Chandler Shostak came into the Cony football program four years ago looking for an opportunity to make an impact.
He leaves it this fall holding an abundance of single-season and career school records.
“He just has the ability to take over games on both sides of the ball,” Cony coach Robby Vachon said. “We knew we had a pretty good player in Chandler, but we didn’t know he’d be this good. I never thought we’d get another player like Luke Duncklee, but it only took a year.”
Shostak, a senior, caught 58 passes for 853 yards and 12 touchdowns — all single-season school records — to help Cony reach the Pine Tree Conference Class A championship game.
For his accomplishments this fall, Shostak is the Kennebec Journal Football Player of the Year. Cony quarterback Ben Lucas was also considered.
“I just wanted to go out there this year and have a good time,” Shostak said. “I didn’t know what the records were, but it was nice to set some of them.”
Shostak, 17, of Augusta, emerged this season as one of the top wide receivers and defensive backs in the PTC A, if not the state. He also shined on special teams, recording more than 700 return yards.
“He’s just so dynamic,” Vachon said. “It’s his whole body of work. We relied on him for big plays in big games. Every game it seemed he did something special, on either side of the ball.”
Shostak finished with 71 tackles and a conference-best 11 interceptions, also a school record.
He finishes his career with 124 receptions for 1,789 yards and 28 total touchdowns. The receptions and receiving yards are school records as well. So, too, are his 17 career interceptions.
Shostak, Vachon said, benefited from Cony’s spread offense as well as a tremendous season by Lucas.
The Rams threw the ball more than any other team in the conference, and Shostak was able to make the most of his opportunities.
“We got better as a team and Ben (Lucas) was obviously improved from his sophomore year,” Vachon said. “Chandler benefited from that. We had some other kids we could throw to as well, which opened up some space for Chandler.
“But Chandler can just go and get it. He understands what we do offensively. He runs great routes and has tremendous hands. He’s really confident and he backs it up.”
Shostak credited Lucas and fellow wide receivers — Jonathan Saban, Tayler Carrier, Zack Lachance, Dayshawn Roberts — for comprising a dangerous offense that made it difficult for opposing defenses to key on one player.
“Our offense was pretty good,” he said. “It’s not an easy offense to get, too. It’s pretty hard, but we were always prepared.”
Shostak also saved his best performances for the bigger games.
In the PTC A championship game, he caught a 42-yard touchdown pass and also had an interception.
Lawrence coach John Hersom said Shostak was a tough matchup even for his team’s tough defense.
“We were well aware of him,” he said. “We definitely focused on him as we prepared for both games with Cony. We thought he was a great athletic kid. We noticed him more on offense, just how he ran his routes. The way he made catches, especially in tight coverage. He made some spectacular catches, and he made some catches that he made look routine, but in fact they were pretty tough.”
Shostak had five catches for 96 yards and rushed for a pair of touchdowns in a regional semifinal victory over Brunswick.
“I did well in those situations,” he said. “I enjoyed playing under the pressure. I just play better that way.”
Shostak added that he is undecided of his collegiate plans.
Bill Stewart — 621-5640