Caribou Viking Basketball

Caribou Basketball

The Early Years


The earliest sign of basketball being played in Caribou that I have been able to uncover is 1902 when the girls team scheduled two games with Presque Isle. ​​ In those games Presque Isle won by scores of 29 – 11 and 28 – 6. ​​ In 1905 there was a four game series played between the Caribou and Presque Isle boys. ​​ Caribou won two games by the score of ​​ 30 – 13 and 27 – 7 and Presque Isle won two by scores of 23 – 17 and 18 – 16.  ​​​​ The names of players who played for Caribou were: ​​ LaFleche, Pike, Oak, Trusty,Michaud; subs were Bouchard and Henderson. ​​ Caribou and Island Falls were the only two teams in the​​ County in 1907, Caribou competed with College Preparatory schools like Ricker and Washburn Athletic Club. ​​ Members of the team were: Jim Michaud, Remi La Fleche, John Farrell, Joe Trusty, Philip McNelly.


1908: ​​ Caribou and Ricker were barrerd from playing in the two Aroostook Leagues that were created because they were using players that had used up their eligibility.

1909: ​​ A.C.I. defeated Caribou in a play-off game 18 – 14 to win the Aroostook County Championship. ​​ The game was played on a neutral court, the Rollaway Skating Rink in Presque Isle.

1910: ​​ Caribou had a team this year but there is little information available about their season.

1911: ​​ The Aroostook Central League was created this year but Caribou does not appear to be a member, there is not any data that indicates they had a team. ​​ The Caribou girls ​​ had a team this year and they competed with Ashland, Fort Fairfield and Aroostook State Normal School.

1912: ​​ Caribou High School joined the Aroostook Central League, the finished 2nd​​ behind A.C.I. with a 9 – 3 record.

1913: ​​ Ashland and Caribou tied for 2nd​​ place in the league and had a play-off game which Caribou won 22-11.

1914: ​​ This year the Northern Aroostook Interscholastic League was created with teams from Caribou, A.C.I., Fort Fairfield and Presque Isle participating. ​​ Caribou finished in second place behind Presque Isle who had a 15 – 1 record.

1915: ​​ Caribou won the N.A..I.L. Championship with a record of 5 – 1. ​​ Members of the team were Cliff Morgan, Don smith, Sam Collins, Al Little, and Floyd Smiley, subs were Ed Williamson, “Mutt” Waddington and Lawrence Hutchinson. ​​ Gene Taylor was the Caribou coach.

1916: ​​ Only three teams competed in the League this year, Caribou finished last with a 0-4 record.

1917: ​​ Presque Isle won the league championship this year with a 10-2 mark. ​​ Could not find accurated data for the Caribou team.

1918: ​​ Presque Isle won the N.A.I..L. Championship again this year and were also claimed to be State Champions. ​​ No statistical information available for Caribou although they did have a team.

1919:​​ Caribou finished 2nd​​ in the league with 2 wins and 3 losses.


1920: ​​ Caribou again had a team but no data is available.

1921: ​​ Washburn won the league championship this year ending Presque Isle’s five year reign. ​​ Caribou had a team I could not find any statistical information other than the lost two games very handily to Presque Isle.

1922: ​​ Caribou High School had a team but very little data available.

1923: ​​ The N.A.I.L. schedule was not completed this year as some games were cancelled, a possible reason is the Caribou High School was destroyed by fire.

1924: ​​ Caribou had an​​ Aroostook League record of 1 - 5. ​​ A girls league was created this year with Caribou, Fort Fairfield an Presque Isle participating. ​​ Presque Isle and Caribou tied with 3-1 records and Caribou won the play-off game 27-21 to claim the championship.

1925: ​​ Aroostook League record of 3 - 3. ​​​​ The girl’s were 0 – 4.

1926: ​​ Caribou finished 5th​​ in the Aroostook League with a 2 – 8 record. ​​ Demerchant was selected to the All Aroostook League team and was Caribou’s leading scorer with 120 points. ​​ The Caribou girls finished 4th​​ in their league with a 5 – 5 record.

