DOVER-FOXCROFT — When he steps off the field following the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Saturday afternoon, Mount View High School graduate Colby Furrow will be done playing competitive football. Furrow plans on playing basketball when he enrolls at Maine Maritime Academy in the fall.

Furrow played wide receiver for the East squad. He didn’t need to catch a single pass, or make a block, or even run a crisp route. He did, of course, making an incredible 76-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter on a ball first tipped by a teammate, then a West defender. The play was a rare East highlight in a game dominated by the West.

Before he arrived at Foxcroft Academy for training camp last weekend, Furrow already had made the biggest impact on the 28th annual Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl.

The game exists to raise money for Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. “Strong legs run so that weak legs may walk” is the game’s motto. Every player and cheerleader invited to take part in the game is asked to raise a modest $500 for the hospitals. It’s common for an athlete to bring in a couple thousand dollars.

Furrow didn’t settle for adequate, or even above average. Furrow raised $11,600.

That’s $11,600, in just over three months. When he says it, even Furrow is surprised.

“It’s crazy,” Furrow said during Lobster Bowl media day activities on Tuesday. “I was surprised at how easy it was. The community came together and helped me out. It was amazing.”

According to Lobster Bowl organizers, Furrow’s $11,600 is the game’s fundraising record. The previous record is thought to be $8,500, raised last year by Furrow’s former Mount View teammate Tyler Ripley.

“I said yeah, I have to beat (Ripley). I went pretty hard at it,” Furrow said.

Furrow’s selection to the Lobster Bowl caps a short, yet successful, career. Furrow joined the Mustangs’ football program as a junior, but missed the season after suffering a broken leg in a preseason game. As a senior last fall, Furrow was one of the top offensive players in the Little Ten Conference, as Mount View utilized him as a receiver and running back.

Besting Ripley’s lofty fundraising mark wasn’t Furrow’s only inspiration. An aunt was treated by Shriner’s hospitals when she was a child. When he was selected to play in the game last spring, Furrow knew he wanted to help as much as he could.

“First I sat down with my mother and a few family friends, and we just planned a few things,” Furrow said.

Furrow set up a Facebook page for his fundraising. He asked Ripley for advice. He organized a 3 on 3 basketball tournament, and a 7 on 7 flag football tournament. The flag football tournament even drew teams of semi-pro players, Furrow said. As he discussed his efforts, Furrow was understated.

“The 3 on 3 basketball tournament went well,” Furrow said. “The 7 on 7 flag football tournament, that also went well.”

And bottles. Furrow collected so many bottles.

“We collected a lot of bottles. I think we had $7,000 in just bottles. People would be driving by and drop them off at my house,” Furrow said.

The money raised goes down in the Lobster Bowl game program next to Furrow’s name, but he was eager to point out that he didn’t do it alone.

“My whole family was busy. Everybody helped out,” Furrow said.

With the checks delivered to the Shriner’s, this week’s focus is finally football.

“I just see a bunch of really good players and I try to play along with them,” Furrow said. “The competition is really high, and it’s been fun playing with them.”

Anything Furrow did on the field was gravy. He left the field knowing he already made an important mark.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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