The ‘Hawk’ continues his 50-plus years of excellence on the hard court

By Bill Pearson
Staff Writer

    His birth certificates reads David Marsh Anderson, but in Eastern Maine athletic circles he’s been better known as “Hawk.” It seems ever since he scored a last-second shot in a grammar school basketball game, “Hawk” has had a penchant in making long-range shots to lift his hometown team to victory.

ne-hawk5-dc-po-9Observer photo/Bill Pearson

    THE HAWK — Foxcroft Academy Alumnus David “Hawk” Anderson designates a throw-in spot during the Presque Isle and Mount Desert Island girls’ Class B regional final last month. Anderson was recognized on March 9 for his 30 years as a basketball official by IAABO (International Approved Association Basketball Officials) board 111. He has made the tournament pool as an official for 18 straight years and has officiated many regional and state finals.

    “My teammates started calling me Hawkeye when I was young probably because of my long range shooting and hopefully, not for my profile,” Anderson said. “I remember we were trailing Dexter by a point with time running out. Dickie Annis got a rebound and passed me the ball. I took two dribbles and launched one from beyond half court to win the game.”
    “Hawk” has been a standout performer whether it was on the hardwood, football field or baseball diamond. He was a thousand-point scorer in high school basketball. He quarterbacked FA to an undefeated state championship team in 1967. He batted third in the Pony baseball lineup and hurled a couple of no-hitters.
    He was also a successful basketball coach who piloted Schenck to the Class B Eastern Maine final in 1984. Anderson, 61, has also been a prominent baseball umpire and basketball official for three decades. He received a plaque on March 9 commemorating his 30 years of officiating high school basketball during the IAABO (International Approved Association Basketball Officials) board 111’s spring meeting.
    He has made the tournament pool of officials for 18 straight years. Anderson has officiated many regional and state finals in his career. This year, he was assigned the State Class A boys’ game between Hampden Academy and South Portland.
    He became a sports official after deciding to purse a career in school administration. As an administrator, he wouldn’t be able to devote the necessary time to coach a team. However, Anderson still wanted to stay involved with the games he’s loved since childhood.
    “Sometimes it’s an overwhelming responsibility, but my employers have allowed me the opportunity to continue to officiate,” Anderson said. “I just love basketball and especially officiating. I also enjoy being a part of young people’s lives and officiating helps me do that.”
    When Anderson decided to pursue a master’s degree in school administration, he knew his days as a high school coach were over. As a graduate student, he became an assistant under former University of Maine coach Rudy Keeling. As an assistant, Anderson coached several Black Bears who were former Maine high school basketball stars. These players included fellow FA graduate Dean Smith, Van Buren’s Matt Rossignol and Mattanawcook Academy’s Curtis Robertson.
    Prior to entering school administration, he spent his teaching career as a physical education, health and science instructor. His first administrative job was as the Orono Middle and High schools’ athletic director from 1990-92
    He is now serving in a dual role as the Holden Elementary School principal and superintendent of schools for SAD 63 (Holden, Eddington and Clifton) and Consolidated School District 8 (Amherst, Aurora, Gray Pond and Osborne). He’s been the principal at the kindergarten through grade 4 school since 1996. He became the school superintendent in 2010. 
    As a basketball official, Anderson has crossed the paths of those he played with and against in the Penquis League during the late 1960s. Anderson played against former Penquis coach Tony Hamlin and his older brother, Peter, in high school. Anderson and Tony Hamlin became his teammates when the two played at the University of Maine.
    Anderson recalls a time when he received a call from high school basketball tournament officials who inquired whether he had any trepidation about working one of Hamlin’s games. He responded that he wouldn’t have a problem, but they might want to make another phone call.
    “I didn’t have any issue with doing the game, but I told them, you might want to check with Tony first,” he said. “I ended up getting the assignment. Tony and I have had a great relationship over the years, but when you step on the court, you forget about those kinds of things and concentrate on your role as an official.”
    Anderson is one of five Foxcroft basketball players who surpassed the thousand-point mark. Despite reaching a plateau that few reach, he doesn’t recall much about the night it happened.
    “I know the plaque at FA says 1,079 career points, but other than that I don’t recall much about that night,” he said. “In those days, they didn’t stop the game and it wasn’t that big a deal.”
    Anderson does remember the night he set the Penquis League game-scoring record with 39 points on 18 field goals against Dexter. But his fondest high school memory occurred almost 20 years after his playing days ended.
    He was coaching Schenck in 1988, when his alma mater gathered all five thousand-point scorers together. The event happened prior to a Schenck-Foxcroft game. Anderson was joined by current Foxcroft player Dean Smith, who is Anderson’s nephew; Jack Anderson,  his father and school’s first thousand-point scorer;  Kevin Nelson and Rich MacLeish.
    For Anderson, the opportunity to share his achievement with his father made the accomplishment even more satisfying.
    “To share that moment with my father was something special,” Anderson said. “For him to score a thousand points in a time when there wasn’t much scoring is truly amazing. It was an amazing night and an honor to share it with my dad and the others.”
    The special moment also had a profound effect on Anderson’s Schenck squad.
    “Once the game started my players seemed to really feed off all the excitement too! I think FA burned three timeouts in the first quarter,” Anderson said.
    After he graduated from the University of Maine in 1974, he pursued a physical education teaching career. He obtained his first job in Greenville with assistance from his former University of Maine basketball coach Thomas “Skip” Chappelle and football coach Walt Abbot.
    Anderson indicated that becoming a teacher was a natural progression due to the experience he had as a child growing up in Dover-Foxcroft and attending local schools.
    “My parents, Jack and Bev, were so loving and supportive of me growing up. My brother, Trey was an inspiration and my sister, Candy, was a cheerleader, who supported my efforts throughout my life ,” Anderson said. “I also had so many inspirational teachers and principals. So it’s no wonder why I pursued a career in education.”
    Anderson made his biggest coaching splash at Schenck High School. He coached the Wolverines from 1982-88. He replaced his former high school basketball coach Ron Marks who had established the school as a perennial Class B championship contender. In 1984, Schenck lost in the regional final to Bucksport and in 1985 his team lost another closely contested battle against Van Buren in the game Rossignol scored 51 points.
    “We were a rebound away from a regional title,” Anderson said. “Bucksport missed the front end of a one-and-one. Our player tried to secure the ball, but it got knocked away. The ball found its way into their big man’s hands who scored an easy layup.”
    Anderson also coached varsity baseball at both Greenville and Schenck. When asked about his team’s highlights on the diamond, Anderson replied, “Well, baseball really wasn’t the big sport up there in East Millinocket.”
    Anderson has also made his mark in the local fashion scene. Whether its during the day in his Holden office or entering a gymnasium prior to officiating a game, he is usually dressed in an eye-catching outfit. His ensemble typically features bright and bold colors which is sure to grab everyone’s attention and start an immediate conversation about the fashionably dressed man.
    His ensemble was so striking that former WLBZ-TV sports anchor Dale Duff routinely honored him during his tournament recap known as the “Duffer Awards.”
    “I’ve been known to sport some serious colors in my wardrobe,” Anderson said. “When I coached my suits earned me several ‘Duffer Awards’ as the best dressed coach.”
    Anderson has toned down his penchant for bright colors. He has developed an appreciation for Donegal tweed which is a handwoven tweed manufactured in County Donegal, Ireland. Anderson recently purchased an Italian cut  charcoal gray suit.  He referred to the suit as “a killer” which was purchased at Joseph’s in Portland.
    While he has toned down his colorful wardrobe a bit, he warns there are still plenty of colorful ties and accessories which all go great with the new suit.

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