interceptions and had 18 tackles. He has already been named the Class A State Player of the Year (for the second straight season) and the MaxPreps Maine High School Football Player of the Year. He also plays basketball, baseball and golf. Soehren has a 4.0 GPA, serves as a mentor and volunteers with Oxford Hills’ Unified basketball program.

Oxford Hills quarterback Eli Soehren rushes during a Sept. 10 game at Thornton Academy. Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald

Cape Elizabeth’s Caden McDuffie won last year’s Fitzpatrick Trophy. The last area player to win the award was Leavitt’s Jordan Hersom in 2011.

Lewiston has had three Fitzpatrick winners: Jared Turcotte (2006)Brian Seguin (1987) and Gerry Raymond (1977). Oxford Hills has one previous winner, Jeremy Tardiff, who earned the 1994 award.

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