BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Eleven athletes were inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Sunday.
Among them were weightlifters, coaches, football players, and more.
But one inductee inspired the crowd despite his short athletic career.
Travis Roy received a standing ovation even though he can no longer stand himself.
A Mainer and former Boston University hockey player, Roy was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.
His father Lee said the honor came with mixed feelings, “It's certainly a day that we are very proud of as a family. It's just sort of for the wrong reason in one sense, that's all.”
Roy's career was cut short after colliding with the boards during his first ever shift on the ice at BU.
He described the devastation. “The excitement and the thrill of living this dream that I had worked so hard for. You know, you drop the puck and 11 seconds later I'm lying on the ice and I knew pretty much instantly that I was paralyzed and that my hockey career was over. And it was just a sense of sadness.”
His recovery is a never ending battle. His father said, “To send off a 20-year-old top athlete in the United States, and then six months later to have an infant 20-year-old return to your home who couldn't do anything for himself, nobody teaches you how to deal with a situation like that.”
While Travis is proud of the work he has done since his injury, he acknowledges the struggle. “I'm doing the best with this wheelchair. But I hate it. I can't wait for the research to move along.”
He has helped that research move along with the Travis Roy Foundation. The foundation has raised millions of dollars both in research and resources for paraplegics.
Twenty years post-injury, Roy is an honorary player for the Boston Bruins, an inspirational speaker, and now a member of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.
An accomplishment that he says he owes to his team of support - including his former BU coach Jack Parker.
Travis said, “I only played for him for 11 seconds, but he has been there every minute since.”
Coach Jack Parker sat in the audience to support Roy at the awards.
Travis’ Dad was teary-eyed as he reflected on the experience of coming back to the family’s home state for such an honor. “It's always special to come back to Maine for Travis and for us. This is where he grew up. This is where we worked. Maine is very very special for us to return to.”
His collegiate career spanned just 11 seconds, but now Travis Roy's name will be forever remembered in Maine Sports History.
Ten athletes and one party were inducted Sunday.
Kristin Barry of South Portland achieved success running races in the state, region and country. She competed in the 2008 Olympic marathon trials in Boston and has placed in the upper tier at the Boston Marathon and Beach to Beacon. According to her apparent LinkedIn profile, Barry is an alumna of Dartmouth College and Georgetown Law and is the head cross country coach at Cheverus High School.
Kirsten Clark-Rickenbach of Raymond was a downhill skier on the U.S. Ski Team, competing in three Winter Olympics. She won seven U.S. titles, had 30 top-10 finishes in World Cup speed events, competed in six World Alpine Championships and, in 2003, won the Silver Medal in super-G. The junior national champion attended Carrabassett Valley Academy.
The Cross family of Bangor has advanced sport through its naming rights at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Cross Insurance Arena in Portland and Cross Insurance Pavilion & Business Center iin Gillette Stadium. The family—including Woodrow, Royce, Brent (to be inducted posthumously), Jonathan and Woodrow II—has a presence with the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins.
Pennie Page Cummings of Lewiston has had a legendary golf career in Maine and New England. She won the Maine Women's Amateur Championship six times in four decades and finished as runner-up nine times. Cummings also has won 11 Senior Championships in the last two decades.
Doug Friedman of Cape Elizabeth enjoyed a nine-year professional ice hockey career, winning a Calder Cup while captaining the Hershey Bears in the AHL and playing with Edmonton and Nashville in the NHL. The former Boston University captain and three-time Final Four participant is head ice hockey coach and Director of Athletics at Kents Hill School.
Dan Hamblett, of Portland won 28 state powerlifting championships, 19 national championships and five world championships while setting three American records and one world record. Hamblett, who graduated from Deering High School and Maine Maritime Academy, participated in national and world competitions for more than 20 years.
John “Jack” Kelley, a U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer who coached the Colby College men's ice hockey team, guided Boston University to two national titles, led the Hartford Whalers to an AVCO Cup and was president of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ralph Payne of Brewer was a tri-captain and an all-state running back for state champion Brewer High School. Letterman Magazine called him one of the 22 best running backs in the nation and the 1970 Kick-Off Magazine listed him as the second-best running back in the New England/Mid-Atlantic states. Payne was chosen for several all-American football squads.
Ed Phillips of Portland, who pitched in relief in 1970 for the Red Sox, also had a stellar career in Minor League Baseball. Phillips was the No. 1 hurler for Colby College, was an all-state player at Deering High School and starred on state and New England Little League championship teams. He notched a number of no-hitters during his career.
Sheri Piers of Westbrook, like Barry, achieved success running races in the state, region and country. She also competed in the 2008 Olympic marathon trials in Boston and has placed in the upper tier at the Boston Marathon and Beach to Beacon. According to her apparent LinkedIn profile, Piers is an alumna of St. Joseph's College.
Travis Roy of Yarmouth was an elite high school ice hockey player who became a quadriplegic when he crashed into the boards in his first game at Boston University. The author, speaker and fundraiser for spinal cord injury research and survivors is the lone Terrier to have his number retired. The Boston Bruins recently awarded him a one-day contract to recognize his work.
Amy Vachon of Augusta is a former assistant coach at the University of Maine where, as a player, she set school and league assist records and guided the Black Bears to two America East championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances. She's now a newly-promoted associate head coach at UMaine. At Cony, she was USA TODAY Maine Player of the Year, Gatorade Player of the Year and Miss Maine Basketball.
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