Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 3, 2018
GSA ushers seven into inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame
by Anne Berleant
Seven outstanding members of the George Stevens Academy community were honored for their contributions to the school’s athletic program on April 28 as inductees into the 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame. Coaches, athletes, administrators and volunteers were honored in the inaugural class, with succeeding classes to be entered every two years.
“You need all those things to have an outstanding athletic department,” said Head of School Tim Seeley.
Seeley, the honorees and the family, coaches and friends who introduced them all spoke in terms broader and beyond winning, although the Class of 2018 includes former student-athletes of outstanding achievement.
“Basketball gave me the courage and confidence to pursue a world of unknowns,” Lora Trenkle Cooperman (2000) wrote in a speech read by GSA Athletic Director Larry Gray, her former coach. Now with a Wall Street job and family, Cooperman scored 1,221 points in her high school career before leading her Bowdoin College team to its first NCAA national championship game.
Cross-country runner Bryan Graham (1993), a 1993 Maine State Champion and now a professor of economics at UC Berkeley, spoke of a training route through blueberry fields he had worked in and over lawns he had mowed. “I’m not sure I would have been a runner if I hadn’t grown up in the Blue Hill area,” he said. “Running and natural beauty have remained connected for me ever since.”
The remaining five inductees attended with family and friends.
“There is no ‘I’ in team,” said Annie Allen (1982), president of G.M. Allen blueberry processing company in Orland and among the first wave of women affected by 1972 federal civil rights law Title IX. “This had an enormous effect on girls sports on and off the field,” she noted.
In his remarks, Matt Haney (1994), who led the GSA baseball team to the 1994 state championship and is now Mount Desert Island High School principal, highlighted the close peninsula community. With a nod to his former coach, GSA’s physical education teacher and varsity baseball coach Dan Kane, he said, “No one has had a greater impact on my life than him.”
GSA coach and former athlete Dwayne Carter introduced inductee Jim Murphy as “a real community person,” who held weekend night rec programs, grew the athletic program from 12 teams to 24, and “molded many of us into the coaches we are today. … A lot of what we have is because of Jim.”
A GSA teacher, coach and sports administrator for 41 years, Murphy was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. He began the drive for a GSA hall of fame that current athletic director Larry Gray brought to fruition: “It’s about time to recognize the great things the coaches, athletes and administrators have done while [at] GSA,” he said.
Dwayne Webber (1980), president of Ellsworth Building Supply after careers at Irving Oil Company and Hinckley Yachts, helped lead GSA to the 1979 state basketball championship, scoring 1,225 points well before there was a 3-point line. He widened the lessons learned on court and the baseball field: “Life is about ‘we’ and ‘us’ not ‘me and ‘I.’ We’re all in this together.”
Edd Hardie, a Vietnam veteran who served in the military for 17 years before driving the school bus and keeping the GSA basketball score clock for the next 21 years, spoke in simple terms of humanity: “My life has been about teaching to love one another. And you have helped me. Hugs to all of you.”