Dennis Meehan grew accustomed to playing a sport each season at Gardiner Area High School, so it didn’t seem too much of a stretch for him to try two sports in college.
Meehan began his search last year for a school that would fit his needs and found one in Bangor’s Husson University. And for a freshman, he’s made a significant impact on both the football and baseball teams.
Meehan is currently immersed in a baseball schedule that will include six games in the next four days and 18 by the end of the month.
“There’s a lot of baseball left,” he said.
Meehan has primarily been the designated hitter on a team loaded with veterans and bats in the middle of the order. So far, coach Jason Harvey has been impressed.
“I think he’s beyond his years as far as pitch selection and just being patient,” Harvey said. “He’s got a lot of power. Once he gets everything together he’s going to be a dangerous hitter.”
Meehan leads the team in home runs with two and is currently batting .228 with 13 runs and nine RBIs. College pitching, he said, hasn’t been as big an adjustment as he thought it would.
“It’s probably about the same as (American) Legion, maybe a little bit faster,” he said.
Meehan played legion ball for Windham — his family moved there last year — which won the state championship. He plans to return this summer. He played shortstop for Windham, just as he did at Gardiner when he wasn’t pitching. At Husson, he’s started a couple of games in right field and says he has no preference where he plays in the field.
“Heading into next year he would probably be our starting right fielder right now,” Harvey said. “He’s got a live arm. One thing I notice with Dennis and most of the young guys, they tend to play better when they’re in the field.”
Harvey said Meehan also pitched a couple of innings on the team’s spring trip.
“I think down the road somewhere we’ll probably need him” he said. “He throws the ball with some pop.”
Meehan is one of two players on the baseball team also playing football. The greatest adjustment, he said, is budgeting time for studies. He handled that well, getting As in his classes the first semester.
Football was a totally different experience from baseball, which is a close knit group. The football team, coached by Gabby Price, had 131 players on its roster, including 67 freshmen.
“Everyone’s just running around all over the place and trying to get their time in the weight room,” Meehan said.
Meehan, who is 5-foot-11, put his time in the weight room to good use and now weighs 220 pounds.
“It’s all muscle,” Harvey said. “He’s probably the strongest kid on the team.”
Meehan settled into a role as the team’s kicker about midway through the season, converting 13 of 17 extra point attempts, kicking off and making his only field goal attempt. He filled the same role at Gardiner while playing quarterback and in the secondary. He got into a couple of games in the defensive backfield with the Eagles, too.
“I’d like to be starting on the defensive side,” he said.
Meehan, who plans to major in small business management, said one of the best aspects of attending Husson are the small class sizes.
“There’s about 18 (students) in my biggest class,” he said.