The top sports stories for first half of 2022 in southern Aroostook

Editor’s Note: The following is the first of two articles highlighting some of the top sports stories from 2022. This article highlights events from January through June. 


Dewey DeWitt, a longtime broadcaster who has been inducted into three halls of fame and was for decades the voice of Aroostook County sports, died at the age of 99. The Foreston, New Brunswick, native began his career as a broadcaster in 1951 and he was the first person seen when WAGM-TV in Presque Isle launched in 1956.

Hunter Burpee, the 17-year-old son of Janet and Matt Burpee, a senior forward for the Southern Aroostook boys basketball team scored the 1,000th point of his high school career Jan. 3, in a home game against Central Aroostook. His historic shot came on a layup where he was fouled going to the rim. The layup was set up by a nice pass from his younger brother, Dylan.

Two longtime basketball broadcasters in Aroostook County were fired from radio station WHOU after making disparaging remarks on-air about some of the student players. Jim Carter and Steve Shaw were getting ready to broadcast a high school girls basketball game when they made inappropriate comments about basketball players on a different girls game also being broadcast online. They did not know the microphone was on.

Walker Oliver, left, of the Hodgdon boys basketball team goes up for a one-handed shot while defended by Southern Aroostook’s Drake Weston during Monday’s season-opening game in Hodgdon. SA won 94-47.  (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

Walker Oliver of Hodgdon established a modern state record during a basketball game against Washburn. In a sport often dominated by the 3-point shot, the 6-foot-2 junior scored 64 points during a 95-46 victory, but made just two baskets from beyond the arc while setting the unofficial state schoolboy standard for points in a game since the 3-point line was implemented in 1987. 


In line with other sports, every cheerleading squad was allowed to participate in the state meet regardless of how they performed in the regionals on Feb. 5, at Stearns High School in Millinocket and Lewiston High School. In the regional competitions, Houlton placed sixth in the Class C event. At states, the Shires placed 10th out of 17 squads.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — February 5, 2022 — Houlton cheerleaders, from left, Olivia Drake, Ellie Grant, Lydia Byron and Sophia Lorom perform their routine at the Class C North cheering championships Saturday at Stearns High School. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

A small group of just seven runners turned out for the 38th annual Snow Run as part of the Moosestompers winter carnival weekend. The hearty group of runners had to brave slippery road conditions after Friday’s storm dropped more than a foot of new snow. Teanne Ewings was the top finisher, completing the 5-kilometer course in 22 minutes.

Southern Aroostook High School junior guard Madison Russell said she was “completely blindsided” when a third-quarter free throw during a 69-23 Class D North semifinal win over Schenck from East Millinocket gave her 1,000 points for her career.

The quest for perfection continued for the Southern Aroostook girls basketball team. The Warriors (21-0 overall) captured the Class D North championship with a 59-26 victory over No. 2 Wisdom of St. Agatha.

Not to be outdone, the Southern Aroostook boys used an impressive defensive performance to defeat the top-ranked Machias Bulldogs at the Cross Insurance Center. The Warriors defeated previously unbeaten Machias 44-37 to win the Class D North championship.


The Southern Aroostook girls basketball team was once again state champs. The Warriors beat Seacoast Christian Academy, 58-18, to win their third gold ball in the past five years. The Southern Aroostook boys followed suit with an 82-61 victory over Forest Hills to win the gold ball for the first time since 1991.

Aroostook’s first Unified Basketball squad will see possibly its only action of the season Monday afternoon when the Houlton Shires travel to Orono. Unified basketball’s popularity has risen in Maine in recent years. Teams may participate in multi-team, end-of-season festivals in mid-March.

After nearly two decades of success, Shawn Graham stepped down as coach of the Houlton girls basketball team. Graham held the post for the past 18 years. He ended his coaching career with an overall record of 254 wins and 98 losses.

After six decades in education, Hodgdon’s Wayne Quint was ready for retirement. The athletic director for SAD 70 in Hodgdon, Quint announced he was stepping down from the post he has held for the past 12 years at the end of this school year. He began his teaching career in 1959.

High school seniors had one last time to shine on the basketball court as the Aroostook League Senior All-Star Games were played at Caribou High School. Forty schoolboy and schoolgirl seniors were selected to participate in the Aroostook League’s annual Senior All-Star Game. All-Stars were selected based on nominations from coaches as well as opinions from local media representatives.


The Northern Maine Fair in Presque Isle announced it was ending harness racing as part of its summer activities, marking the end of an era for the sport. Dwindling spectators, horses and riders were cited as the leading factors.

Samantha and Dan Swallow compete in the Meduxnekeag River Canoe Race in Houlton Saturday. Credit: Joseph Cyr / Houlton Pioneer Times


Perhaps it was the brisk morning temperature or the fast-moving and chilly water conditions. Whatever the case, a field of just 26 boats, featuring 40 paddlers, showed up for the 2022 Meduxnekeag River Canoe and Kayak race. That figure was exactly half the number of participants in last year’s race.

After several postponements to start the season, the Houlton boys and girls tennis teams finally took to the courts for their first action of the spring. Local baseball and softball teams were also able to begin their seasons as fields dried out enough to play.


History was made at Coffin Field in Brewer as Hodgdon captured the first regional softball championship in the history of the school. No. 2 Hodgdon (16-2 overall) used stellar pitching from junior Marissa Dow and stingy defense to shut out No. 8 Machias, 2-0, for the Class D North regional championship. Dow did a superb job mixing up her pitches to keep Machias’ hitters off balance for much of the game. She allowed three hits and one walk, with four strikeouts.

Dreams of bringing home a gold ball were not meant to be for Hodgdon, however, as the Hawks fell to Searsport 7-3 in the Class D championship at the University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus.

Super Stock driver David Dahlk and Stock driver Gabriel Sloat each took wins in their divisions and headed to Ohio later in the summer to compete in the prestigious All-American Soap Box Derby following Houlton’s annual Soap Box Derby event.

A strong overall effort was put in by members of the Houlton-Greater Houlton Christian Academy track and field squad as the Shires competed in the state Class C championships at Lewiston High School. Freshman Teanne Ewings captured the state championship in the 1,600-meter run with her time of 5 minutes, 2.47 seconds. 

LEWISTON, Maine — June 6, 2022 — Teanne Ewings of the Houlton-GHCA track and field team captured the state championship in both the 1,600 meter and 800 races in the Class C championships Saturday in Lewiston.

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