Dedicated to Maine Athletes… Past, Present & Future
HEADLINES: Dean Smith Award recipients honored / Annual M Club appeal underway / Six inducted into UMaine Sports Hall of Fame / Order your own “M” plaque / Haskell strikes again / The Maine Book on-line.
Dean Smith Award recipients honored
Sigi Koizar of the women’s basketball team, Sydney Veljacic of the field hockey team and Jesse Orach, a member of the men’s cross country and track and field teams, have been named the 2017 recipients of the M Club’s annual Dean Smith Awards for the University of Maine’s most outstanding student-athletes.
For Koizar and Orach, it is the second straight year they have been honored for their outstanding academic and athletic achievement along with citizenship and community service. The awards are presented at the athletic department’s annual gathering honoring all athletes who have achieved academically.
Annual M Club appeal underway
The M Club’s annual appeal for your support is now underway and already more than 200 “M” letter winners and honorary M Club members have made a contribution in support of the M Club and its goals.
This is the second year that the M Club simply seeks your support in the form of a totally tax-deductible contribution to the M Club Fund held at the UMaine Foundation, rather than collecting dues, which were not tax-deductible.
With this approach, the M Club will be able to have maximum positive impact on the lives of current Black Bears. As a non-profit, the M Club’s sole goal in seeking your enthusiastic support is to pass on your contributions to the athletes in the form of:
* Senior Night and M Plaque Awards for graduating seniors
* Scholar Athlete Banquet and Dean Smith Awards
* Team banquets and special events for current athletes
* Consideration of other requests that benefit current Black Bears
* Honoring alumni Silver (25 year) and Gold (50 year) letter winners
* Hall of Fame Banquet
Making a contribution is as easy as going on-line. The first form will ask whether you would like to make this a recurring payment; if yes, as you step through the forms you will be asked whether yearly, monthly, etc.
Or, noting that the contribution is for the M Club, you may make your check to the UMaine Foundation (NOT the M Club) and mail it to:
University of Maine Foundation
Buchanan Alumni House
Two Alumni Place
Orono, ME 04469-5792
Six inducted into UMaine Sports Hall of Fame
Six new members were inducted into the UMaine Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 30 during a ceremony and dinner at the Black Bear Inn in Orono with Rich Kimball, the voice of University of Maine football for two decades serving as the master of ceremonies.
Joining 181 previously inducted members since the Hall of Fame’s founding in 1986 were record-setting quarterback Jake Eaton, All-American baseball player Andy Hartung, three-time all-conference field hockey player Margaret Henrick, wrestling inspiration and journalist Bob McPhee, multi-event All-New England track-and-field standout Johanna Riley, and two-time All-Yankee Conference and All-New England soccer selection Edward “Ted” Woodbrey II.
Eaton led the Black Bears to the 2001 and ’02 Atlantic 10 Championships andwas the team Harold Westerman co-MVP both seasons. The three-year starter at quarterback set school records for pass completion percentage in a season (.659 on 184-for-279 in 2000) and career (.594 on 569-for-957). In a 2001 playoff game with Northern Iowa, he set five school postseason passing records, with three touchdown passes, 330 yards passing, 29 completions, 42 attempts and a .659 completion percentage.
Riley was an indoor and outdoor track and field dynamo from fall 1994 through spring 1998, She set eight University of Maine records and was captain during the ’98 outdoor season. During the 1996-97 indoor season, Riley was New England champion in the indoor pentathlon with 3,507 points — a total that stood as a school record for 15 years. She set other UMaine records (since broken) in the high jump, long jump, hurdles and 4×400-meter relay.
Henrick lettered four years (1992-95) in field hockey and was named first team All-America East three straight seasons. As a sophomore, she was a National Field Hockey Coaches Association all-regional honorable mention. She was second team all-regional as a junior and first team all-regional as a senior. Henrick was named the ECAC Tournament MVP in 1994. After serving as captain as a player, Henrick joined head coach Terry Kix as an assistant in 1996.
Hartung, a three-year letterman, was a first-team All-American in his senior season in 1990, when he hit .414, the highest single-season batting average in UMaine history for a player with 200 or more at-bats. His 76 RBIs that season are second best in UMaine history, his 87 hits are fourth and his 15 home runs are sixth. Hartung formed a devastating one-two punch with Mark Sweeney, whom he joins in the UMaine Hall of Fame. Hartung played six seasons in organized professional baseball.
McPhee is a study in courage, determination and perseverance. The outstanding wrestler for Stephens High School in Rumford, Maine sustained a brain stem contusion during a football scrimmage in 1976 and became a quadriplegic. He earned an “M” at UMaine for his contributions to the wrestling program; he helped coach Nick Nicolich guide the squad to a 9-4 record in 1983-84. He also was co-sports editor of The Maine Campus. McPhee, who uses a voice synthesizer, underwent five years of rehabilitation and attended Husson College before transferring to UMaine.
Woodbrey, who was inducted posthumously, lettered four years (1973-76) in soccer. He was the only UMaine player to twice be named to the All-Yankee Conference and All-New England teams (1973, ’75). Woodbrey, who led the team in scoring his last three seasons and was co-captain in 1976, came from a distinguished line of UMaine athletes. His father, Edward Woodbrey lettered in baseball (1947-49) and uncles, Hank Woodbrey and Victor Woodbrey, played baseball and basketball in the late ’40s and early ’50s.
This was the first class to be inducted since Athletic Director Karlton Creech asked the M Club board to assume the administration of the Hall of Fame. The ’16 Hall of Fame class was selected by an M Club committee and approved by UMaine President Susan J. Hunter and Creech..
Order your own “M” plaque
The M Club has been awarding wall plaques with a chenille “M” under a plexiglas shield to all graduating University of Maine varsity letter winners since 2013.
The athletic department now awards certificates, but not actual chenille letters or the M sweaters and M jackets that you may remember.
For former Black Bears, the sweater or jacket may no longer fit, but a wall plaque is forever. You can order the same plaque with a plate engraved with your name, sport and year of your first varsity letter. By doing so, alumni letter winners can not only obtain this handsome keepsake for their offices or dens, but will also be helping to finance the program for upcoming letter winners.
To do so, print out and fill out the order form, enclose your check to the University of Maine Foundation and mail as directed. The plaque will be mailed directly to you.
Haskell strikes again
Former University of Maine athletic director Stu Haskell has done it again. Building on his epic effort, “The Maine Book: University of Maine Athletics 1881-2007,” Haskell has compiled comprehensive all-in-one lists of both men and women’s “M” winners over the years, and centuries, 19th into the 21st.
It totals up to approximately 13,000 names, according to Haskell, although he did not count them line for line. Nevertheless, when added to all the information in “The Maine Book,” these new lists, A to Z, combining all sports, Black Bear enthusiasts now have as complete a history of UMaine sports as is possible.
The M Club appreciates Stu’s efforts, and his allowing us to bring this priceless information to you.
The Maine Book on-line
“The Maine Book: University of Maine Athletics 1881-2007,” a massive undertaking and labor of love for former UMaine athletic director Stu Haskell ’56, is posted on-line on the M Club website.
Every team, every athlete, everyone who ever performed for the Black Bears through 2007 is here. The records, the statistics, team photos. If it’s not in the book, it didn’t happen.
The M Club owes Stu many thanks for making the complete record book, almost 800 pages, available to everyone.
(The M Club board meets every third Wednesday, September through May.)
Image Description: The University of Maine M Club