Statewide, Dylan Hapworth’s lasting impression will be the seven touchdowns he scored for Winslow High School in the Class C state championship game against Leavitt. In arguably the best state championship game performance in Maine history, Hapworth scored 50 of his team’s 62 points (along with seven touchdowns, Hapworth kicked eight extra points in the 62-14 win), accounted for 300 all purpose yards, and dominated on the state’s biggest stage.

In Eastern Class C, and the Campbell Conference, and especially in Winslow, Hapworth will be remembered as a football player who was a huge influence on offense, defense and special teams.

“He’s an all-around football player,” Mike Siviski, Hapworth’s coach at Winslow, said.

Hapworth completed his four-year varsity career with an incredible season, gaining 2,233 all purpose yards, scoring 33 touchdowns, and scoring 255 points. He capped it by helping the Black Raiders win their first state title since 2001.

“That kid, he’s All-World. I don’t get to see some of those other guys, but he’s the best running back I’ve put eyes on this year, by a long shot,” Leavitt head coach Mike Hathaway said after Hapworth ran around, past and over his Hornets in the state championship game.

For his work, Dylan Hapworth is the Morning Sentinel Football Player of the Year.

With the exception of a possible selection to the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl next summer, the state championship was Hapworth’s final football game. College coaches who have contaced Hapworth or Siviski have hung up the phone disheartened to learn Hapworth plans to attend the University of Southern Maine and play baseball.

“(Baseball has) just been my love my whole life. It’s what I enjoy. It fits my personality,” Hapworth said. “I don’t want to get beat up anymore.”

Hapworth played the game with a quiet intensity and a little superstition. He washed his game pants just once all season, before the Foxcroft Academy game (“And we almost lost,” he said). Winning the Gold Ball on a cold Friday night at the University of Maine capped a strong four-year varsity career. He led the Black Raiders in rushing and tackles as a freshman, and was a first team all-Campbell Conference selection at linebacker as a sophomore, Siviski said.

It was as a running back where Hapworth really made his mark.

“He’s a unique combination of speed, power and agility,” Siviski said.

Hapworth ran for 1,858 yards on 187 carries this season, averaging almost 10 yards per carry.

“I like running in between the tackles. You’ve got to be a certain type of running back to run between the tackles,” Hapworth said.

“When he’s cornered and somebody’s going to tackle him, he lowers the shoulder. They know they’re tackling somebody,” Siviski said.

Hapworth’s strength is finding the running lane after breaking through the initial hole. His best carries began with a strong cutback before taking off to daylight. Hapworth called it Running the C, for the shape the run makes when it’s done well.

“In the type of offense we run, the cutback is there almost every time,” Hapworth said. “There’s certain plays that we just ran so many times, you know how they open up every time. It’s hard to imagine because the defense might be doing something different, but for some reason it opens the same. You can almost guess where you’re going to be running.”

“He picks his holes very well. He’s a great open field runner,” Justin Martin, a wide receiver/tight end at Winslow said after the state game. “If he gets in the open, it’s pretty much over.”

Siviski recalled his son Scott, a former Winslow player and now an assistant coach with the Black Raiders, congratulating Hapworth after a long run. Hapworth deflected credit to his blockers. “All I did was run,” he said.

If all Hapworth did was run, he’d be a good player. He made his first impression on Siviski as a freshman playing defense in a preseason exhibition at Madison.

“He caused three fumbles and I went ‘Wow.'” Siviski said.

Hapworth caused and recovered a fumble in the second quarter of the state championship game. The play led to the fifth of his seven touchdowns. Hapworth didn’t play as much defense this season, in part to keep him fresh for his duties on offense and special teams, in part due to Winslow’s depth, and in part due to the Black Raiders propensity for pulling away from opponents early, which found the starters on the sidelines in the second half of many games. Still, Hapworth had 24 tackles and two interceptions playing linebacker and defensive back.

As a football coach, Siviski appreciated Hapworth’s contributions on special teams. Hapworth won the New England Punt, Pass and Kick title twice, in the 12-13 age group and again when he was 15, and was the Black Raiders kicker and punter his four years. Hapworth’s ability to boot deep kickoffs often forced opponents into long field situations, and he made both field goals he attemped this season.

“That was quite a weapon for us,” Siviski said.

Hapworth grew up going to Winslow football games, looking up to the players and emmulating them. When he looks back at his career as a Black Raider, that’s what he remembers.

“I just remember, ever since I was little, I’d go to every game. These guys are like NFL players, that’s what it felt like. It just went by so fast,” Hapworth said. “I just wanted to be like one of them someday.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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