Leavitt senior Jordan Hersom was recently named recipient of the 41st Fitzpatrick Trophy, given annually to the state’s top high school football player. The other finalists were Louis DiTomasso of Wells and Spencer Cooke of Cheverus.
Hersom played quarterback and defense for the Hornets, leading them to three straight Class B state championship appearances, winning in 2009. The Hornets were 42-4 over four seasons with Hersom in the lineup.
This year, he passed for 1,630 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 10 scores, averaging 8.7 yards a carry. On defense, he recorded 56 tackles and two interceptions. In the classroom he carries a 96 average which is also a factor in selecting the Fitzy winner.
He recently answered questions about his career and his future:
Q: When did you begin playing football and who were your early influences?
A: "I've been surrounded by football my whole life. The minute I was born my parents had me in a cradle holding a football, and the first time I walked was on a football field. I started playing flag football in kindergarten, and started playing tackle football in third grade. My biggest influence on me was my father who has been coaching high school football for over thirty years and also played throughout high school and college."
Q: What do you enjoy about the sport?
A: "I enjoy being around my teammates and forming bonds with them that will last a lifetime. In a team sport, it's amazing how much a group can accomplish if nobody cares who gets the credit. This is what the Leavitt football team was all about. I enjoy the team aspect, it takes eleven players to win a game, not one."
Q: When did you first play quarterback and why?
A: "In third grade I remember my first time playing quarterback. Part of the reason I was put at this position was because the fourth grade starter was hurt, and my coach thought I could do a good job running the QB boot play we had around the end because I was pretty fast. I've been a quarterback ever since."
Q: What has contributed to the success of football at Leavitt?
A: "The whole community has played a part in the success Leavitt football has had. Starting with the parents of the players, all the way through to the teachers at the school. So many people do work behind the scenes for the program to succeed. Having coaches who care about the players and the game of football, along with the players having a desire to get better everyday has all contributed to the success the team has had."
Q: What does winning the Fitzpatrick Trophy mean to you?
A: "Winning this award to me, is a way of saying thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life. I couldn't have received any of this recognition without the help, and support from many people. This trophy is something the community deserves for all of the dedication, and loyalty the people in Turner, Greene, and Leeds have shown to the game of football."
Q: Your cousin Jack won the award a few years ago. Did this help inspire you?
A: "I remember being a part of Jack's experience at the banquet in January of 2008. Jack has served as a role model to me, and still does, not just for the athlete he is, but for the type of person he is. I honestly never would have thought that I would be in the same position he was in. I just wanted to be the best teammate, leader, and player I could be by working hard everyday and looking up to people like my cousin Jack as a role model."
Q: Have you narrowed you choices of colleges? What is your criteria?
A: "Springfield College, and the University of Maine are two of my top choices. They are very different schools in a size and athletic wise.
Springfield would provide good private education for me, along with the possibility of being a two-sport athlete. At UMaine I would be able to
challenge myself in the classroom and at a high level of football. Academics comes first, and I want to be somewhere where I fit in, and have a sense of belonging."
Q: You play offense and defense. How would describe the mentality on playing on different sides of the ball?
A: "Football is a contact sport, and on both sides of the ball, I try to be aggressive and physical because that is how the game is supposed to be played. Offensively, as a quarterback I try to be the leader on the field, always staying positive and being confident. As a defensive
player, I turn on a mean streak. To play defense you must be tough and not afraid to hit somebody."
Q: What position would you prefer to play in college?
A: "I'm all about the team. Wherever a coach tells me to play is where I will be happy to play. I just want to be out on the field. So the position doesn't really matter to me because it's not about me, it's about the team."
Q: What other sports do you play?
A: "I play basketball in the winter and participate in outdoor track and field during the spring."
Q: What influence have athletics had on your life?
A: "Sports have taught me a lot of life lessons. In life, not everything goes your way, and I've been able to deal with the joys and disappointments of playing high school sports. I play for the love of the game, not for winning and losing."
Q: How do you maintain the balance between athletics and academics?
