Courier Publications' 2011-12 athlete-of-year nomineesOceanside, Medomak, Mount View, Belfast, Camden Hills, Vinalhaven represented
There were a plethora of multi-talented student-athletes in Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln counties throughout the 2011-12 high school sports seasons, with youngsters by the hundreds putting out top-notch performances on the fields, courts, links, pools, tracks and trails.
However, despite the state championships, the accolades and the praise given to many teams throughout the fall, winter and spring seasons, the focus now is on the individual, which begs the question: who will be Courier Publications' 2011-12 schoolboy and schoolgirl athletes of the year?
A large list of potential top athletes was whittled to 10 boys and 10 girls by Courier Publications' sports staff. Courier Publications publishes The Courier-Gazette, based in Rockland, The Camden Herald, based in Camden, and The Republican Journal, based in Belfast. The company also has two website sites: knox.villagesoup.com and waldo.villagesoup.com.
The 2011-12 schoolboy athlete-of-the-year nominees are: Belfast's Jake Campbell; Camden Hills' Adam Carlsen, Max Mercier, Andrew Flanagan, Caleb Pease and Brandon Graffam; Medomak Valley's Alex Greenrose; Mount View's Jay Babin and Curtis Griffin; and Vinalhaven's Steven Osgood.
Strong consideration was given to other male candidates, including Oceanside's Dylan Maloney and Jordan Doutreluigne; Belfast's Scott Kulikowski; Mount View's Aaron Elkins; and Vinalhaven's Brian Stanley, among others.
The 2011-12 schoolgirl athlete-of-the-year nominees are: Belfast's Lexi Nelligan and Katrina Lapham; Medomak Valley's Alanna Vose, Mallory Conary and Amanda Hendrickson-Belloguet; and Oceanside's Allison Ward, Jill Bradbury, Kennadi Grover, Bethany Berry and Jessie Veilleux.
Strong consideration was given to other female candidates, including Camden Hills' Taylor Porter, Brittany Bowman and Emily Lopez; Oceanside's Rachel Frye and Hannah Plourde; and Mount View's Anna Piotti, among others.
As is the case with any list where one is determining a top all-around player for a full year, the process is subjective. However, the final decision lies with Courier Publications Sports Editor Ken Waltz and Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell on the schoolboy and schoolgirl athletes of the year.
Athletes who excelled in three different sports, particularly those that were given all-conference awards, receive more consideration given the fact their overall ability in a variety of sports makes the case for them being more well-rounded "athletes."
Two-sport athletes also are given consideration and, in rare cases, single-sport athletes, since one could argue that the athlete who focuses solely on perfection in one sport and outshines the competition in that sport should not be excluded.
Student-athletes from Medomak Valley, Oceanside, Camden Hills, Vinalhaven, North Haven, Islesboro, Mount View, Belfast and Searsport were considered.
The two athletes of the year will be named later.
The 2011-12 athlete-of-the-year nominees, with a brief recap of notable accomplishments during the school year, follows, with athletes listed in alphabetical order:
Berry, a senior for Oceanside, was an integral part of the soccer team's success this season, leading the squad in scoring as the Mariners advanced to the Eastern Class B semifinals. Berry also was a standout outdoor track-and-field athlete and did well at the league championships, garnering three third-place finishes (triple jump, 100 meters, 200 meters) and finished third (triple jump), fifth (100 meters), eighth (200 meters) in those respective events at the state Class B championships. Berry, who also excelled in indoor track events during the winter, is one of the most talented figure skaters in the Eastern region of the United States and regularly performs in local skating shows, usually as one of the featured soloists.
Bradbury, a senior for Oceanside, was one of the school's most consistently dominant athletes throughout the year, excelling in soccer, basketball and softball. All three Mariner teams reached the postseason, with the soccer and softball teams each reaching the Eastern Class B semifinals and the softball team earning a berth in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title game. Bradbury was named second-team all-conference for soccer at forward and first-team all-conference for softball at first base, while also contributing mightily to the Mariner basketball team as a starter. Her game rarely faltered and that was, more often than not, one of the reasons her team's won games on the field and the hardwood.
Conary, a senior for Medomak Valley, was a standout three-sport athlete for the Panthers, excelling at soccer, basketball and softball. Conary was named first-team all-conference for soccer as one of the KVAC's top defenders and also nabbed a first-team all-conference nomination in softball, playing shortstop for the Panthers, one of the region's top teams. She was the team's leadoff hitter, the fastest player on the squad and often used her ability to slap bunt to get on and wreck havoc on the bases. Conary also was a starter on the basketball team that reached the Eastern Class B quarterfinals for the fourth straight season.
