State championships were won as a team. They were won as individuals and small groups as well. And a bevy of impressive seasons, accomplishments, personal bests and school records.

Truth be told, it was a banner campaign for female student-athletes throughout the Midcoast.

Now, the question becomes: Who was the best of the best among them?

The Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports department —  sports director Ken Waltz, associate sports director Mark Haskell and sports reporter Zack Miller — will attempt to answer that question as they begin their quest to sort out the 2017-18 Courier Publications/VillageSoup schoolgirl athlete of the year.

Courier Publications publishes three weekly newspapers, The Courier-Gazette in Rockland, The Camden Herald and The Republican Journal in Belfast. The company also has two websites: knox.villagesoup.com and waldo.villagesoup.com.

A lengthy list of potential athlete-of-year candidates was whittled to 10 female semifinalists — and ultimately, five finalists — by Waltz, Haskell and Miller.

Students from Oceanside High School of Rockland, Camden Hills Regional High School of Rockport, Mount View High School of Thorndike, Belfast Area High School, Medomak Valley High School of Waldoboro, Vinalhaven School, North Haven Community School, Searsport District High School and Islesboro Central School are eligible for athlete-of-year honors.

The 2017-18 schoolgirl athlete-of-the-year finalists are: Belfast’s Kelsey Mehuren and Junne Robertson-McIntyre; Medomak Valley’s Gabby DePatsy; and Vinalhaven’s Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes and Deja Doughty.

The five finalists were whittled from 10 semifinalists, the other five of whom included: Oceanside’s Gabby Simmons; Camden Hills’ Kassie Krul and Kristina Kelly; Searsport’s Ashten Wells; and Mount View’s Shala Davis.

There were many other student-athletes considered for the top 10, but, ultimately, did not make the final lists.

As is the case with any list where one is determining a top all-around athlete for a full year, the process is subjective. However, the final decision lies with the Courier Publications' sports staff on the schoolgirl athlete of the year.

Athletes who excelled in three different sports, particularly who 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.

A story on the winner will appear in a future newspaper and on the company's websites.

The 2017-18 athlete-of-the-year finalists, with a brief recap of notable accomplishments during the school year, follows, with athletes listed in alphabetical order:

Davis-Oakes, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Vinalhaven and played soccer, basketball and softball for the Vikings. On the pitch, Davis-Oakes was the team’s goalie and best defender, nabbing first team all-conference honors and had several games on the campaign with over 20 saves. She was also named to the Class D South regional all-star team by the Maine Soccer Coaches Association. On the court, she led the Vikings in scoring with 17 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game and shot 72 percent from the foul line, earning her first team all-conference honors and helped lead the Vikings to their second straight regional championship. She was also tabbed to play in the McDonald’s Senior All-Star game and won the Patricia Gallagher Award for her play in the Class D South tournament. On the diamond, she was also first team all-conference, batting .420 with 14 singles, five doubles, a triple and 11 stolen bases. Davis-Oakes was one of six student-athletes recognized by Maine Sports Legends for her athletic efforts this season.

DePatsy, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Medomak Valley and played soccer, basketball and softball for the Panthers. On the pitch, DePatsy played defense and played a role in bottling up the top players on opposing offenses. On the hardwood, DePatsy scored 19.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.2 steals and one block per game, while shooting 69 percent from the foul line and amassing nearly 40 three-pointers. She was named KVAC Class A first team all-conference and was also tabbed to play in the McDonald’s Senior All-Star game. On the diamond, she excelled both in the pitching circle and at the plate as she earned first team all-conference honors. At the plate, she batted .361 with 22 hits (4 doubles, triple, 2 home runs), 10 RBIs, a .409 OBP and a .557 slugging percentage. In the circle, she boasted a 1.78 ERA and allowed 38 runs (21 earned) on 69 hits and 94 strikeouts.

Doughty, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Vinalhaven and played soccer, basketball and softball for the Vikings. On the pitch, Doughty was the team’s go-to goal scorer as she amassed 19 goals to earn herself first team all-conference honors. She was also named to the Class D South regional all-star team by the Maine Soccer Coaches Association. On the court, she again earned first team all-conference as she averaged 8.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 4.2 steals per game and shot 50 percent from the foul line as the point guard on a team that won its second straight regional championship. On the diamond, as the team’s leadoff batter, she batted .450 and had 16 singles, six doubles, two triples and 27 stolen bases. She earned first team all-conference honors as well and, given her success in all three sports, was named the East/West Conference player of the year.