1927: ​​ Caribou finished 5th​​ for the second year in a row with a 3 – 7 record. ​​ Caribou girls won the Aroostook League Championship this year​​ with an 8 – 0 record.

1928: ​​ Final league standings had Caribou in last place with a 1 -9 record. ​​ The girls finished with a league record of 4 – 6.

1929: ​​ Caribou finished second in the league behind Houlton with a 6-4 record. ​​ Caribou was led offensively by Peterson who scored 95 points and McLaughlin who had 65.​​ The girls were 4 – 6 again this year.


1930: ​​ Caribou finished third in the league with a 5-5 record, Cote was selected to the All Aroostook League first team and J. McLaughlin was selected to the second team. ​​ Caribou girls tied for 3rd​​ with Fort Fairfield both with 6 – 4 records. ​​ Bouchard was selected to the All Aroostook 1st​​ team and Wark to the 2nd​​ team.

1931: ​​ Presque Isle began their dominance in the league this year going undefeated at 10-0, Caribou was second with a 7 -3 record. ​​ Anderson and Cote were selected to the All Aroostook 1st​​ team and Kelly to the 2nd​​ team. ​​ Kelly led Caribou in scoring with 104 points and Anderson had 80.​​ At the helm was Coach Callihan.

1932: ​​ Again Presque Isle continued their dominance going on to win the State Championship. ​​ Caribou was 3rd​​ in the League with a 5-5 record. B. Kelly and C. Kelly were name to the All Aroostook League 2nd​​ team. ​​ B. Kelly led Caribou in scoring with 77 points and C. Kelly had 58. ​​ Caribou girls were third in their league with a 5 – 4 record.

1933: ​​ Caribou had a 1 – 9 record and finished 5th​​ in the league. Caribou girls fiished 2nd​​ with 6 – 4 record.

1934: ​​ Presque Isle continued their dominance, Caribou finished last in the league with a 2-8 record. ​​ The Caribou girls finished with a 3 – 7 record, Nevers was named to the All Aroostook girls team. ​​ Briggs and P. Wark led the team in scoring with 52 and 50 points respectively.

1935: ​​ Caribou’s 1 – 8 record had them in last place in the Aroostook League. ​​ Caribou girls were third with a 4 – 5 season.

1936: ​​ Caribou again finished last with a winless record finishing 0-10. ​​ Raymond led the team in scoring with 42 points. ​​ The girls finished second with a 4-4 record. ​​ Thompson and Sodagren were named to the All League first team and Hallowell to the second team. ​​ Hallowell led the team in scoring with 49 points and Beal had 36.

1937: ​​ Caribou boys finished fifth in the league with a 2-8 record. ​​ The girls were second with a 8-3 record. ​​ Hallowell and Sodagren were named to the All League first team while Gregory, Beal, Peterson, Tozier and Corey were second team selections.

1938: ​​ Success came to the Caribou boys this season finishing 3rd​​ in the league with a 6-4 record. ​​ Pratt was named to the All League 1st​​ team and Habeeb to the 2nd​​ team. ​​ The Caribou girls finished with a 5-5 season. ​​ Gregory and Corey were named to the All League team.

1939: ​​​​ Caribou found themselves 5th​​ in the League with a 3-7 record, R. Habeeb was named to the All Aroostook League 2nd​​ team. ​​ The girls finished 3rd​​ with a 4-1-5 record, Gregory and Snow were All Aroostook 1st​​ team selections.


1940: ​​ Caribou finished second in the league with a 7-3 record behind a very good Presque Isle team who were 10-0. ​​ R. Habeeb was selected All Aroostook 1st​​ team and Hardacker was selected to the 2nd​​ team. ​​ Habeeb scored 105 points on the season and Carter added 54. ​​ 

1941: ​​ Caribou was again second in the league with a 8-2 mark behind Presque Isle who was 9-1. ​​ Habeeb and Carter were named to the All –Aroostook 1st​​ team. ​​ Habeeb scored 132 points for Caribou and Carter 65. ​​ Only three schools competed in the girls division and Caribou was not one of them

1942: ​​ Presque Isle won itsw 5th​​ straight League title with a 10-0 record, Caribou was tied for second with a 5-5 record. ​​ Bouchard was selected to the All Aroostook 2nd​​ team, he led his team in scorig with 93 points, Pelletier added 64 points.

