UMFK honors athletes at Hall of Fame ceremony

FORT KENT, Maine — Three former University of Maine at Fort Kent athletes and one multi-award winning coach were inducted into the UMFK Athletic Hall of Fame at a dinner and ceremony at the Sport Center on Saturday, April 7.

Guests at the 11th annual UFMK Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dinner enjoy a meal by Sodexo on Saturday, April 7. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

The inductees are UMFK alumni Robert “Bob” Stedt (’74); Damion Stone (’11), Kimika Forbes (’14 and ’16); and former UMFK women’s basketball coach and national championship women’s soccer team coach Lucas Levesque.

Former UMFK administrator Terence “Terry” Kelly received the Floyd “Red” Powell award. Kelly and UMFK athletic director Bill Ashby developed the framework for the UMFK Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.

Stedt studied education at UMFK where he served as captain of the Bengal men’s soccer team and was named to the All-Conference team. Throughout the past nearly four decades, he has officiated more than 11,000 soccer, basketball and baseball games. Stedt has been an instrumental part of bringing high school wrestling to the state of Maine.

He is a retired educator and elementary school principal who works as a school bus driver and volunteers for the Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp and Caribou Recreation Youth Baseball.

Kimika Forbes (standing with crutches) talks with guests of the 11th annual UMFK Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dinner on Saturday, April 7. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

Levesque is a Fort Kent native who served as assistant athletic director at the university and is the all-time wins leader in both women’s soccer and women’s basketball at UMFK. Under Levesque, the lady Bengals won four consecutive U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association national championships and six overall in the seven years UMFK has been part of the USCAA. Levesque has won numerous coaching awards, including the 2015 USCAA National Soccer Coach of the Year. He has coached 20 All-Americans.

Forbes won a U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national soccer championship in 2013 under Levesque and posted a USCAA-high 14 wins as the keeper. She has been the most internationally decorated player to wear a Lady Bengal uniform. In 2014, UMFK named Forbes their Athlete of the Year. She also is goalkeeper for the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team, which she led to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup game.

Stone also is a former soccer standout at UMFK.

In 2010, he was named UMFK Athlete of the Year, after he led the Bengals to their first USCAA national title. Stone also was named Sunrise Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and was selected to the NAIA All-American Honorable Mention team.

Larry Murphy (left) congratulates his friend Bob Stedt after presenting Stedt with his certificate of induction into the UMFK Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 7. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

In 77 career games at UMFK, Stone scored 16 goals, assisted on another seven, and posted 39 points.

Stone also made the dean’s list all four years he attended UMFK and volunteered for numerous community organizations and events, including the Fort Kent Elementary School indoor soccer program and UMFK youth soccer summer camp

John Short, president of UMFK, told about 100 guests in attendance at the induction ceremony Saturday that student athletes benefit from working together through team building.

“They learn not only their majors,” he said, “but empathy and inclusion.” Short also said he is proud of the graduation rate and academic success of athletes at UMFK, as well as the fact that UMFK has such a diverse student body representing 27 different countries, with students from many of those countries attending the university as student athletes.

Fort Kent Police Chief Tom Pelletier, who emceed the event, said that he knows many of the student athletes well and that they are a benefit to the community at large.

“They’ve done an outstanding job to teach our community and be part of our community,” he said.

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