2017-01-11 / Sports

Trojans look to take home hardware

By ALEX SPONSELLER

SACO — After an impressive 7-1 season that resulted in yet another playoff berth, two Thornton Academy football players are up for awards in the coming weeks.

Quarterback Michael Laverriere was recently named a finalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy while lineman Nick Bartholomew was named a semifinalist for the Frank Gaziano Award. The Fitzpatrick Trophy is presented to Maine’s top senior player, and the Gaziano Award is awarded to the state’s top lineman.

The Fitzpatrick Award ceremony will take place this weekend, and Laverriere and TA coach Kevin Kezal look forward to seeing the results.

“I think it’s a great culmination of a wonderful career for Michael. He played a lot for Thornton Academy over the years and it’s an honor to be there. It’s out of control now and we’ll see what happens,” said Kezal.

Laverriere cemented his place among the elite quarterbacks in the state, and also proved to be perhaps the state’s best two-way player. 

Laverriere was also named to the Southwestern Maine Activities Association’s first team, and was also named the Journal Tribune’s Most Valuable Player.

Kezal believes that Laverriere’s strong numbers and reputation are plenty of reason to award the senior captain.

“When you look at his career, he has phenomenal career numbers. Every team was gearing up to stop him, he’s a two-time state champion. I think any way you cut it Michael has phenomenal numbers,” said Kezal.

Bartholomew also emerged as one of the state’s strongest lineman last fall, and also demonstrated a strong work ethic in the competitive TA program.

“Nick is a phenomenal leader, he made himself into a really good football player. When he came in as a freshman he didn’t have much speed and we wondered if he would be able to play, but thanks to his hard work he ended up starting for us his sophomore year,” said Kezal. “He’s an all-conference player and another kid with two state titles.”

Not only did Bartholomew provide solid protection up front, he also was quite effective as the team’s long snapper.

“He’s also one of the best long snappers that I’ve ever had in the program, he worked extremely hard at it in camp so that’s another piece that he brought to the table for us,” said Kezal.

As the Trojans look to bring home some hardware in the coming weeks, Kezal believes that personal success stems from strong team play.

“I think it’s part of being a part of good football teams and the kids realize that. If you don’t win a lot of games and the big games at the end of the year then you won’t have the opportunity to win those awards,” said Kezal. “It’s nothing that we really talk about, of course we are happy and proud when they come our way”

 Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at asponseller@journaltribune.com or at 282-1535 ext. 323. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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