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 1997.
KRISTI KNIGHTS O’DONNELL, South Portland
IN HIGH SCHOOL: Scored 17 of her 35 career goals to lead South Portland to the 1996 Western Class A field hockey championship. Placed in the 600-meter run in the Class A indoor meet and was the catcher for the Red Riots’ softball team.
SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Played field hockey at the University of Maine, graduating in 2002 with a B.S. in kinesiology and physical education. Works as a clinical assistant to a sports medicine doctor at OA Center for Orthopedics in Portland.
WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: “It was like a dream come true. I never ever would have anticipated winning. It was a huge highlight. All the years of the hard work I put in were recognized in that moment.”
DAVID ROMILLY, Wells
IN HIGH SCHOOL: Went 33-0 to win his third consecutive Class B state wrestling title at 171 pounds. Rushed for more than 1,000 yards in football twice and won three consecutive Class B state titles in the javelin.
SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Competed in the decathlon for four seasons at Penn State, where he made the academic All-Big Ten team while earning a B.S. degree in environmental engineering. Works as a civil engineer for Wright-Pierce Engineering in Portsmouth, N.H.
WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: “It was a satisfying moment, a culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication. (Sports) taught me how to listen to the direction and teachings of my coaches and parents, and put them into practice pays off, and the award was recognition of that.”