1943: ​​ Caribou finished 4th​​ in the league compiling a 2-8 record.

1944: ​​ Caribou again finished 4th​​ with a 3-5 record. No stats reported.

1945: ​​ Caribou moved up to 3rd​​ this year compiling a 4-4 record. ​​ Freme and Smith were named to the All Aroostook League 2nd​​ team.

1946: ​​ Caribou finished second in the League behind Fort Fairfield with a 6-2 record. ​​ Fort had defeated Caribou twice during the season 34-33 and 23-20. ​​ Hallowell and Smith were named to the All Aroostook 1st​​ team and Warner to the 2nd​​ team. ​​ Smith was the leading scorer in the league with 97 points and Hallowell had 62. ​​​​ Euclid Warner was named to the Eastern Maine Tournament 2nd​​ team.

1947: ​​ 0 – 8 in the Aroostook League..

1948: ​​ The Aroostook League was won by Fort ​​ Fairfield, Caribou compiled a 2-6 record and finished 4th. ​​ Robertson was selected as an alternate for the All Aroostook second team.​​ 

1949: ​​ Caribou tied Fort Fairfield for 1st​​ place in the Aroostook League both having six wins and two defeats. ​​ Both teams played in the Class L Eastern Maine tournament. ​​ Caribou lost in the opening round to John Bapst 41-39. ​​ Selected to the All Aroostook 1st​​ team were Bouchard, Haley, and​​ Dale​​ Robertson;​​ Delwood Damboise and Hugh​​ Pierson were​​ selected to the 2nd​​ team. ​​ Robertson led Caribou in scoring with 78 points and B. Haley had 76. ​​ 


1950: ​​ Caribou won the Aroostook League title with a 9-1 league record and overall record of 18-5. ​​ Rated fourth in the Maine Principal’s Assoc. ratings they received an automatic bid for the Eastern Maine Tournament. ​​ Caribou went on to lose to Old Town in the quarter final 45-40. ​​​​ Haley was high man for the crimson with 15, Bouchard and Pierson each had 10 points. ​​ Team was coached by Mr. Mosley.

1951: ​​ Caribou finished 3rd​​ in the Aroostook League putting together a​​ 13 - 7​​ season. ​​ For the first time in the history of EM Tournament basketball only two Counties were represented in the L tournament, Houlton, Fort Fairfield, Presque Isle and Caribou all represented the County. ​​ Caribou was eliminated by Old Town 67-57. ​​​​ Gerald Ouellette and Bob Chapman were All Aroostook selections.


1952: ​​​​ Caribou 1 – 9 in the Aroostook League

1951: ​​ Gerald Ouellette, Allan Cousins, Mike Pelkey, Jackie Wyman, Gilman Martin. ​​ Back: Mosey Cox – mgr., Ron Smith, Doug Soderberg, Nathan Miller, Robert Chapman, Save Snowman, Ted Thibodeau and Coach Bob Mosely. ​​ Photo courtesy of PaperTalk magazine

1953: ​​​​ 2 – 8 in Aroostook League.

1954: ​​​​ 4 – 6 in Aroostook League.

1955: ​​​​ Were 7 – 3 in the Aroostook League and in first place. ​​ Finished 10th​​ in the Heal Point ratings.

1956: ​​​​ Tied for first in the Aroostook League with Houlton with a 9 – 1 record

1957: ​​​​ Caribou finished the season with ​​ 12-6 mark and was ranked 6th​​ in Eastern Maine. ​​ In the quarter finals of the tournament they defeated no. 3 Gardiner 84 – 78 behind Pete Kelly’s 31 points, Gene Corrow added 22 and Reg Thompson with 13 to go along with a strong rebounding performance. ​​ Caribou also​​ shot 52% from the floor. ​​ In the semi finals they were defeated by Stearns 79 – 55. ​​ Kelly who was double teamed all night hit for 21 points. ​​ Pete Kelly was selected the All Aroostook First Team, Gene Corrow was an honorable mention. ​​​​ Kelly was also named to the All – Tournament team.​​ 


1958: ​​​​ See Caribou Viking 1958 article.

