2016-17 high school sports

Male athlete-of-year finalists revealed for Courier Publications/VillageSoup

By Mark Haskell | Aug 11, 2017
Artwork by: Christine Dunkle

Rockland — Whether hoisting state championships, significant individual accomplishments or high-level accolades bestowed by various conferences and organizations, Midcoast high school male student-athletes earned their share of accolades throughout the 2016-17 sports seasons.

Now, the question becomes: Who was the best of the best among Midcoast student-athletes?

The Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports department —  sports director Ken Waltz, associate sports director Mark Haskell and editorial assistant Holly Vanorse Spicer — will answer that question as they begin their quest to sort out the 2016-17 Courier Publications/VillageSoup schoolboy 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 male semifinalists — and ultimately, five finalists — by Waltz and Haskell.

Students from Oceanside High School of Rockland/Thomaston, 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 2016-17 schoolboy athlete-of-the-year finalists are: Camden Hills’ Josiah Krul, Mount View’s Devon Davis and Colby Furrow, Oceanside’s Mike Norton Jr. and Searsport’s Barrett Grant.

The five finalists were whittled from 10 semifinalists, the other five of whom included: Camden Hills’ Noah Heidorn, Oceanside’s Nate Raye and Titus Kaewthong, Belfast’s Garrett Hamlin and Medomak Valley’s Kyle Donlin.

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 schoolboy 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 2016-17 athlete-of-the-year finalists, with a brief recap of notable accomplishments during the school year, follows, with athletes listed in alphabetical order:

Finalists

Davis, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Mount View, as he played football, basketball and outdoor track and field for the Mustangs. On the gridiron, Davis racked up 519 yards and seven touchdowns, along with 198 receiving yards and one touchdown. On defense, he had 66 tackles, a fumble recovery and kickoff return for a touchdown on special teams. His play earned him first-team all-conference honors at defensive back and utility positions. On the court, the 6-foot 2-inch Davis amassed 11 points and 13 rebounds. On the track, Davis was named first-team all-conference as he was the third leg of the 4x100-meter relay team that nabbed the league title and he finished third in other events (100 meters, 200 meters and was the fourth leg of 4x400-meter relay). The 4x100-meter relay team also finished second at the state Class B championships.

Furrow, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Mount View, as he played football, basketball and baseball for the Mustangs. On the gridiron, Furrow had 655 yards rushing on 52 carries and six touchdowns, while he had six more scores through the air, collecting 25 passes for 378 yards. He also earned the right to participate in the Lobster Bowl, where he scored on a 76-yard touchdown reception. As the team’s place kicker, he converted 19 extra points. His play earned him second-team all-conference honors at running back and honorable mention at kicker. As captain of the basketball team, the 5-foot 10-inch Furrow racked up 15 points and five rebounds per game. On the diamond, Furrow batted .400, with a .518 on-base percentage, compiled 18 hits (five doubles, triple), 16 RBIs and 12 runs. His play earned him second-team all-conference selection.

Grant, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Searsport, as he played soccer, basketball and baseball for the Vikings. On the soccer pitch, Grant amassed 22 goals and added 17 assists, being named first-team all-Penobscot Valley Conference in the process. He also finished a few goals shy of breaking the school’s all-time scoring record. He continued his offensive onslaught on the basketball court as the 6-foot guard/forward amassed 22 points, 7 assists and 11 rebounds per contest, including surpassing 1,000 career points (finishing with 1,062). His efforts earned him the right to participate in the McDonald’s Senior All-Star Game and he also was a second-team all-conference selection.

But it was on the baseball diamond where Grant’s star shone the brightest. At the plate, he sported a .516 batting average, with 11 doubles, 20 RBIs, 32 runs, had a .603 on-base percentage, struck out only four times and swiped a whopping 53 bases on 55 attempts. From the catcher position, he threw out nine runners and had only one passed ball. He also was a finalist for the Dr. John W. Winkin 2017 Mr. Maine Baseball award and helped the Vikings swing to their third straight state Class D championship.