Mehuren, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Belfast and played field hockey, indoor track and outdoor track for the Lions. On the field hockey field, Mehuren, as a midfielder, pumped in six goals and assisted on five more along with two defensive saves. Her efforts earned her not only earned her KVAC first team all-conference honors, but KVAC Class B player of the year and All-state honors as well. In indoor track, Mehuren was named first team all-conference and was part of the 4×200 meter relay team that won both the conference and state Class B titles, in addition to second in the state at the 4×800 relay. In outdoor track, Mehuren was named first team all-conference again as she was a four-time conference champion in the 4×8, 4×1 and 4×4 relays, in addition to the 400-meter. She was also a state champion as part of the 4×400 relay team and finished second in the 4×8 and 4×1 relays.

Robertson-McIntyre, a sophomore, was a four-sport athlete for Belfast and played soccer, basketball, indoor track and outdoor track for the Lions. On the soccer pitch, Robertson-McIntyre was the team’s leading scorer, amassing 12 goals and three assists on her way to first team all-conference honors. On the basketball court, she averaged 2.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game through 15 games, but it was her work in both indoor and outdoor track that set her apart, where she collected a combined seven KVAC conference titles and four state championships. In indoor track, she was first team all-conference and won conference titles in the 55-meter, 200-meter and as part of the 4×200 relay. She also won the state Class B title in the 55-meter and 4×400 meter relay. In outdoor track, Robertson-McIntyre was again first team all-conference, this time in the 100-meter, 4×100 meter, the 200-meter and the 4×400 meter. She then went on to collect state crowns in the 200 meter and the 4×400 relay.

Semifinalists

Kelly, a sophomore, is a rare one-sport athlete on this list as she played soccer for the Camden Hills girls soccer team. Kelly was a goal scoring machine for the Windjammers as she pumped in an eye-popping 39 goals and added 17 assists as she led the Windjammers to their second straight Class A state championship. Kelly not only was named KVAC all-conference, but was also named All-State, All-New England and was also named as an All-American.

Krul, a junior, was a two-sport athlete for Camden Hills and played soccer and tennis for the Windjammers. On the pitch, Krul was a standout midfielder and one of the team’s primary scoring options as she collected 10 goals and 13 assists on the season, including two goals in the team’s 3-2 state Class A championship victory over Scarborough. Krul was not only first team all-conference, but also nabbed all-state and all-New England honors as well. On the courts, Krul finished with a 10-3 record at first singles and helped lead Camden Hills to the Class A North semifinal round.

Simmons, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Oceanside as she played soccer, basketball and tennis for the Mariners. On the pitch, Simmons, as a sweeper, was named first team all-conference and had a handful of defensive saves on the season. On the hardwood, she was again named first team all-conference and racked up 12.8 points, 2.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game, in addition to canning 19 three-pointers and shooting 74 percent from the foul line. On the tennis court, Simmons amassed a 9-2 record at first singles.

Davis, a junior, was a three-sport athlete for Mount View as she played soccer, basketball and outdoor track for the Mustangs. On the soccer pitch, Davis, as the team’s netminder, was named second team all-conference as she made 100 saves on 116 shots, to go along with five shutouts for the Mustangs. On the court, she was again named second team all-conference as she racked up 9.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals and one block per game. In outdoor track, Davis finished second in the discus at the state Class C championships.

Wells, a junior, was a four-sport athlete for Searsport as she played soccer, basketball, softball and outdoor track for the Vikings. On the soccer pitch, Wells racked up 15 goals and added 10 assists for the Vikings and was named first team all-conference. On the hardwood, Wells scored roughly five points and six assists per contest. In outdoor track, Wells broke a pair of school records, both in the long jump (16-8) and the triple jump (33-8.75), the latter of which came in the state Class C championships, where she finished third in that event. Wells was also the softball team’s leadoff batter and starting shortstop and had a sensational campaign to help lead the Vikings to the Class D South semifinal round. Wells batted .244 with 11 hits (double, triple), four RBIs, 13 runs and 15 stolen bases, while she had a .737 fielding percentage with 15 putouts and 13 assists.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.