Skowhegan Area High School quarterback Garrett McSweeney and Mt. Blue High School running back Makao Thompson are among the 11 semifinalists for the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy, awarded annually since 1971 to the top senior football player in Maine.

Voting by coaches and media around the state will go until Dec. 12. After that, three finalists will be announced. The winner will be announced at an awards dinner in January.

McSweeney led the Pine Tree Conference Class B in passing, throwing for 2,433 yards and 26 touchdowns. McSweeney also ran for 457 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

McSweeney served as Skowhegan’s kicker and punter. Over the final four games of the regular season, McSweeney also played defense, leading the Indians in tackles over those games.

“I’m tremendously proud of Garrett and the work he has put in over the past four years,” Skowhegan coach Matt Friedman said. “His achievements are the result of his commitment and leadership, as well as the work of his teammates over the years. Garrett would be the first to say that his team has helped him reach this level of play.”

McSweeney said he heard he was a semifinalist when he received a text message from Friedman.

“He texted me congratulations. I wrote back, ‘For what?’ He told me I was a semifinalist,” McSweeney said. “I was kind of in shock. It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s something you work for, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches.”

A tailback-corner back, Thompson ran for 780 yards and seven touchdowns for the Cougars. He also caught 10 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Thompson made 23 tackles and had one interception.

Thompson said he was told he’s a semifinalist by assistant coach Kevin Averill during the school day.

“I was actually pretty surprised,” Thompson said. “It’s a statewide award, and I’m here at little old Mt. Blue. It means a lot. It means all the hard work is definitely paying off.”

Thompson has a 96.7 grade point average, and plans on studying mechanical engineering in college. Among the schools he’s considering are the University of Maine, Northeastern and Wentworth. McSweeney carries a 3.0 GPA and hopes to study business in college. Among the schools he is considering are Plymouth State, Bridgewater State and Husson.

Joining McSweeeny and Thompson as semifinalists are Dylan Bolduc of Portland, Keenan Collett of Orono, Joseph Curit of Biddeford, Cameron Day of Bonny Eagle, Riley Dempsey of Wells, Jesse Devereaux of Brunswick, Ben Ekedahl of Cape Elizabeth, Michael Laverriere of Thornton Academy, and Trey Wood of Brewer.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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