Rick McGowan, Daily News sports writer.
As the Rogers High School baseball team closes in on a
division championship this week, one of its leaders is
going to be singled out for special recognition.
Vikings’ senior will be the recipient of the first
Stephen Joseph Fougere Baseball Scholarship during the
school’s annual awards night, Thursday at 7 p.m.
in the school auditorium.
award is named for the late Steve Fougere Jr., an outfielder
on Rogers’ only state-champion team in 1971 and
an all-state selection in 1972.
was a freshman at the University of Rhode Island for just
four weeks when he was killed in a car accident in North
Kingstown on Oct. 6, 1972.
a senior, Fougere led Rogers in batting average (.348),
hits (16), RBIs (14) and home runs (3).
was a real talent,” said Ray Mey, now an FBI agent
in Utah who was a pitcher on the championship team and
grew up with Fougere when they played in the Fifth Ward
Little League before high school and American Legion ball.
“He stood out among other kids”
were many kids in Newport in the 1960s, Mey can count
six siblings. Fougere had five.
younger brother Steve, a 1975 Rogers graduate, remembers
Fougere’s presence at the plate. “He was a
very powerful player.” Steve Mey said about Fougere,
a 6-foot-1, 185 pounder. “He looked and moved like
a player. He had a full swing. When he got to the plate
and hit, he defined a baseball player. He had so much
going for him.”
death was deeply felt by the Mey family. “My father
was quite rocked by it” Steve Mey said, “Steve
practically lived in our house with us.”
Mey, Ray and Steve Mey’s father set up the Stephen
Joseph Fougere Award, which ran from 1972 –82. “My
father had seven kids all going to college during that
time,” Steve Mey said. “He didn’t have
the resources to continue it.”
Mey died two years ago. Steve Mey, now an insurance executive
in Maryland, still has strong ties to the City-by-the-Sea.
He is director of the Mariner’s Memorial Foundation,
a non-profit organization that is funding the Fougere
scholarship, which is for $1000.
Mariner’s Memorial Foundation raises money by selling
engravable granite bricks. They are placed at the memorial
on Ocean Drive, which is dedicated to those who were drowned
at sea, lost at sea or loved the sea.
was an avid fisherman with his father, who is retired
from the state department of natural resources and is
recognized as one of the best anglers in the state. “He
fished with his father on a daily basis,” said Steve
Mey, noting Fougere won awards in striped bass tournaments.
“His father taught him well.”
is a Daily News Photo of the Fougeres in the July 19,
1971 edition showing them weighing in six stripers after
a night off of Ocean Drive. The fish ranged from 26 pounds
to 39 pounds twelve ounces.
was in the marine sciences program at the URI. The Mariners
Memorial Foundation plans to create a scholarship for
a Rogers student interested in the marine sciences. Steve
Mey’s goal is to have at least a half-dozen college
scholarships set up for other worthy recipients from Rogers.
They will be selected based on their financial need, high
grade-point average and intent to further their education
all the money we take in, all the granite we sell out
on Ocean Drive,” Steve Mey said. “We invest
it and take the interest. This is the first year.”
And definitely not the last for the Fougere scholarship.
just continuing what my father did, and I’m going
to keep this going,” Steve Mey said. “I’ll
set it up so it lasts at least 10 years past my death.”
long as we have the money coming in for these scholarships,
that’s where it’s going to go.”
continuing in the tradition of his father in giving back
to his community, Steve Mey received a big helping hand
from another Newporter whose brother’s name once
graced A Rogers trophy.
Larry Regan Scholarship was awarded in honor of a former
Vikings’ catcher who died in his 30s of cancer.
Ray Mey was the recipient in 1971, Fougere in 1972.
think Steve was the last one to get it before the money
ran out,” Steve Mey said.
learned about the demise of that award last week while
talking to Billy Regan, Leroy’s brother, about the
also learned that Billy Regan would match the $1000. “I
did not expect that, “ Steve Mey said. “That
really floored me. That’s pretty nice of him.”
a result, on deserving senior from what might be Rogers’
second state-title team will shake hands with Steve Mey
and be presented a check for $2000.
will be handed to him by Stephen and Mary Fougere, the
parents of one of the most fondly remembered athletes
in Rogers’ history.