HAMPDEN – The full Athletics Hall of Fame class will honored in 2021.
Hampden Academy announced the first class to be inducted to the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame over first two weeks of October. The Class of 2021 will be honored next year. The school has provided brief biographies for each inductee, detailing their contributions to their alma mater, and their sports.
Gene Arsenault I, (Class of 1954), was an outstanding athlete starting all four years of his High School career in Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Gene was a 1st Team All-Star selection in football, three out of his four years, and in 1953 was named to the All-Scholastic Football Team. In 1952, Gene set the school record for touchdowns in a single game with 6 and was a member of the 1953 Hampden Academy Football team that went undefeated in the Little Ten Conference. In 1954, during his senior baseball season, Gene pitched a no-hitter vs. Belfast. Gene went on to attend the University of Maine in 1955, participating in football before being drafted into the Army. In the Army, Gene played two years of football, basketball and baseball for his battalion team. In the early 1980’s, Gene was a key member in the re-establishment of the Bronco Boosters Club.
Jeff Barrows, (Class of 1982), was a three-sport letter winner in football, basketball, and baseball. In football, Jeff quarterbacked the Broncos to the Coastal Division Championship, led the LTC in touchdown passes, and was selected Second Team All-Conference Quarterback and First Team All-Conference Kicker. In Basketball, Jeff helped lead the Broncos to the Eastern Maine Class B Championship while receiving Tournament Honorable Mention honors. In Baseball, Jeff was one of the top pitchers in the area helping guide his team to a share of the first place rankings in the Penobscot Valley Conference (shared with Ellsworth) and finished the season with a 5 – 0 record, while leading the PVC in strikeouts. After graduation, Jeff was recruited to play baseball at the University of Maine, where he remained for one year before enlisting in the United States Air Force. Jeff went on to become an Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach at the Air Force Academy. Jeff retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2007 after 20 years of service.
Mike Bordick, (Class of 1983), was a varsity letter winner in both football and baseball. In baseball, Mike was an All-Penobscot Valley Baseball selection and All-Zone 1 American Legion shortstop. After graduation, Mike went to the University of Maine, starting at shortstop for three years and played on a team that made three College World Series appearances. Mike also played summers in the prestigious Cape Cod League. After college, Mike went on to a 14-year Major League Baseball career, playing for the Oakland A’s, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, and New York Mets.
Danny Lafayette, (Class of 1973). As a businessman, philanthropist, coach, and volunteer, Danny has been at the forefront of change and improvements over a 40-year career of service to our Community, RSU22 School District, and Hampden Academy Athletic programs. Renovations and improvements to many sports facilities over the last several decades, as well as the advocacy of youth sports and youth involvement, are a direct result of Danny’s hard work, generosity, and leadership.
Marie Messer (Webb), (Class of 1982), was a four-sport Varsity athlete, starting in Basketball and Softball for four years, Soccer for two years, and also participated in Field Hockey for two years. In Soccer, Marie was named an All-State Goaltender in 1982. In Basketball, Marie was a member of the East-West All-Star Team and was named to the Bangor Daily News All-Maine Girls Basketball Third Team. Marie went on to play basketball at the University of Southern Maine setting career records for field goals, field goal %, free throws, free throw %, total points, rebounds and assists. After graduation from USM, Marie went on to play professional basketball for the Dublin Celtics in Dublin, Ireland, and was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame (Basketball) as a 1000-point scorer.
Cindy Rand (Stephenson), (Class of 1978), was four-year starter in both Basketball and Softball, as well as a member of the National Honor Society. In basketball, Cindy is the all-time leading scorer (for both girls and boys) in the history of Hampden Academy, scoring 1,580 points in her career. Cindy was selected to the All-Tournament Team in 1974 and 1975, named to the All-East and All-State Teams in 1975, 1976, 1977, and 1978. During her sophomore year, Cindy was a member of Hampden Academy’s only Girls State Championship Basketball Team (1976), scoring 28 points in the State Championship game.
Dick Balentine, teacher in RSU22 for 41 years and Varsity Girls and Boys Cross Country coach for 37 years (1979 – 2016). During this period, his girls’ teams won 7 Conference Titles, 5 Regional Titles, and 1 State Championship. His boys’ teams won 5 Conference Titles, and 3 Regional Titles. Dick was named the 2003 State of Maine Class B Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year, KVAC Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year three times (2010, 2013, 2014), and KVAC Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year 4 times (2009, 2010, 2014, 2015). In addition to coaching Cross Country, Dick also served as the Head Indoor Track Coach (2003-04), Assistant Indoor Track Coach (2000-03), Varsity Boys Basketball Coach (1984-87), Boys JV Basketball Coach (1981-84), Freshman Boys Basketball Coach (1978-81), and Boys Indoor Assistant Track Coach (1977). Dick retired from coaching after the 2016 season, and from teaching at the end of the 2018 school year.