Krul, a senior, was a two-sport athlete for Camden Hills, as he played soccer and tennis for the Windjammers. On the pitch, Krul’s efforts were topnotch as he scored eight goals — four of which came in the playoffs to help Camden Hills knock off two higher-ranked squads in the postseason — and one assist. He was a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B first-team all-conference selection and also was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-New England team. On the tennis courts, Krul was equally impressive as he went 14-0 — largely at third singles, but played a few matches at first and second singles as well — as he helped Camden Hills win its second straight state Class B championship. His performance earned him first-team all-conference honors.

Norton, a junior, was a three-sport athlete for Oceanside, as he played football, basketball and baseball for the Mariners. On the gridiron, Norton had 482 rushing yards and 504 receiving yards with seven touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball at strong safety, Norton had 78 tackles, 11 sacks and two interceptions. His efforts earned him second-team all-conference honors. On the court, the 6-foot 2-inch forward racked up 15.9 points, 11.1 caroms, 4.2 steals, 1.2 assists and one block per game. He also set the school record for points in a game (40) and earned first-team all-conference honors. On the baseball diamond, Norton Jr. competed in 14 games and hit .425 at the dish, a .531 on-base percentage, a .525 slugging percentage with 17 hits, eight runs, eight RBIs and 11 stolen bases. He also sported a .824 fielding percentage.

Semifinalists

Donlin, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Medomak Valley, as he played football, basketball and tennis for the Panthers. Donlin played wide receiver, safety and also kicked for the Panthers as coach Ryan Snell said Donlin was one of the team’s most improved players, having joined the team as a senior after being a soccer player previously. He made 10 catches for 114 yards, had 18 tackles and two interceptions on defense and collected 10 extra points — along with a 27-yard field goal. On the basketball court, Donlin was arguably Medomak Valley’s most consistent player as the 6-foot 3-inch guard/forward averaged 18 points, five rebounds and four assists, which earned him second-team all-conference honors and he helped the Panthers net an undefeated regular season. On the tennis court, Donlin held down the second singles spot, as he swung to a handful of individual wins and aided the Panthers in qualifying for the Class B North playoffs.

Hamlin, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Belfast, as he played soccer, basketball and baseball for the Lions. On the pitch, Hamlin played on the defensive side of the ball and was a team captain, as he earned second-team all-conference honors. He also handled throw-in duties for the Lions. On the hardwood, Hamlin averaged seven points and seven rebounds. On the diamond, he rapped 16 hits (6 doubles), 10 RBIs and 10 runs with a .302 batting average, a .362 on-base percentage and a .415 slugging percentage.

Heidorn, a junior, was a two-sport athlete for Camden Hills, as he played basketball and tennis for the Windjammers. On the basketball court, the 6-foot 1-inch guard-forward averaged 13.7 points, six rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals. On the tennis court, Heidorn played up and down the ladder and went 14-0, as he helped the Windjammers sail to their second straight state Class B championship.

Kaewthong, a junior, was a three-sport athlete for Oceanside, as he played soccer, football and baseball for the Mariners. Kaewthong was a key cog on the soccer team — and once that season concluded — he joined the football team at the end of its regular season and took over as the team’s place kicker. On the diamond, Kaewthong, who coach Don Shields said was the team’s most valuabel player and played much of the season with a hamstring issue, batted .326 with 15 hits (2 doubles, 2 triples, home run), 11 runs scored and 11 RBIs. He also played Unified basketball.

Raye, a senior, was a two-sport athlete for Oceanside, as he played football and basketball for the Mariners. On the gridiron, Raye was a dual threat as he rushed for 615 yards and also hauled in 539 receiving yards, amassing a total of 11 touchdowns. On defense, Raye had 67 tackles, nine sacks and an interception, all of which helped him earn first-team all-conference at utility. On the hardwood, Raye averaged 12 points, 4.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals, which earned him second-team all-conference honors.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.

Staff Profile

Mark Haskell
Associate Sports Director
594-4401, ext. 116
Email Me

Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. Haskell has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School. He has won multiple Maine Press Association awards for writing and photography.

Mark loves the Boston Red Sox, iced coffee, cargo shorts and time with friends and family.

He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn, his sons Beckett and Austin and daughter Lila.

Recent Stories by Mark Haskell