Grover, a junior for Oceanside, played soccer, basketball and softball for the Mariners and was a key cog for all three squads. Grover played goalie for the soccer team that recorded many shutouts against other talented squads, while also being named second-team all-conference for her efforts on the basketball court. Grover's talents really came to light on the softball field as she was one of the team's most versatile players and offensive threats, helping the Mariners earn the top seed in the Eastern Class B playoffs. she was league first-team all-conference on the diamond as well.
Hendrickson-Belloguet, a junior for Medomak Valley, played soccer, basketball and softball this season for the Panthers, showing her versatility in all three sports. She played goalie for the soccer team and had many spectacular saves, particularly in a preliminary playoff loss to Ellsworth, while she also contributed to the basketball team, earning KVAC all-rookie honors. Hendrickson-Belloguet's strongest efforts, however, came on the softball field, playing third base and proving to have one of the Panthers' most clutch bats, earning her first-team all-conference honors and helping lead the team to the KVAC Class B title for the second straight season.
Lapham, a junior from Belfast, was part of the school's state Class B champion field hockey team, while also doing her part for the Lions on both the basketball court and the softball diamond. Lapham's shining moment of the year came in the Eastern Class B championship game when the defender made a fantastic stick save en route to helping Belfast win 1-0 over top-seeded Nokomis. Lapham also was one of the Lions' top offensive players on the basketball court as a guard and was also the school's catcher on the softball team.
Nelligan, a junior from Belfast, played field hockey, basketball and outdoor track this year for the Lions, excelling in all three sports. Nelligan was an integral part of the Lions' state Class B championship team as an offensive threat, earning first-team all-conference honors. In outdoor track, Nelligan also was named first-team all-conference, finishing second in the 400 meters and sixth in the event at the states, while also competing on a number of relay teams. She also was the Lions' number one scoring option on the basketball court, leading the team in offensive output.
Vose, a senior for Medomak Valley, had a year to remember for the Panthers as she excelled in soccer, basketball and outdoor track. Vose was the soccer team's striker and top scorer, leading the Panthers to a playoff berth and earning second-team all-conference honors for her efforts. In the spring, Vose was named first-team all-conference for outdoor track (in her first year doing the sport), finishing second in the long jump and 10th in the 100 meters at the KVACs, while also performing well in various events at the state Class B championships. However, Vose's most significant performance came on the basketball court, as she led the Panthers to the Eastern Class B quarterfinals for the fourth time in four years. Vose, a guard, scored the 1,000th point of her career while playing at the Bangor Auditorium, earned first-team all-conference honors and was named KVAC Class B player of the year.
Veilleux, a senior for Oceanside, played in two sports for the Mariners, but was named first-team all-conference in both soccer and softball. Veilleux was a tremendous midfielder for the Mariners and excelled on both offense and defense, leading the team to the fourth seed in Eastern Class B in their inaugural season. On the softball diamond, Veilleux's bat was as reliable as they came and she also ripped the first home run in the history of the program. She also had a tremendous throwing arm, which was often showcased as the team's catcher. Other coaches discouraged their runners from attempting steals against the Mariners due to her strong, accurate arm.
Ward, a senior from Oceanside, excelled in multiple sports for the Mariners, in some cases, simultaneously. Ward's strongest sport was field hockey, where she was named first-team all-conference and also earned All-State honors as a midfielder. In the spring, Ward was the tennis program's top player and faced the KVAC's top competition, while simultaneously taking part in the outdoor track-and-field season, excelling at the KVAC meet and even qualifying for the state Class B track championships in the 300 hurdles. Ward also participated in indoor track.
Babin, a senior for Mount View, played football, basketball and baseball for the Mustangs, proving to be one of the school's top all-around athletes. Babin excelled on the gridiron and helped lead the Mustangs to the first playoff berth in the history of the football program and also to a playoff win, as he earned all-conference honors at defensive end and was an honorable mention at quarterback. Babin also turned in steady performances on both the basketball court this year.