Ricky Craven, (Class of 1985), grew up watching his father compete at Speedway 95 in Bangor, Maine. Early in his racing career, Ricky won the 1991 championship in the now-NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. His path to NASCAR began at 15 years old in Unity, Maine, at Unity Raceway, where he earned two wins and Rookie of the Year honors in 1982, followed by a dozen victories en route to the track championship in 1983. He went on to multiple wins at several New England tracks in the following years before joining the American-Canadian Tour before advancing to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East full time in 1990. In 1991, he won a series-record 10 races on his way to the championship. Ricky competed in the NASCAR Cup Series for 11 seasons following his runner-up finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings in 1993 and 1994. He also earned Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (1992) and the NASCAR Cup Series (1995). In 2001, Ricky began driving the No.32 Tide Ford and scored his first career Cup Series victory that October at Martinsville Speedway following a last-lap battle with Dale Jarrett. His legendary 2003 win over Kurt Busch by .002 seconds at Darlington Raceway remains tied as the closest-recorded finish in NASCAR history. Ricky’s final full season of NASCAR competition was in 2005. He went on to win a NASCAR RV & GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES race for Jack Roush at Martinsville in 2006, after which he retired from driving with 446 NASCAR national series starts (278 Cup Series, 142 Xfinity and 26 Truck Series). After retiring, Ricky spent 14 years as a NASCAR analyst for ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, and Fox.
Jon Perry, (Class of 1977), was a three-sport athlete playing football, basketball and baseball. Jon was named to the Bangor Daily News All-Tournament Basketball Team in 1977, was an All-PVC Honorable Mention his sophomore year and an All-PVC First Team Baseball selection both his junior and senior years as a pitcher and outfielder. Jon was also named to the All-Zone 1 American Legion Baseball Team in both 1976 and 1977. After graduating from Hampden Academy, Jon went on to play baseball for four years at the University of Maine. He was a 4-year varsity “M” Award winner, selected to the 1980 All-Yankee Conference Second Team (1st Baseman), was a starter on the 1981 College World Series Baseball Team, and is in the Top 10 All-Time Single Season Batting average (senior year). After college, Jon went on to coach baseball as an assistant at both the University of Connecticut and Husson University, served as Head Baseball Coach at both Old Town High School and Hermon High School, has been an official for football, basketball, and baseball, volunteered with Little League and American Legion Baseball, served on the RSU22 Board of Directors, was an Athletic Administrator for 11 years (Hermon, Waterville, Bucksport), and is currently the Head Varsity Baseball Coach at Hampden Academy.
Morna Rawcliffe, (Class of 1944), was an outstanding athlete and coach. While attending Hampden Academy, the only sports offered were football, basketball and baseball for men and basketball for women. Morna played four years of basketball and also was a cheerleader. Morna attended the University of Maine, majoring in Physical Education and played Field Hockey, Basketball and Volleyball. She was also a member of the Tumbling Club and Modern Dance Club. Morna was named to the All-Maine Team in both Basketball and Field Hockey. In the fall of 1969, Morna became Hampden Academy’s first female Physical Education instructor. At that time there were only two sports offered for women, Basketball and Softball. Before she retired in 1977, she helped add (and coach) Gymnastics, Field Hockey, Volleyball and Track & Field. Morna also coached both JV and Varsity Basketball at Hampden Academy. After her retirement from teaching, Morna became heavily involved in the Senior Games, competing in Swimming, Bowling, Track & Field, Table Tennis, Basketball and Bowling. Upon her death in January of 2017, a scholarship in her name was established for a graduating senior from Hampden Academy.
Tom Stephenson, (Class of 1975), was a multi-sport athlete, playing Football (4 years), Basketball (9th Grade), Indoor Track (10th, 11th, & 12th), Baseball (9th), and Outdoor Track (10th, 11th, & 12th). Tom won between 6 and 10 Individual State Track & Field championships in a variety of events, holds the State of Maine and Hampden Academy record in the 60-yard dash and also held the State of Maine record in the 300 yard run. Tom went on to be a 4-year scholarship athlete in Track & Field at the University of Maine, lettering three years in Outdoor Track and 4 years in Indoor Track.