But what made this story so incredible beyond Fortin’s own courage and perseverance was the outpouring of support she received from the community. A Facebook page called “Lets Help Paige Fortin” was set up and has been liked more than 7,700 times, and tens of thousands of dollars have been donated to help support the family and pay for Fortin’s medical bills.
In October, Paige’s co-workers at Flatbread Co. set up a fundraiser that featured an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, gifts for sale and a live outdoor band. Hundreds of people came out and the restaurant raised $17,000 in one night.
Several months after her accident, Fortin is still recovering, but has progressed to a point where she can walk on crutches and was able to return home.
This year marked a return to prominence for Amesbury High School football, which had spent the past few years languishing after winning the Super Bowl in 2008.
Led by dual-threat quarterback Matt Talbot and an explosive offense, the Indians blitzed through their Cape Ann League competition and finished the season with a 9-2 record while riding an eight-game winning streak into the playoffs.
That streak was capped off by a Thanksgiving Day victory over archrival Newburyport in a game that served as the de-facto Cape Ann League title game, the team’s first win over the Clippers since the 2008 season. Amesbury won 13-10, securing the league championship, a year’s worth of bragging rights and a freshly baked cherry pie for Mayor Thatcher Kezer from Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday.
Amesbury ultimately couldn’t duplicate the 2008 team’s heroics, however, falling 35-14 to Lynnfield in the first round of the Division 3A playoffs. The team was well represented among the league’s award recipients, with Talbot earning CAL MVP honors, and seven others garnering All-CAL Division 3 recognition.