Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame: Though not his favorite, hockey is where Dick Strong thrived most

Dick Strong’s favourite recreation was once basketball, and baseball was once a detailed 2nd, however hockey was once where he thrived most and made his largest mark as an athlete.

Strong was once a top-performing goalie for Lewiston High and Kents Hill School. He additionally performed newbie hockey for the LA Twins. He additionally performed baseball for the Auburn Asa’s — a semi-pro baseball group — and took part in American Legion baseball.

Dick Strong, left, stands with fellow inductee Pete Lacasse on the contemporary Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame ceremonial dinner in Auburn. Submitted picture

After his athletic occupation, Strong was a trainer, highschool trainer and a steering counselor.

His all-round contributions to the neighborhood and his athletic exploits, particularly in hockey, are some of the causes he was once lately inducted into the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame.

“It is fascinating and humbling,” Strong mentioned. “I never expected it. When I was aware that I would be inducted, it was kind of a surprise to me. I had just a long career playing a variety of different sports … never realizing it would lead to something like this.”

He was once slated to be inducted, alongside Lynn McNutt-Girouard and Pete Lacasse, into the Auburn-Lewiston Hall in 2020, however COVID-19 interrupted the method.

“You kind of lose track that it is going to happen because of what was going on with COVID,” he mentioned.

Strong started enjoying hockey for trainer Mike Goff Sr. on the St. Patrick’s School within the Fifties. He later attended Lewiston High School where hockey trainer Donia “Don” Girard Jr., who was once additionally an outstanding goalie, took hobby in Strong and grew to become him into a refined netminder.

Dick Strong was once gifted goalie who went directly to play goalie for Lewiston High School, Kents Hill School and newbie hockey group the LA Twins. Submitted picture

Strong flourished as a goalie for the Blue Devils right through Lewiston’s back-to-back state championship victories in 1962 and 1963. He held his flooring within the 1962 championship quest, right through which he allowed best two objectives in 3 event video games and earned the shutout win over Waterville. Strong additionally thrived within the 1963 event with 8 shutout classes.

His accomplishments at the ice carried over to newbie hockey after he graduated from Lewiston in 1963. He was once a goalie for the Junior LA Twins in 1963. The group gained the New England Championship that yr.

But Strong additionally set his points of interest on furthering his schooling and  enrolled at Kents Hill, where he performed baseball, hockey and football from 1964 to 1965. He was once named a hockey MVP and picked up 9 shutouts for the football group.

He later joined  joined the Senior LA Twins in 1964 and was once a two-time New England Championship winner. During his tenure as a goalie with the Twins, he earned the Adult Hockey Association’s All-New England honors, was once named MVP and earned a commute to the National AHA Tournament in Minnesota.

A significant knee damage put an finish to his hockey occupation in 1966.

Dick Strong additionally performed goalie for Kents Hill School. Submitted picture

After graduating from Kents Hill, he went directly to earn a Bachelor of Science stage from the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham and a grasp’s in counseling. He was a trainer, a steering counselor and steering director for the Auburn college machine and at Leavitt Area High School. He additionally coached baseball and hockey at each colleges.

He additionally began a circle of relatives. He and his spouse, Jackie, have two sons, Mike and Matt.

When Strong, who additionally performed basketball, baseball and football, is requested if hockey was once his favourite recreation, he responded with a convincing, “No!”

“I played basketball up until the eighth grade and had not played hockey until I was an eighth-grader,” he mentioned.

But Goff requested him to be the goalie for the St. Patrick’s group since the college didn’t have any individual available to fill that place.

“I had never been on skates before, so that was my first experience,” Strong mentioned.

At Lewiston High, Strong was once making an allowance for returning to the basketball court docket.

Richard Strong, kneeling, center, performed baseball for Kents Hill college. Submitted picture

“I was going to go back to basketball, so my sophomore year, I quit hockey,” he mentioned. “I was the backup varsity goalie and I said, ‘No, I don’t want to do this.’ But I quit, which you don’t normally do, especially during the season, and as it turned out, I realized basketball wasn’t really going to be my sport, and then they hired a new coach (Girard) at Lewiston, who was a former All-American goalie at Providence College, and he came to talk to me about becoming a goalie and he mentored me and worked with me, so my two major sports are not the ones I was actually successful with.”

Making his on-ice accomplishments much more spectacular is the small time-frame by which they passed off.

“But you know, in a short period of time, I had more success in hockey than I had in any of the other sports I played combined because I started playing hockey as a goalie in ’62, and by ’65, ’66, I was done with the sport,” Strong mentioned. “I was very fortunate to have the success in a sport that wasn’t one of my two favorites.” 

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