A: "Academics always comes first and by being busy I think it helps me. This way I always have a structured time to do homework whether it is before or after practice. At this point I've realized that sports and school are important and they are what I want to succeed in."
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not playing sports?
A: "Spending time with my family and friends is what I like to do outside of sports. I have a great family that loves and supports me, and my friends are always there for me as well."
FORMER BANGOR HIGH STAR DIES
Leroy Patterson, one of the top athletes in Bangor High School history, died of cancer last week at the age of 67 at his home in Winterport.
Patterson starred in baseball, basketball and football for the Rams, gaining All-Maine honors in basketball and a Division I scholarship to the University of Cincinnati in football.
A 6-foot-2, 190 pound forward, Patterson was named first team All-State his senior year and led the Rams to the 1962 Eastern Maine basketball championship. He finished his career with over 1,000 points. At Cincinnati, he was named most valuable player on the freshman football team. Patterson went on to work 33 years for the University of Maine police department.
Boys' Basketball Top 10
1. Deering (12-1) Rams defeat Westbook, Windham; Next up tough test against Portland.
2. Hampden (12-1) Broncos knock off Bangor for a second time this season. Big test Friday at Mt. Blue.
3. Bonny Eagle (11-2) Scots have won seven straight since losing to Deering.
4. Cheverus (10-3) Defending Western Maine champs already with three losses, first time in last few years.
5. Mt. Blue (10-3) Return of point guard Eric Berry has bolstered lineup. Big test at home Friday against Hampden.
6. Falmouth (13-0) Yachtsmen squeak past Greely then knock off Cape Elizabeth, Wells.
7. MDI (13-0) Trojans remain unbeaten after surviving test at Presque Isle; Old Town up next.
8. Medomak Valley (11-2) Panthers avenge loss to Camden Hills this week on the road.
9. Gardiner (12-1) Tigers rolling after impressive victories against Leavitt, Camden Hills and Nokomis.
10. Bangor (10-3) Defending state champs lose close one to Hampden for second time this season.
Girls' basketball Top 10
1. McAuley (12-0) Defending class A state champions hand Scarborough first loss last week.
2. Cony (13-0) Rams continue to roll by knocking off tough Edward Little team on road.
3. Scarborough (12-1) Red Storm takes out frustrating loss to McAuley on Kennebunk.
4. Nokomis (12-0) Warriors beat Leavitt on road, 61-60, in rematch of
last year’s Class B state title game.
5. Presque Isle (13-0) High scoring Wildcats have yet to be tested.
6. Edward Little (10-3) Red Eddies played tough in both losses to unbeaten Cony.
7. Lake Region (13-0) Tough wins against Falmouth, Freeport have Lakers rolling.
8. Leavitt (11-2) Hornets always a threat with Kristen Anderson in the lineup.
9. Marshwood (10-3) Recent wins against Noble, South Portland; Next up Biddeford.
10. Gardiner (11-2), Tigers solid with only losses to Leavitt, Nokomis.
Hockey Top 10
1. Thornton (8-1-1) Defending Class A state champs coming off tie against Falmouth but still the team to beat.
2. Bangor (8-1-0) Rams coming on strong with recent road wins against Biddeford and Falmouth.
3. Brewer (9-1-0) Defending Class B state champs on a roll since early-season loss to Bangor.
4. Falmouth (5-3-1) Tie against Thornton has Yachtsmen back on track.
5. Lewiston (7-3-0) Traditionally strong Blue Devils can never be counted out.
6. Scarborough (9-1-1) Red Storm coming off recent shutout of Portland.
7. St. Dom’s (6-2-0) Saints post shutout against York; Greely up next.
8. Messalonskee (8-1-0) Loss to Brewer only blemish on Eagles’ schedule so far.
9. Biddeford (3-5-1) Record deceiving as the Tigers have played everyone tough. Lewiston up next.
10. Greely (6-2-1) Class B Rangers lost 5-4 in OT to Lewiston this week; St. Dom’s up next.