Brewer High School Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2020
The Brewer High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee has announced its 7th Induction Class, the Class of 2020 to the Brewer High School Athletic Hall of Fame: Kathleen Cahill, Ronnie Hewes, Victor Irwin, Leah Jackson, Steve Tardiff, and Bob Van Peursem as well as the 1968 Football Team.
Kathleen Cahill was the Head Coach of Swimming & Diving at Brewer High School for three decades from 1988 to 2018 making her the longest-tenured Head Coach of any sport in school history. Known for her motivational talks, Cahill has inspired hundreds of athletes to uncover their potential in the pool and her athletes have achieved remarkable success at the conference, state and New England level. She was a two-time Maine State Class A Coach of the Year and the recipient of the prestigious National Outstanding Service Award in Swimming in 2015. Cahill continues to serve as Meet Director of the PVC Swimming & Diving Championships.
Ronnie Hewes, Class of 1989, was a dominant pitcher and an outstanding quarterback for the Brewer Witches. Hewes was the 1988 Pine Tree Conference Quarterback of the Year and twice named to the PVC All-Star Baseball Team selected as Pitcher of the Year. Hewes was instrumental in Brewer’s Eastern Maine Baseball Championship and State Runner-Up titles in 1988. He was a Class A First Team All-State Pitcher in 1989. Hewes played baseball at UMaine for four years. As their premier pitcher, Hewes, a tri-captain, helped the Black Bears capture the North Atlantic Conference Championship in 1993 and a berth at the NCAA Division 1 Regional Playoffs.
Victor Irwin, Class of 2013, is the most decorated wrestler in Brewer history. A two-time Class A State Wrestling Champion, he amassed 147 wins over his high school career. Irwin was undefeated his senior year and was ranked 10 in the nation. He placed 5th at the 2013 New England High School Championships and he was the 1st Maine wrestler to go undefeated (5-0) in the Maine-Nebraska Friendship Series Wrestling Competition since its inception in the mid-1980’s. In 2014, Irwin was the National Collegiate Wrestling Association New England Champion and earned All-American Honors in wrestling at Eastern Maine Community College.
Leah Jackson, Class of 2009, was an elite softball player for the Witches with outstanding defensive skills as a catcher and shortstop. Jackson was a key player in Brewer winning two KVAC Championship titles. She was a two-time member of the KVAC All-Conference Softball First Team as well as a member of the school’s first State Championship Softball Team in 2008. Jackson played softball and basketball four years for Maine Maritime Academy where she was named Female Athlete of the Year three times. Jackson was twice named to the All-North Athletic Conference Softball First Team and she was the 2013 North Athletic Conference Softball Player of the Year.
Steve Tardiff, Class of 1969, was a three-sport athlete excelling in football, basketball, and baseball. A talented two-way player, Tardiff was starting quarterback and defensive back on the undefeated 1968 Class A State Championship Football Team. In 1969, he was the leading scorer on the basketball team and the top hitter on the baseball team as well as led the team in stolen bases and RBI’s. Tardiff’s clutch hitting was instrumental in Brewer winning the Penobscot Valley Conference Championship in 1969. He was the 1969 Brewer High School Male Athlete of the Year. Tardiff played baseball for four years for the University of Maine.
Bob Van Peursem, Class of 1971, was an exceptional athlete in both track and football. In track, he was a two-time PVC Champion in the 440 and the 100 yd dash. In 1970, he set a PVC record in the 440 which stood for 46 years. Van Peursem was the 1971 Class A State Track Champion in the 440 yd. dash. He’s presently 3rd All-Time Top 20 at Brewer High School in 440/400. In football, Van Peursem was the starting half-back on the undefeated 1970 Class A State Championship Football Team and named to the 1970 All-State Second Team. He ran indoor and outdoor track for four years at UMaine and set the indoor 600 yd. school record.
The 1968 Football team was Brewer High School’s first ever Class “A” State Championship team. They had the greatest season record in school history at the time with their undefeated and untied record of 11-0-0. They held the top offensive record in the state scoring 335 points as well as the state’s top defensive record allowing only 68 points on the year. In 1968, the Brewer Football Team was the only undefeated Class A team. They were ranked #1 in the state of Maine, #5 in New England and placed eight players onto the Class A Maine All-State Football First and Second Squads.
The Induction Ceremony for the 7th Class of the Brewer High School Athletic Hall of Fame presented by Richard and Donna Corey Varney is scheduled to be held on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at Brewer High School.