As part of Homecoming, the new class of Foxcroft Academy Athletic Hall of Famers are being inducted this evening. Over the last seven years, 50 former Ponies have been enshrined into our Athletic Hall of Fame and tonight, five more members will be added. They include:
Walt Beaulieu, Teacher/Coach – Walt Beaulieu graduated from the University of Maine in 1962 and started his teaching and coaching career at Foxcroft Academy the following fall. He taught physical education at the Academy and coached football, wrestling, and track until June of 1968, capturing state football titles in 1963 and 1967 and posting the best football winning percentage in FA history with a career mark of 39-9 Walt moved to New Hampshire in 1968 to work at Portsmouth High School, where he coached football, track, and baseball for the next 30 years. He also served as the head football coach at St. Thomas Aquinas in Dover, NH for three years in the mid-1970s. He retired from teaching and coaching in 1999, but the fall of that same year found him assisting the football team at Exeter High School and also coaching track and field. This year, Walt stepped away from from his 50 year career coaching high school sports, but his mark on student athletes in New England will be felt for a long time to come. He fondly remembers the Dover-Foxcroft community, including FA Head of School, Tillson Thomas, his athletic director and mentor, Lap Lary, and a great coaching staff that included his good friend, Wayne Champeon, a relationship that began when they both played football at UMaine in the early 60’s. On top of his list of great wins and exciting games was FA’s football match-up against a strong Orono team at Garland Street Field in Bangor….switched because of the anticipated crowd! Though he left Foxcroft 50 years ago, Coach Beaulieu is still a name synonymous with our school.
Kevin Saunders, Class of 1974 – Kevin was a student athlete during a time in the 70’s where boys sports at FA were starting to gain prominence. Kevin played golf in the fall for two years, and he ran cross country during another fall season, but the basketball court was where he shined. He was a mainstay for the Pony Boys Basketball team, and was one of the reasons basketball was seeing it’s best days at FA. During his freshman and sophomore years, Foxcroft made the playoffs, only to fall in the quarterfinals. During his junior season of 1973, lead by Kevin Saunders, and another Kevin, Kevin Nelson, member of the 2011 HOF class, the Ponies made it to the semifinals. During his senior season of 1974, Foxcroft came oh so close to the elusive championship, losing a 54-52 heartbreaker to Orono in the Class B Regional Championship. Kevin didn’t let that loss derail his career. He went on to star at Husson College, scoring over 1,000 points, and was named to their hall of fame in 1992. His 1976 Braves team was inducted into the Husson Hall of Fame in 2015. He remembers fondly playing in the Eastern Maine Tournament at the Bangor Auditorium, and credits former FA Basketball Coach, and fellow FA Hall of Famer, Skip Hanson, as the person most influential to him during his time roaming these halls.
Sunshine Weinrich Mechtenberg, Class of 1989 – Sunshine made her mark at Foxcroft Academy on the court, on the track, and sometimes through the woods. She was a four year member of the cross country team, ran track for four years, and played basketball for two years in a Pony uniform. On the cross country course, she finished as a top 10 runner in the state, and helped her Ponies to league championships. On the track, she set a state record at the time in the 800 meter run, and was part of a state record holding 4×400 meter relay team. She was a late comer to basketball, but helped the Ponies to several wins during her last two years of high school. After FA, Sunshine went to D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY to play basketball. She was the starting point guard and was team captain. She’s competed in four marathons including: Honolulu, New York City, Chicago, and the Marine Corp. Marathon in Washington, D.C. She fondly remembers being the 1st leg of the state champion relay team, and credits former coaches, Gary Wakeland and Louise Clement, as powerful influences on her during high school and beyond.
Tony Costigan, Class of 1990 – Tony made his mark in whatever sport he participated in. He was a three sport athlete, and excelled at all he did. He was a member of the Pony track team, and was a four year basketball player, including being named captain during his senior season, in which he was presented the Coaches Award at the end of his run. The sport that set Tony apart was football. He was a four year player, and was on the 1989 Eastern Maine Championship team, lead by head coach, Don Cornett. The Ponies came within one point of the state championship, dropping a 15-14 decision to York in the state final, played at Gardiner High School. He was named MVP of the 1989 team. Tony’s football exploits didn’t stop there. He was a member of the East squad for the first ever Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic, which is still being played to this day, and played college football at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. When asked about memorable games or times at FA, Tony said, “They were all memorable. Playing with the friends I grew up with was special and the comradery is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.” Tony credits former football coach, Don Cornett, as an influential member of the Foxcroft Academy staff during his time at FA.
Marleah Clark Bradeen, Class of 2009 – Marleah saw success on the fields and in the pool at Foxcroft Academy. She played soccer for two years, including being named captain both years, and winning the coaches award during her senior season. That was good, but where Marleah really excelled was in the pool. She single handedly put Pony swimming on the map during her years wearing maroon and white. Over those years, she set PVC and state record after record, 16 of them to be exact. She was captain of the girls team, was named PVC swimmer of the year two years in a row, and was named to the Portland Press Herald All-State Swim team. Many of her numbers are still on the record board at the Piscataquis Regional YMCA today, numbers that our current Pony swimmers can reach for. Her most fond memory in the pool happened at the PVC’s in 2009, winning the 50 yard freestyle, while setting a record in the event. She credits her swim coach and her mom, Lisa, as the driving force behind her success, putting her career on hold to help hers thrive.