Campbell, a senior for Belfast, played football, indoor and outdoor track for the Lions, proving to be a force for all three squads. Campbell was the Lions' top tailback and handled the primary scoring duties both in the backfield and on special teams, being named first-team all-conference for punt returning. Campbell then continued his hard running in indoor track and left other competitors in the dust, collecting both KVAC and state Class B titles in the 200 meters and also earning a third-place finish in the 55 meters at the states. In outdoor track in the spring, Campbell took second in the KVAC 100 meters and fourth in the javelin, qualifying for the state Class B championship meet in the latter, eventually finishing 12th. He earned first-team all-conference honors for both indoor and outdoor track this season.
Carlsen, a senior for Camden Hills, had a tremendous final year in a Windjammer uniform both on the basketball and baseball teams. Carlsen played point guard and was the floor general for Jeff Hart’s Windjammers, leading the team in scoring and to a berth in the Eastern Class B playoffs, nearly upsetting the top overall team in the quarterfinals. He was an all-conference player. Carlsen also was Camden Hills’ top pitcher on the diamond and also played shortstop, earning second-team all-conference honors and pitched a gem in a preliminary round playoff win over Nokomis of Newport.
Flanagan, a senior for Camden Hills, was strong on the court and on the field for the Windjammers, participating in soccer, basketball and baseball. Flanagan nabbed a first-team all-conference selection on the soccer pitch and excelled both as a forward and a midfielder as the ‘Jammers sailed to an unbeaten regular-season record and advanced to the state Class B finals. Flanagan also was wielded a steady bat and caused trouble for the defense on the bases during the baseball season, while he was a key reserve and occasionally started for the Camden Hills basketball team.
Graffam, a senior for Camden Hills, played football, wrestled and competed in outdoor track for the Windjammers and made a significant impact in all three sports. His most notable accomplishments were on the wrestling mat, where Graffam amassed his 100th career victory this season in addition to winning conference, regional and state crowns at the 195-pound weight class. Graffam also was one of the Windjammers' top lineman on the football field and finished fifth in the shot put at the KVAC outdoor track championships.
Greenrose, a senior for Medomak Valley, played golf, basketball and baseball this season for the Panthers and was one of the school's top all-around athletes. Greenrose shot an 83 at the KVAC golf qualifier and advanced to the state tournament, earning first-team all-conference honors in the process. He then went on to excel on the basketball court as well earning second-team all-conference honors, with Medomak Valley proving to be one of the top teams in Class B despite a semifinal playoff loss to Gardiner. Greenrose then proved to be one of the Panthers’ most reliable players on the baseball team this season, playing a multitude of positions.
Griffin, a senior from Mount View, participated in both indoor and outdoor track this year for the Mustangs, earning first-team all-conference awards for both teams. Griffin was in the running for many KVAC and Class B individual titles in both seasons, earning the KVAC crown for the 55-meter dash in indoor track. He also finished second in both the 55-meter hurdles and 200 meters at the same event, while finishing second in the 55 meters, fourth in the 200 meters and fifth in the 55-meter hurdles at the state championships. In outdoor track, Griffin finished second in the 200 meters and third in both the 100 meters and 110-meter hurdles at the KVAC, while finishing 10th in the 200 meters and fourth in both the 100 meters and 110-meter hurdles at the state championships.
Osgood, a senior from Vinalhaven, was by far the island’s top all-around athlete, participating in soccer, basketball and baseball this season. Osgood was first-team all-conference for the Vikings in all three sports, leading the islanders to the postseason in both soccer and basketball. Not only did Osgood earn all-conference honors in all three sports, he was named the East-West Conference’s athlete of the year for his efforts.
Mercier, a senior for Camden Hills, played boys soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse this season, with his efforts earning him the distinction as the school's 2011-12 athlete of the year. Mercier was a terrific defender for the Windjammer soccer team that reached the state Class B finals, while also showcasing his talents on the ice as a defensemen, leading his unit in assists. On the lacrosse field, Mercier proved to be one of the 'Jammers most unstoppable offensive threats, amassing 32 points (21 goals, 11 assists) and was 38th in the state in overall points, ninth in Class B.
Pease, a senior for Camden Hills, played football, wrestled and competed in outdoor track this season for Camden Hills and was lightning fast all year, be it on the gridiron or on the track. Pease led the Windjammer football team in receptions and also was one of the team's top tacklers, while also returning a kickoff for a touchdown late in the season against Hampden Academy. In outdoor track at the KVAC championships, Pease swept the sprinting events, collecting conference championships in the 100, 200 and the 400 meters. Pease nearly collected three straight state titles in the same three events at the Class B championships, finishing second in each event.
Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at email@example.com.