Victor Irwin poses prior to competing for his second Class A state individual wrestling title in 2013. He has been selected for induction into the Brewer High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Credit: Courtesy of Carter F. McCall

Ronnie Hewes and his resilient right arm helped spark Brewer High School teams to considerable baseball and football success during the late 1980s.

The star right-handed pitcher and quarterback is among six players and one special team that have been selected for induction into the Brewer High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Witches seventh class of former standouts also features swimming coach Kathy Cahill, wrestler Victor Irwin, softball star Leah Jackson, three-sport performer Steve Tardiff and football-track and field competitor Bob Van Peursem, along with the heralded 1968 Brewer High School football team.

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The induction ceremony, sponsored by Richard and Donna (Corey) Varney, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26, at the high school.

Hewes, a member of the Brewer High Class of 1989, was a dominating pitcher and an outstanding quarterback for the Brewer Witches. He was twice named the Penobscot Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year and helped his 1988 team finish as the Class A state runner-up.

Hewes, the 1988 Pine Tree Conference Quarterback of the Year, was a Class A all-state first-team pitcher as a senior. He played four years of baseball at the University of Maine and helped the Black Bears win a North Atlantic Conference Championship and earn an NCAA regional berth in 1993.

Cahill was Brewer’s head swimming and diving coach from 1988-2018, making her the longest-tenured head coach in school history. She used her motivational speeches to inspire athletes to uncover their potential in the pool.

Cahill, whose athletes succeeded at the conference, state and New England levels, was a two-time state Class A Coach of the Year and earned the prestigious National Outstanding Service Award in Swimming in 2015. She is the meet director of the PVC Swimming & Diving Championships.

Irwin (Class of 2013) is the most decorated wrestler in Brewer history. The two-time Class A individual state champion amassed 147 wins and posted an undefeated senior senior season during which he was ranked 10th in the nation. He placed fifth at the 2013 New England High School Championships.

In 2014, Irwin was the National Collegiate Wrestling Association New England Champion and earned All-America honors at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor, where he helped create the wrestling program.

Jackson (2009) was instrumental in sparking the Brewer softball team to two Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference titles and the school’s first state championship team in 2008. The catcher and shortstop was a two-time all-conference honoree.

Jackson played softball and basketball at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine and in softball was a two-time All-North Athletic Conference first-team pick and was named the 2013 NAC Player of the Year.

Tardiff (1969) excelled in football, basketball and baseball at Brewer. He was a starting quarterback and defensive back on the undefeated 1968 Class A state championship football team. Later that year, he was the leading scorer on the basketball squad and the top hitter in baseball, leading the Witches in runs batted in and stolen bases as they won the league title.

Tardiff, named the 1969 Brewer High School Male Athlete of the Year, played baseball for four years at UMaine.

Van Peursem (1971) was a two-time PVC Champion in the 440-yard run and the 100 who in 1970 set a PVC record in the 440 that stood for 46 years. He also emerged as the 1971 state champ in the 440 and still ranks third in school history in the 440 (yards)/400 (meters).

Van Peursem was the starting halfback on Brewer’s undefeated 1970 Class A state championship football team and was an all-state second-team pick. He later ran track for four years at UMaine where he set the indoor 600 (yards) record.

The 1968 football team, Brewer High’s first ever Class A state championship squad, registered a memorable undefeated record of 11-0. Coached by Ken Perrone, the Witches led the state while scoring 335 points and also topped the defensive rankings while surrendering only 68 points.

The ’68 team ranked No. 1 in Maine and No. 5 in New England and had eight players selected for the Class A all-state first and second teams.

Those who plan to attend the induction ceremony must RSVP with the $25 fee. Starting July 31, the forms will be available on the Brewer athletic department website at Tickets also will be available in the Brewer High School office at 79 Parkway South or in the office of the Superintendent of Schools at 261 Center Street in Brewer from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

There is a contingency plan in place related to Covid-19 and possible postponement of this year’s event. A decision will be made on or before May 31 to allow for appropriate planning time for our guests. Information will be posted on the webpage noted above.

For more information, contact the Hall of Fame Committee at or call Brewer High School athletics at 207-989-4140.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...