Evan Worster  has plenty of stories he could share with the current Forest Hills High School boys basketball team. The Tigers will play for a second straight Class D state championship, and their fourth since 2013, Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Now a science teacher (THE science department at the small Jackman school, Worster pointed out), Worster was the standout player on the Forest Hills teams that lost the state game in 2012 and won it in 2013. For now, Worster is the team’s career scoring leader, with 1,555 points.

Worster could tell the Tigers tales for hours about the teams on which he played, moments from the biggest games or just funny anecdotes from a bus ride or a practice. He doesn’t tell those stories, though, because Worster knows they’ve already heard them all.

“I don’t think there’s any stories I can tell that Mr. Amero (longtime Forest Hills coach Anthony Amero) hasn’t told them,” Worster said.

Rather than inspire the current Tigers with stories and history lessons, Worster does what Forest Hills alumni have done for years. He laces up his sneakers and hits the court.

This season’s roster of 14 players is the exception at Forest Hills. With usually around 25 boys in the high school, it’s more likely the Tigers have eight or nine players. That’s not enough to play five on five, so that’s where the alumni come in. The young alumni who are in the Jackman area and are eager to scratch their competitive itch will come to practice and push the Tigers for a bit.

“When we made it to this week my junior and senior years, we had a lot of alumni come in and scrimmage,” Worster, who holds the Class D South tournament record for points in a game with 51 against AR Gould in 2012, said.

Alumni like Cody Gilboe and Cory Plante, both 1,000-point scorers for the Tigers, and Dylan McNally, came in an helped prepare the Tigers to take on Jonesport-Beals in 2012 and Central Aroostook in 2013. Taking on the quicker, more mature alumni was a key in beating Central Aroostook for the Gold Ball in 2013, Worster is sure of it.

“There’s definitely a sense of the history. I felt it as a player, too,” Worster said. “In 2013, everyone thought that was kind of a miracle. But now they’re going for their fourth (championship) in what, seven years?”

Forest Hills rides a 43-game win streak into Saturday’s state game against Machias. With all the strong players to come before, the best in the school’s history might be playing now. Junior Parker Desjardins has been a starter since eighth grade, and he enters Saturday’s game just 22 points shy of Worster’s record 1,555. Since Desjardins averages just under 33 points per game, there’s a good chance he’ll pass Worster on Saturday.

Worster always figured somebody would pass him. When he saw a young Desjardins putting up shot after shot after shot, Worster knew he was simply holding Desjardins’ place. Were it not for a foot injury that caused Desjardins to miss the second half of his freshman season, he’d already have the record.

“I think he’s amazing. After the Greenville home game (in the regular season, a 91-60 win in which Desjardins had 42 points and 11 rebounds), I went out of my way at school the next day to tell him I thought he had a great game,” Worster said. “We’re different players. He’s more of an elite scorer than I was.”

Sometimes, when Worster scrimmages with the Tigers, he and Desjardins will be squared up against each other, the top two scorers in program history. It can get intense. Worster doesn’t sugarcoat it. He likes it when it gets intense.

“I just enjoy the competition,” he said.

Worster will be in the Augusta Civic Center stands Saturday afternoon, cheering on the Tigers. Win or lose, Worster will take some pride in the fact that he and other alumni helped, even if it was in a small way, get them there.


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