AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The 39th class for the Maine Sports Hall of Fame had a little bit of everything: high school & collegiate standouts, championship winning coaches, Olympians, and even a U.S. Senate majority leader.
The honorable George J. Mitchell headlined the nine-member class enshrined at the Augusta Civic Center. The Maine Senator from 1980-95 was a central figure in two of the most-high profile sports stories over the past decade. He was selected as the lead investigator regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball 2006 and in 2012, Mitchell served as an independent third party athletics integrity monitor for Penn State in the wake of a sex abuse scandal involving former coach Jerry Sandusky.
The one-time basketball standout at Waterville and Bowdoin College used the motivation of sports for his distinguished political career.
"I had three older brothers. Two were very famous athletes and I was not, so when I was just a kid, I became known around Waterville as Johnny Mitchell's kid brother, the one who isn't any good. So, that inspired me to do something that would enable me to equal or surpass my brothers fame and that's how I got into politics," he said.
Augusta native Julia Clukey used her inner-drive to become the top female American luger and a two-time Olympian.
"I've always been a very driven person thinking about what's been right in front of me, you know throughout my entire career just thinking of the days and weeks ahead and years ahead in my competition. So, to be here, it's not going to set in for a while to think that I'm being inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame," she said.
University of Maine football coach Jack Cosgrove might not have been born in the Pine Tree State, but he can still appreciate the honor, even if it came much earlier than he could've anticipated.
"I was very surprised, I keep saying to people, but I'm still working, hope I'm still working for a long time and I always thought, you know, you had to be retired or had to be underground for this to happen, so I'm very humbled and very honored," he said.
The other six honorees included:
- Eleanor Logan: won a gold medal with the U.S. women's eight crew in the 2008 Olympics at Beijing and repeated four years later in London. Last year the Stanford graduate won the single sculls at the National Selection Regatta.
- Ed Flaherty: played in the College World Series at the University of Maine and has guided the University of Southern Maine baseball team over the past 29 seasons, two of which ended with Division III NCAA Championships
- Abby Spector: a four-time state golf champion at Waterville High School earning her a scholarship at the University of North Carolina. She also won the New England Amateur Golf Championship in 2001 and seven Maine Amateur titles.
- NEWS CENTER's Bill Green: the Bangor native is a two-time state sportscaster of the year, who created the "Green Outdoors" and "Bill Green's Maine," as a distinctive and recognizable visual platform for the state's recreational and outdoor sports.
- Joseph Ferris - A standout pitcher for UMaine won two games and recorded a save at the 1964 College World Series as the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
- Steven M. Pound - a prolific scorer for the Stearns High School basketball team, who led the Minutemen to the 1968 State LL championship, averaging 40 points per game, including a 68-point performance.
The event also featured five scholar-athletes receiving $5,000 scholarships for their athletic and academic accolades as well as their community-based contributions. They were:
- Carsyn Koch, Washburn, District High School
- Ian Lee, Madawaska High School
- Alexandra Logan, Cheverus High School
- Mikayla Turner, Messalonskee High School
- Rayne Whitten, Massabesic High School