Bapst football team pays homage to fallen friends

BANGOR, Maine — Members of the John Bapst football team have added two decals to the back of their helmets to memorialize two members of the Crusaders’ community who recently died on the same day.

One decal, “SL,” honors Frederick “Smokey” Lawrence, a longtime sports official in the area who also operated scoreboards and game clocks at numerous school events, including John Bapst games. Lawrence died unexpectedly on Sept. 19.

Another decal, “OK,” is in memory of Owen Krause, a popular 16-year-old John Bapst junior from Stockton Springs who died in an automobile accident that same morning.

“Both individuals are near and dear to us for a lot of different reasons, and we wanted to make sure we kept them in our hearts and minds,” said John Bapst coach Dan O’Connell.

“It’s also a reminder that this is a privilege, that every day is precious and more specifically it’s not a right to play football because not everybody does it but it is a privilege for us, so we want to  to hold them in our hearts and play for those who can’t and for those who aren’t with us any more. Those two decals will help us stay motivated in that regard.”

Shepardson, Fox emerging talents

David Shepardson and Tehon Fox may not be well known to area football fans who focus only on the top of the standings, but the two running backs are playing prime roles in leading their teams toward respectability.

Shepardson, a sophomore, leads the LTC Class C ranks in rushing with 642 yards on 85 carries — good for an average of 7.6 yards per attempt — and also ranks third in the conference with eight touchdowns in helping Hermon’s second-year varsity program get off to a 2-2 start this fall.

Shepardson’s continued emergence for coach Ken Frederick’s Hawks should come as no major surprise given that he rushed for 476 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman in 2011.

Fox, a native of Bermuda who arrived at Washington Academy last year, showed off his versatility last week in leading the Raiders to the first victory of their second season as a varsity program.

Fox rushed for 174 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns and a two-point conversion, and also had three pass receptions for 92 yards and two more touchdowns.

If that wasn’t enough, the senior — who didn’t play football until last year — kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to lift coach Barry Terrill’s club to a 36-35 victory over Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield. Fox was named the LTC’s player of the week for his performance in that game.

And that wasn’t even the first time Fox’s last-second dramatics have led to a WA victory. He first burst onto the scene during Week 5 of the 2011 season, scoring on a 62-yard run as time expired to give the Raiders a 38-32 victory over Calais-Woodland, their first varsity victory.

Both Fox and Shepardson will be back in action on the road this weekend as 1-3 Washington Academy plays at 0-4 Ellsworth-Sumner on Friday night while Hermon visits 0-4 Mount View of Thorndike on Saturday afternoon.