Event Oct. 21

Eight tabbed for 2017 Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame class

New group includes Bresnahan, Christie, Graffam, Magnusson, Mazurek, Pinkhm, Witham, Wootton
By Staff | Aug 28, 2017

Rockland — The Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame has revealed its eight inductees for the Class of 2017.

The individuals, who include Rick Bresnahan, John Chrisite (posthumously), Jim Graffam, Travis Magnusson, Ed Mazurek, I.J. Pinkham, Troy Witham and Sue Wootton, will be enshrined at the annual banquet on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Rockland Elks Club.

Also to be recognized will be the 1958-60 Waldoboro High School girls basketball teams that won the Knox-Lincoln championship, accumulating 33 wins over two years and which were invited to play at the Boston Garden.

A brief summary of each of this year's inductee's achievements follows:

Bresnahan moved to the Midcoast in 1974 and has been extensively involved in providing facilities and opportunities for youth and the general public. Some of his accomplishments include being a member of the founding board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a driving force behind starting the Midcoast Junior Golf Association, was president of Knox Suburban Little League, part of the CSD team that brought a track, larger fields, a maintenance shed and auditorium to Camden Hills Regional High School, was one of a team of four families to bring the Midcoast Recreation Center — which provides tennis, skating, ice hockey and pickleball, among other activities, to youths and adults in the area — one of the founders of the Pen Bay Soccer Club and also helped bring The Pitch (Pen Bay Indoor Turf & Community Hub) to the Midcoast. He also has received the Maine Principals' Association Service to Maine Youth Award.

Christie graduated from Camden High School in 1955, received a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick in 1959 and advanced studies in the International Graduate School at the University of Stockholm. Christie then began a nearly 50-year career in the ski industry, which began at Sugarloaf in 1961. He was named general manager of Sugarloaf in 1965. He then moved to Vermont in 1968 and became vice-president and general manager of the Mount Snow Development Cooperation. He returned to Maine in 1972, purchased Saddleback Mountain. Christie has been a member of the Ski Museum of Maine, a key influence in forming the Maine Ski Hall of Fame and elected as an inductee to that hall in 2007. Christie died on May 7, 2016.

Graffam graduated from Waldoboro High School in 1968, where he was a standout athlete in baseball, basketball and cross country. He went on to the University of Southern Maine, where he earned varsity letters in basketball and baseball. Graffam went on to a successful career in coaching basketball and baseball at the college level. He coached at St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Westbrook College, University of Maine at Fort Kent, Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt. and College of St Joseph’s in Rutland, Vt. He coached teams to four conference championships, four NAIA Region 8 playoffs and coached 49 all-conference players and three All-Americans. Graffam is a six-time coach of the year and was inducted into the USM player Hall of Fame, the UNE coach Hall of Fame, St. Joseph’s Coach Hall of Fame and the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. He also coached is high school alma mater for several seasons.

Magnusson graduated from Georges Valley High School in 2002, where he excelled in soccer, basketball and baseball. He scored 2,159 points as a basketball player, which placed him in the top five scorers all-time for Maine high school basketball. He was a Mr. Maine Basketball finalist and in 2002 the Class C tournament most valuabe player. In soccer, he scored 73 goals, which placed him in the top three all-time leading scorers for Georges Valley. He went on to the University of Maine at Farmington where he had a stellar career in basketball, scoring 1,400 points, which put him in the top-five leading scorers in program history. Magnusson has gone on to have a successful coaching career at Livermore Falls of Jay and Dirigoof Dixfield high schools. In 10 years, he has won more than 150 games, voted Class C coach of the year three times and led Dirigo to the state Class C championship in 2012. Magnusson also coaches girls soccer, where his teams have won 70 games, reached the Western Maine finals and has been named coach of the year.

Mazurek grew up in Stamford, Conn., graduating from Stamford High School and Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he also played football. Upon graduation from college, Mazurek played professional football for the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings. Upon moving to Maine, Mazurek became the football and softball coach at Rockland District High School. He had a successful career as the football coach, helping turn the program around, creating a winning atmosphere. Affectionately known as ‘Coach Maz’, he is remembered for his intensity and fire on the field and being a master motivator. He coached the school’s softball team 18 years.

Pinkham graduated from Milbridge High School in 1965, where he was a basketball player, once scoring 53 points in a game against rival Jonesboro. He went on to Farmington State College where he was on the varsity basketball team under coach Len McPhee. But it was his coaching ability that truly made him stand out as he accumulated over 600 wins, making him the winningest basketball coach in Maine history. His first coaching job was in Buckfield, where he coached from 1971-76, winning 52 games. He then moved to Boothbay Region where he has coached since, racking up 551 wins, five regional championship and a state Class C title in 2001. His Boothbay boys hoop teams have qualified for the regional playoffs 24 consecutive years starting in 1993.

Witham is one of the most decorated amateur golfers in Maine history. As a student at Rockland District High School, he helped the Tigers win four straight state championships and also won the Maine Principals' Association individual schoolboy championship twice. He has been one of the few Maine golfers to earn a Division I scholarship to play at the collegiate level, attending Memphis State University. In 1986, Witham went to the US Amateur in Muerfield, Ohio where he made it to the Round of 8 in a 164-player field. He won the MSGA Junior Championship twice and in 1986, was the youngest player ever to win the Paul Bunyan Golf Tournament. While at Memphis State, he won the Music City Intercollegiate Tournament in 1991 and in 1992 was the medalist when the Memphis Tigers won the Great Midwest Conference championship.

Wootton graduated from Camden-Rockport High School in 1975, where she was a standout on the girls basketball team, softball team and two years on the ski team. She was most valuable player on the basketball team her junior year and captain her senior year. Wootton went on to the University of Maine at Farmington, where she played basketball and volleyball four years. Her 1978 basketball team was state champions and she served as captain her senior year. In volleyball, Wootton was selected to the All-New England and All-State teams. She also captained that team her senior year. Wootton then went on to a coaching career, which started during her senior year at Farmington, when she coached the Mount Blue eighth-grade girls. She then came back to the Camden-Rockport area to coach sixth- to eighth-grade girls before taking over as varsity girls coach in 1982. Wootton took a losing program and turned it around, as the Windjammers qualified for the Eastern Maine tournament each year during her three-year tenure. She also has done extensive work with the youth programs in the area and been a stalwart with the Rockland Women’s Golf Association.

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