Mike Thurston was a three-year starter for coach Gerry Duffy and the Caribou Vikings. While his sophomore year’s team was mediocre, his junior season saw the Vikings finish in 9th place in Eastern Maine Class A. However, that season was a foretelling of bigger things to come.
His senior season Caribou finished number 1 and ran through the tournament in Bangor by defeating MDI, John Bapst, and Lawrence in three consecutive nights; in two weeks they were to meet Western Maine champs Westbrook. While waiting they scrimmaged Presque Isle and Mike playfully threw a three -quarter shot that swished; the Wildcat coach kiddingly told him to save it for Saturday night.
The rest is history as they say. His full court heave at the buzzer left Westbrook heartbroken and the entire “County” very, very, happy.
When Mike left for the University of Maine where he played freshman basketball, he began officiating intramural games under the direction of Dave Ames. Mike found a passion as well as an outlet for his athletic pursuits.
According to Mike: “ Basketball officiating was the most enjoyable time of my life.” He never missed a tournament and worked several regional and state championship games. Mike was considered by most coaches to be the best official in the state for several years. He was always in shape, knew the game inside and out, and related to and respected the players.
Mike acknowledges the role Dave Ames and Peter Webb for their tutelage and support as well as the many old colleagues with whom he shared those experiences. He is an inductee of the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors.