What better way to honor two star athletes who ran rings around the competition than by putting rings around their fingers?
Jessica Knight Tremblay and Tyler Delorme returned to the University of Southern Maine campus in Gorham to accept their Little East Conference (LEC) Hall of Fame rings. Separate ceremonies honoring each of them took place on April 22 during home games of their former teams.
Nineteen years have passed since Delorme last wore a Huskies baseball uniform, but one thing about the program hasn’t changed. Head Coach Ed Flaherty is still running the show.
Out of the hundreds of players Flaherty has coached, Delorme holds a special place in his memory. And Flaherty made sure to tell him that when they were reunited at the ring presentation before the first game of a doubleheader.
“He was a warrior. His future profession being a Green Beret was kinda what Tyler was,” Flaherty said. “He’s a big, strong warrior that was fearless, very aggressive hitter.”
Delorme’s impact on the program was immediate. In his freshman year, the Huskies won the 2000 NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship and Delorme was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. His sophomore campaign was even better, culminating with LEC Player of the Year honors and a second straight regional title.
Long before the LEC Hall of Fame came calling, the Husky Hall of Fame welcomed Delorme into its ranks in 2014. Current players are still chasing the records he set. He remains the University leader for career RBI (193) and career total bases (406).
“I hope they’re broken because if they’re broken then that means the USM baseball program is still flourishing, still winning games, still being one of the premiere Division III baseball programs in the nation,” Delorme said.
The team lived up to his hopes on the day of his ring ceremony. As Delorme watched from the stands, the Huskies went on to win both halves of their doubleheader against UMass Boston by scores of 3-1 and 9-3.
The success that Delorme experienced on the baseball field continued after graduation in 2004. He joined the U.S. Army, eventually becoming Green Beret. He was highly decorated for his service in Iraq.
When his military career ended, Delorme shifted into a different governmental role. He’s now an FBI agent, operating out of the Boston field office. Outside of work, he’s married with three children. Even among his many personal and professional accomplishments, Delorme treasures his time at USM.
“Some of the best memories of my life happened on this field,” Delorme said. “I reminisce all the time about some of the great times that I’ve had on this field, of the friends I’ve met, teammates I still keep in contact with.”
President Jacqueline Edmondson helped add a new memory to his collection by presenting Delorme with his LEC Hall of Fame ring as the Husky fans cheered their approval. It’s a sound he remembered well.
JESSICA KNIGHT TREMBLAY
Knight Tremblay surrounded herself with an entourage to collect her LEC Hall of Fame ring during halftime of the women’s lacrosse game at Hannaford Field. All four of her daughters were there. The two youngest clung to her side through most of the ceremony. That shyness disappears, however, when it’s time to compete.
“I have four girls and they’re all fighting over who is gonna break my records, so we’ll just have to see,” Knight Tremblay said.
That’s no easy task considering three of those records have held for more than a decade. The first name in the University record book for goals in a season (77), career goals (209), and career points (248) is Jessica Knight Tremblay.
Her reputation for excellence extended conference wide. The shower of awards started early with LEC Rookie of the Year in 2007. That was followed by back-to-back LEC Offensive Player of the Year awards in 2009 and 2010.
Long after hanging up her stick, she still broke new ground this year as USM’s first women’s lacrosse player to enter the LEC Hall of Fame. Her induction into the Husky Hall of Fame came five years earlier in 2018.
“She always separated herself athletically,” said Lauren Reid Kane. “Her speed, you’ve probably heard a lot about, it was completely unmatched by any athlete in the conference.”
Reid Kane’s tenure as head coach of the USM women’s lacrosse team overlapped with Knight Tremblay’s playing career. The bond between them was on display at the ring ceremony as they smiled and laughed together at the stories that Reid Kane shared of their time together.
Emotions ran highest as talk turned to the magical 2010 season. Everything seemed to be going wrong on the way to the LEC Championship game against Eastern Connecticut. The bus broke down, leaving the team stranded for hours in sweltering heat. Knight Tremblay used the time to visualize her game plan.
“I knew I was gonna get face guarded, I knew I was gonna get double-teamed,” Knight Tremblay said. “But I went seven goals for seven shots and my teammates picked up the rest like I knew they would. Coming out with a win by one goal, that was my favorite moment at USM.”
The final score was 15-14. Seeded fifth, the Huskies entered the tournament as longshots and ended as champions. It was the program’s first and so far only conference title. Getting there was a test of mental as well as physical endurance, and Knight Tremblay rose to the challenge.
“What I love about Jess is she’s the most humble yet fierce competitor,” Reid Kane said. “She didn’t talk a big game. She wouldn’t get too overconfident. She was just always rock solid, lock and loaded, ready to go. You couldn’t even tell if she was nervous because she was just so focused on what she was about to go do, and then she would execute consistently.”
Knight Tremblay built a career out of her ability to overcome life’s challenges. After graduating in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she returned to USM a few years later and earned a master’s degree in School Counseling in 2019. Her studies led to a job in the guidance office at Massabesic Middle School in East Waterboro.
For all her work to help students deal with the stress of school, Knight Trembly found herself in need of stress management as the ring ceremony approached. But any jitters she felt initially were gone by the time President Edmondson gave her the ring. The celebratory mood got another boost when the Huskies beat Keene State, 13-9.
“It felt really good,” Knight Tremblay said afterward. “I was a little nervous, but once I walked out here and saw the new field that I never got to play on, it’s pretty amazing and I got goose bumps.”