Ian Stebbins on the track in early May at Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale. Stebbins set a record for pole vaulting at the school and says he hopes to continue competing at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, where he plans to enroll in the fall. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

FARMINGDALE — Ian Stebbins did not think he would be able to compete in three sports during a pandemic.

“I never thought there would be a chance,” he said. “It’s different and harder. I don’t think any team was better because of the pandemic, and it really slowed things down, from altered starts to different regulations, practice and safety regulations. But overall, I would take the chance to play over nothing.”

The three-sport athlete is the Maine Principal’s Award recipient this year at Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale. The award, given by the principal, recognizes a student for his or her academic success and good citizenship.

Stebbins plays soccer, basketball and competes in jumping and pole vaulting in track and field.

Along with sports, Stebbins is president of the National Honor Society at Hall-Dale. Through the society, he has helped raise money for scholarships for graduating students attending college in the fall.

One of the fundraisers involved Hall-Dale teachers. Students could place “bets” based on what a certain teacher were asked to do. One of his teachers, Connor Dumont, came back from December break with a shaved head. Stebbins said other teachers shaved their beards or dyed their hair.


Stebbins said the COVID-19 pandemic has taught him to be stronger in the face of adversity.

“It’s terrible,” he said, “but it’s also given everyone a benefit, and this resilience. It’s going to be useful. It’s helped me to develop, maintain my focus and stay on track,” Stebbins said. “It’s useful to have in life. There are going to be a lot of things that are a challenge.”

When not at school, Stebbins said he enjoys being outdoors and being spontaneous.

For example, he recently bought a skimboard at Goodwill and brought it with him when he hiked Morse Mountain in Phippsburg.

“I’m always up for a trip or an adventure — anywhere — or an activity,” Stebbins said. “If someone asks me to go do something, I’ll do it. Planning is important, but I like the quick moment of just doing it.”

Stebbins said he hopes to join the outing club at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, where he plans to enroll in the fall. Either that or try to make the track team as a pole vaulter.

He said he had not decided what he will study at Bowdoin, but thought it might have something to do with the outdoors, such as environmental or oceanographic science.

“I’m so excited. It sounds silly, but it might be the different classes and the different people,” Stebbins said of Bowdoin. “Not everyone loves school, and I don’t love class, but I think there are a lot of cool classes to take and a lot of cool people to talk with.”

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