LEWISTON — Parker Sanderson, a forward from Bangor High School, became the 18th recipient of the Travis Roy Award on Sunday afternoon.
The award, presented annually to the top senior player in Class A high school hockey, is named for Travis Roy, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury just 11 seconds into his first shift for Boston University on Oct. 25, 1995.
“(Hockey) is about doing what you love, and Travis Roy is a constant reminder to enjoy every second of what you love and never take it for granted because that ability can be taken away in an instant,” Sanderson said during a brief speech at the Class A hockey banquet before the award was presented. “His love for the game showed on and off the ice. He’s admired by the hockey community as well as being a role model for all age groups because of what he himself represents. Travis Roy may have only gotten 11 seconds of his dream but gave the rest of us a lifetime of dreams to go after.”
Sanderson was one of four finalists for the award. The group included Scarborough defenseman Nick Bagley, Cheverus forward Cameron McLain and St. Dominic goalie Grant Carrier.
“The group of guys that were in it this year were all tremendous people,” Sanderson said. “To win it is just absolutely amazing and astonishing because the group of kids, like I said, were amazing people and I just can’t be thankful enough.
“If they could give away four awards, like they should have this year, I would be totally for it, but I’m just thankful to win this award,” he added.
Sanderson, the first player from his school to win the award, scored 25 goals and had 26 assists to help the Rams advance to the Eastern Class A final.
“He’s a very great character kid,” Bangor coach Quint Paradis said. “He was captain of the team and was very supportive, on and off the ice.”
During the middle of the season, Sanderson missed four games after sustaining a cut in the back of one of his legs.
“He had an injury that could have ended his season,” Paradis said, “but he came back in four games and finished the season strong.”
Originally from Houlton, Sanderson moved to Bangor for his final two years of high school.
“It was quite a change to come from a small town in northern Maine to a bigger town in Bangor and one of the largest (high) schools in the state,” Paradis said. “He made a great adjustment and he’s been a great asset to the community.”
Sanderson, who also plays baseball, intends to pursue a hockey career following high school at either a prep school or in a junior hockey program.
“I’m keeping all options open,” he said, “and see how it goes from there.”