AUGUSTA — Cony High School senior Chandler Shostak was home for lunch Friday afternoon when the phone rang.
“It was Coach (Robby) Vachon,” Shostak said. “I was sitting down and he said, ‘Congratulations, you are a Fitzpatrick finalist.’ I was skeptical at first. He’s always joking with me.”
It wasn’t a joke.
Shostak, a wide receiver/defensive back for the Rams, was named one of three finalists for the 42nd Fitzpatrick Trophy, awarded annually to the top senior football player in Maine.
No player from Cony has ever won the Fitzpatrick Trophy.
“I had to step back and think about it for a little bit,” Shostak said. “Honestly, I didn’t expect this at all.”
The other finalists were Cheverus running back Donald Goodwin and Sanford running back Alex Shain.
A vote of coaches from all three classes, as well as members of the media, determined the finalists. The winner will be announced Jan. 20 at the Holiday Inn By The Bay in Portland.
Shostak will try to become the second consecutive player from the Pine Tree Conference to win the award. Leavitt quarterback Jordan Hersom, who’s team plays in the PTC B division, won the award last season.
“It’s a pretty awesome feeling,” Shostak said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s a great way to cap off the season.”
Shostak was an impact player in all three phases of the game. He caught 58 passes for 853 yards and 12 touchdowns — all single-season Cony records. He finished with 71 tackles and a state-best 11 interceptions, which also set a program single-season record.
Shostak also had more than 700 return yards.
Goodwin rushed for 1,305 yards and scored 24 touchdowns. He averaged 8.65 yards a carry. Shain rushed for 1,400 yards and scored 28 touchdowns.
Shostak helped lead the Rams to their best season in 20 years. Cony finished 8-3 and reached the Pine Tree Conference Class A title game, losing to Lawrence 20-10. The Rams led 10-3 at halftime.
“Even though we were runner-up in Eastern Maine it was still an incredible season,” Shostak said. “We accomplished quite a bit. It was an accomplishment just knowing the history of the program.”
Shostak ended his career with 124 receptions for 1,789 yards and 28 total touchdowns. He also had a school-record 17 career interceptions.
“He’s a special football player, no doubt,” Vachon said.
Shostak, who is undecided of his collegiate plans, said he looks forward to meeting the other finalists.
In the meantime, the 17-year-old Augusta native will shift his focus to writing his speech.
“I haven’t had to write too many speeches,” he said. “I’ll come up with something. It’s just a pretty amazing feeling.”
Bill Stewart — 621-5640