1959:​​ Caribou tied with Houlton for the Aroostook League Championship, the two teams split on the season. ​​ Caribou was ranked 3rd​​ in the Eastern Maine Heal points​​ with a 13 – 3 record. ​​​​ They opened up with Skowhegan in the quarter-final game. ​​ The Vikings got rolling early against the Indians and came away with an 80 – 59 win. ​​ They were led by Bobby Hardison with 23 points with Brian Rogers garnering 18 and Billy Kelly 17. ​​ The Vikings were 18 for 23 from the charity stripe. ​​ They faced the Bangor Rams in the semi-final and faced some excellent defensive play allowing only one Caribou player to reach double figures which was Hardison with 10 points. ​​ Bangor got the win 73 – 39.


1960: ​​​​ Finished third in the Aroostook League with a 6 – 4 record.

1961: ​​ Regular season record of 8 – 8 and finished 13th​​ in the Heal Point ratings.


1962: ​​​​ Regular season record of 15 – 2 and ranked no. 3 in the Heal Point standings. ​​​​ The played no. six Winslow in the quarter finals coming away with a 65 – 60 win. ​​ Bill Spreng led the “Viking” offense with 24 points while Dave Delaney added 21and Bert Ouellette 11. ​​ Caribou defeated Stearns in the semi-finals defeating them by a score of 55-49. ​​ Caribou was again paced by Bill Spreng’s 22 points, Dave Delaney had 13 points and 12 rebounds. ​​ The Bangor Rams defeated the “Vikings” in the Eastern Maine final 54 -44, Spreng, Davenport and Ouellette all had 12 points for Caribou.


1963:​​ Caribou finished sixth with a 12 – 6 record and rated sixth in the Heal Points. ​​ In the quarter-final​​ versus Winslow they​​ used the​​ 6’8”​​ size of Dave Delaney who had 21 points​​ and 17 rebounds​​ and the shooting of​​ Al​​ Ouellette 17 get the win 53​​ ​​ 50. In the semi-final they played John Bapst who was the second seed in what proved to be a tight contest throughout. ​​ The game was tied at the end of one at 16, Bapst led at the half 34-30 and the end of the third 45 – 40 and eventually won the game 62-57. ​​ Delaney again paced the Vikings with 22 points and Eddie Mackinnon added 11.


1964: ​​ Caribou finished with a 4-14 mark and in 16th​​ place.


1965: ​​ Caribou finished with a 5-13 record which landed them 17th.


1966: ​​ The “Vikings” finished 18th​​ with a 4 -14 record.


1967: ​​ Caribou finished with a 5 -13 record and were ranked 10 in the Heal Point ratings.


1968: ​​ With a young team the Vikings improved this year with a 10-8 record but missed the tournament finishing in 11th​​ place.


1969: ​​​​ This was an outstanding and unforgettable season for Caribou. ​​ They finished the season with a 16 – 4 record and rated no. 1 in LL. ​​ They played the MDI Trojans in the opening round, a team they had played twice during the regular season. ​​ They opened up quickly in this game taking a commanding 20-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, eventually winning the game 72 – 56. ​​ The Vikings were led by the torrid shooting of sophomore Paul Belanger​​ who was 7 for 10 from the floor and 8 for 11 from the fouling scoring 22 points, Mike Thurston added 13 and Mike Kelly and Keith Rockwell each had 11.


