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This week’s edition!

Meleikis wins Spirit of the Game Award


ELHS Red Eddies senior captain Ian Meleikis

The 7th annual Spirit of the Game Award was presented to Ian Meleikis of Edward Little High School recently at the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches Awards Banquet in Bangor. As the East Division award recipient, Meleikis received a trophy and a $500 Spirit Scholarship to assist with his higher education.

Since 2009, the annual award has honored two high school seniors, one each from the East and West Divisions, who embody the spirit of the game of basketball, exemplifying sportsmanship and support while inspiring their teammates and coaching staff.

Meleikis is a four-year varsity basketball player and a senior captain of the ELHS Red Eddies. This year, he was named a 1st-Team All-Conference Player after leading his team to an overall 18-2 record and a KVAC Championship. But the successes of this season resulted from a lot of courage and perseverance.

When Meleikis was a freshman, his father passed away suddenly. Despite this devastating loss, he persevered on the basketball court and became an integral part of the team’s success that year. As a sophomore, he was positioned to be ELHS’s starting point guard, but was hospitalized for nearly three weeks early in the season with a severe case of Mononucleosis. Again, although he was not able to play at 100% capacity, he worked hard to get back in the game for his teammates.

During his junior year, in the final football game of the season, Meleikis suffered a fractured tibia. Doctors told him he might never run again. Once again, he persevered. Despite not being able to walk, he attended every practice, game and event throughout the season while working to strengthen his upper body. Incredibly, he was able to play in EL’s last regular season game of the year and two play-off games.

As a captain and leader, Meleikis’ spirit and love for the game have inspired both his teammates and younger “Eddies” who aspire to be varsity athletes to persevere through tough times.

Assisting in presenting the awards named in their honor were former Spirit of the Game Award recipients Josh Titus and Patrick Thibodeau. Titus and Thibodeau were Maine high school varsity basketball team managers who made headlines in 2009 when their coaches put them in to play in the last home game of the season. The story made national news and was the subject of a CBS Sports documentary broadcast during the NCAA Final Four pre-game show.

The East Division honor is named the Joshua Titus Spirit of the Game Award and the West Division honor is named the Patrick Thibodeau Spirit of the Game Award.

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