First, Skowhegan’s Marcus Christopher and Cony’s Matt Wozniak were co-Players of the Year in the Pine Tree Conference Class B division. Now, the duo are semifinalists for the 48th annual Fitzpatrick Trophy, awarded each year to the top senior playing high school football in Maine.

Twelve semifinalists were selected by the Fitzpatrick Trophy committee and announced Wednesday afternoon. The award takes into consideration achievement on the football field, academics, and citizenship. Each head coach in the state is allowed to nominate one player from his team. The winner is determined by a vote of coaches and media from across the state. Ballots are due on December 14, after which three finalists will be announced. The winner will be announced at an awards lunch on January 20 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.

A two-year starter at quarterback at Skowhegan, Christopher completed 62 percent of his passes (142 of 228) this season for 1,757 yards and 16 touchdowns. Christopher also ran for 441 yards and seven touchdowns, and added a pair of 2-point conversions. As a punter, Christopher avergaed 33.5 yards per punt. The Salutatorian of his class, Christopher holds a 99.45 grade point average.

Christopher finished his career with more than 5,000 passing yards, with 58 touchdowns and a 63 percent completion percentage. Skowhegan coach Ryan Libby called Christopher a player with “complete accountability.”

“He’s a quarterback. He obviously makes mistakes. When you pointed out something on film, he was always ‘Yes, Coach. I’ll fix that.’ He never complained,” Libby said. “He’s an unbelievably coachable player. Just a talented, intelligent kid.”

Christopher is the second straight Skowhegan quarterback to be a semfinalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy. His predecessor, Garrett McSweeney, was a semifinalist in 2016.

Christopher said the Fitzpatrick Trophy has never been something at the forefront of his thoughts, but it’s a byproduct of hard work.

“I’ve always been striving for greatness. If that meant being a (Fitzpatrick) semifinalist, that’s great,” Christopher said. “I’m very honored to be recognized. A lot of my players and coaches helped me get to this point.”

Cony’s Matt Wozniak runs in for a touchdown against Lawrence in Fairfield last season. Wozniak is among the semifinalists for the Fitzpatrick Trophy, handed out to the top senior high school football player in the state. File photo by Nikolas Hample

Wozniak had 23 catches for 402 yards and three touchdowns for Cony’s offense. As a linebacker, Wozniak made 98 tackles with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He also contributed on special teams for the Rams, and carries a 92.6 GPA.

“I was very surprised, I didn’t expect to get it,” Wozniak said. “It’s a great feeling, it just makes you feel happy. Putting in all the work you did all the four years, it really pays off.”

Wozniak made the cut despite a stat sheet that doesn’t look like some of the other semifinalists’. While the list is full of quarterbacks and running backs gaining or throwing for thousands of yards or scoring dozens of tackles, Wozniak thrived more as the do-everything player at Cony — even though his 98 tackles did lead the conference.

“Usually it is a quarterback or a big running back that usually gets all the (recognition),” he said. “It is nice to get it as a wide receiver and a linebacker. It’s pretty special.”

“He plays a position where you wonder if other people recognize how good he is,” coach B.L. Lippert said. “You wonder if other people have noticed, but I could tell in our all-conference meeting that certainly other people in Class B North are well aware of (his) talents.”

As a linebacker, Wozniak was the heart of Cony’s conference-best defense, but Lippert said his offensive skills as a receiver, running back and tight end stood out as well.

“In a different system, maybe he’s a wingback and he does have 1,000 rushing (yards) and 10 or 15 touchdowns,” he said. “In certain situations, he didn’t even release for a pass, we had to keep him in to block.

“I was hoping he’d be recognized, and just very happy for him and his family.”

Other semifinalists are: Anthony Bracamonte (Thornton Academy), Tyler Bridge (Wells), Dante DeLorenzo (Kennebunk), Carter Edgerton (Biddeford), Zachary Elowitch (Portland), Alex Gorham (Dirigo), Tommy Springer (Marshwood), Carter Tolmasoff (Bucksport), Garrett Trask (Hermon), and Will Whyte (Bonny Eagle).

Staff Writer Drew Bonifant contributed to this report.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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