Memorable experience as a Fitzy finalist
RUMFORD -- It was still quite an experience and one that Cam Kaubris will always remember because the Mountain Valley student-athlete was among the three finalists for the 40th James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy.
The award, which recognizes the top senior football player in the state, was handed out during a banquet at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. Scholarship and citizenship are also considered and winner Peter Gwilym was the first-ever from Cheverus.
Each of the finalists had to make a speech, so Kaubris used the time to mainly focus on the learning of hard work and determination, perseverance through tough times, the benefits of leadership and most importantly, the significance that one friendship (with center and classmate) Dan Garneau can have.
Garneau was diagnosed with leukemia and past away last April. The practice field located beside the school was dedicated in Garneau’s memory last fall. Garneaus parents, Jeff and Kim, attended the ceremony.
“That really helped me mentally throughout the entirety of the speech,” said Kaubris, referring to family, coaches, teammates and friends. “(Rep.) Matt Peterson and (RSU Superintendent) Dr. Tom Ward came and supported me also.”
Kaubris was the third straight player from the River Valley to be considered for this prestigious award. Former Falcon Justin Staires and Nick Crutchfield of Dirigo were finalists in 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 1971, Marty Milligan of Rumford won the second-ever Fitzpatrick Trophy.
Gwilym and Kaubris each led their teams to 12-0 records, winning state titles last November at Fitzpatrick Stadium. The other finalist was Jamie Ross of Deering.
As a junior, Kaubris faced adversity after dealing with a torn labrum in his shoulder injury, so being considered for this award wasn't envisioned. The injury required rehabilitation and he was sidelined a majority of the season. This past fall proved rewarding when MV beat Leavitt to win the Class B state championship.
Kaubris threw 10 TD passes and rushed for eight. The defensive back had 11 interceptions. Kaubris was the QB on the ’08 state championship team.
Kaubris acknowledged this honor couldn't have been done without teammates and coaches. In order to succeed, it requires a team effort, not just a few individuals.
“One can not mention my name without having to mention Christian Durland, Taylor Bradley or Josh Allen,” said Kaubris. “I was very blessed to have such a talented class and so many good players on my team during my time as a Falcon. Without a state championship, individual awards mean next to nothing.”