The faced John Bapst in the semi-final and controlled the game from the opening tap taking a 16 – 11 edge after the ​​ 1st​​ quarter, they took an 11 point lead in the second period and were up by to at half time 37 – 27. ​​ Going into the final quarter they were up 51 – 42. Bapst caught fire midway through the final​​ frame and cut the lead to 56 – 52 with 3:20 left. ​​ The Crusaders eventually took a one point lead, with 32 seconds remaining Thurston stole an inbounds pass and scored giving Caribou a 59-58 lead. ​​ It was then Keith Rockwell picking off another inbound pass which led to Steve Sperry scoring giving Caribou a lead they would not relinquish paving the way for a 61 – 58 win.​​ Mike Kelly had a phenomenal game scoring 32 points and Paul Belanger adding another 13. ​​ In the EM Final they were matched up against the Lawrence Bulldogs both teams provided an Eastern Maine Final to remember. ​​ Caribou took an 18-13 lead after the first quarter, Brian Bradstreet of Lawrence dominated the inside in the second quarter and Lawrence led at the half 34 – 31. ​​ Coach Duffy brought 6’8” big man Peter Curran off the bench and his play helped turn the game around with his shot blocking ability and rebounding. ​​ The Bulldogs held a 55 – 47 lead at the end of the third quarter. ​​ With 2:42 remaining in the game Lawrence led 65 – 58 and looked like they would win the championship, however they never scored again. ​​ Caribou was trailing by one​​ with nine seconds remaing​​ when Mike Kelly went to the line for a one and one. ​​ Kelly missed the first attempt and the rebound came back out to him as he stepped into the lane, he went back up with a 10’ jump shot which nestled into the net giving Caribou a 66-65 lead and the Eastern Maine Championship. ​​​​ Mike Thurston and Mike Kelly were first team All Tourney selections and Paul Belanger was named to the second Team. ​​ 


In the State Final versus Westbrook the Vikings saw the Blue Blazers lead throughout much of the game and in the fourth period had leads of 58-50 and 60-52. ​​ This evening Quentin Blackstone came up with a career game scoring 24 points and hauling in 12 rebounds eventually helping to cut the Westbrook lead to 61 – 58. ​​ Mike Kelly had 13 points 10 rebounds​​ and Pete Curran playing just over three quarters had 10 points and 10 boards. ​​ With the game tied at 63 and Caribou with the ball and time running out Mike Thurston released a shot from 45 feet which zipped through the net with time running out giving Caribou a 65 – 63 win and the State Championship.


1970: ​​ Caribou finished the regular season with a 14- 4 record and in fifth place in the Heal point ratings. ​​ In the quarter final game the face arch County rival Presque Isle who also came in the a 14-4 record and in fourth place. ​​ The Vikings trailed 10-9 and the end of the 1st​​ quarter and 29 -20 at half time. ​​ The Wildcats came out on fire in the third period and took a 50-31 lead, they continued their onslaught in the 4th​​ quarter leading by as much as 27 points. The final score was 76-51, Mike Kelly had 13 points, Paul Belanger 11 and Steve Sperry 10. ​​​​ The Vikings were 17 for 33 from the foul line.


All EM Tournament selections:

1946: ​​ Euclid Warner (2nd​​ Team)

1957: ​​ Pete Kelly (1st​​ team)

1958: ​​ Pete Kelly, Bob Cyr (1st​​ team), Warren Sirois (2nd​​ team)

1962: ​​ George Spreng (1st​​ team); Dave Delaney and Bert Ouellette (2nd​​ team)

1963: ​​ Dave Delaney (1st​​ team)

1969: ​​ Mike Kelly, Mike Thurston (1st​​ team); Paul Belanger (2nd​​ team)

1975: ​​ Mike Guerrtte, Kyle Webb (1st​​ team); Kevin Giles (2nd​​ team)

1980: ​​ Whit Stevens (1st​​ team)

1981: ​​ Dave Creech & Neal Griffeth (1st​​ team)

1982: ​​ Neal Griffeth

1983: ​​ Tony Michaud & Chris Vickers

1984: ​​ Tony Michaud




Thank you to Elizabeth Stevens at the Bangor Public Library for providing me related articles from the Bangor Daily News, The book Fifty-One Years of Basketball Playing in Aroostook County, Northeast Publishing and the Mark and Emily Turner Library for allowing me to research.