On June 22, The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram will honor the state’s best high school athletes at our annual banquet. A player of the year for each sport will be honored and we’ll name our male and female Athletes of the Year. What makes this year so special is that it’s the 25th year of honoring Maine’s best, so we will be catching up with all our Athletes of the Year since the first banquet in 1988. Today, we honor the winners from 1995.
NICHOLE MOTIL JACKSON, THORNTON ACADEMY
IN HIGH SCHOOL: A two-time Athlete of the Year in indoor track who broke a total of three state, six conference and 13 school records in hurdles, relays and the high jump, including outdoor track. Also an outstanding soccer player.
SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Competed in track and field for four years at the University of Maine, followed by two years as a graduate assistant coach while she earned a master’s degree in school counseling. Currently works in guidance and coaches track and field at Munroe High School – which recently won the state title – outside of Charlotte, N.C. Has a son in kindergarten.
WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: “It was just a great honor to be recognized with so many other great scholar-athletes from so many other sports. To be with that elite group – others who took training and competition seriously – was a great honor.”
T.J. CAOUETTE, WINTHROP
IN HIGH SCHOOL: Outstanding all-around athlete who won two individual state titles in golf and eight state titles in outdoor track and field (discus, shot put, javelin, triple jump) in addition to his prowess in basketball, where he racked up 1,980 points and 1,050 rebounds in four seasons. Also was named Athlete of the Year in 1996, joining Kennebunk’s Jamie Cook (1993 and 1994) as the only two-time winners.
SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Played four years of Big East basketball at Villanova. Married a Villanova swimmer. They live in Florida with their son and daughter. Works for a systems engineering and integration firm dealing with intelligence and the Department of Defense.
WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: “At the time, everything came so quickly. I don’t think I actually knew how prestigious it was. As time has gone on, the more personally valuable it has been for me.”