The Maine Red Claws and the Maine McDonald’s® Owner/Operator Association have launched their new “Team of the Year Award” program that will honor one Maine high school boys and girls varsity basketball team.

“We are excited and honored to announce that Maine McDonald’s Owner/Operators and the Maine Red Claws are collaborating on this award that recognizes Maine high school basketball excellence on the court and in the community,” said Edie Lydick, a McDonald’s owner/operator. “It is a great partnership that will benefit high school basketball programs and inspire basketball players at all levels across Maine.”

The award will consider Maine high school varsity teams that have made an exceptional impact on Maine high school basketball and in the lives of others through: contribution to the community, exemplifying scholarship, team competitiveness and spirit, and commitment to academic excellence.

The winning teams will each receive $1,000 for their school’s basketball programs. Also, they will be honored at the Maine McDonald’s All-Star Games March 12 at Husson University in Bangor and at a Red Claws game in March.

Nominations for the Team of the Year award are being sought and high school basketball coaches throughout the state are encouraged to make strides with their varsity teams to be in contention for this new award.

In February, a committee will review the nominations and select one boys and one girls varsity team that have made “an exceptional impact on Maine High School Basketball and in the lives of others.”

“This state has a long, proud history of high school basketball, and the strength of that history was one of the factors behind bringing the Red Claws to Maine,” said Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings. “We are, therefore, honored to join with McDonald’s to present the Team of the Year Award and to recognize two deserving high school teams before a Red Claws game in March.”

Coaches, parents, principals, community organizations, athletic directors and anyone who knows of a Maine varsity high school basketball team meeting the criteria are encouraged to submit a nomination form. Submissions may be done electronically or printed and completed manually. Completed nomination forms must be received by Wednesday, Feb. 16.

For more information, contact: Kevin Mitchell of Rinck Advertising at (207) 755-9470 or via e-mail at kevinm@rinckadvertising.com. One can also click on the link below for the nomination form.

VillageSoup sports news staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.