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 2002.
Sarah Marshall Ryan, McAuley
IN HIGH SCHOOL: Marshall was the state’s best basketball player in her junior and senior years, leading McAuley to back-to-back Class A state championships. She won this award as a junior after averaging 19 points, 6.1 assists and 4.5 steals. She was also an all-state soccer player and was a distance runner in the spring.
SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Boston College, played four years of basketball. She started 92 consecutive games over her last three years. Graduated with a degree in communications. Married BC sweetheart Matt Ryan, now the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. Works with children at the Boys and Girls Club in Atlanta.
WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: “It was really a great honor. Just to be nominated was special. I got to meet Joan Benoit Samuelson and that was a thrill. I look back on it very fondly.’’
John Kane, Deering
IN HIGH SCHOOL: Kane played four sports at Deering. He played football and lacrosse, ran cross country and dominated in wrestling. As a senior, he went 36-0 with 21 pins to win the 171-pound state title. Then he went on to win the 176-pound national championship.
SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Wrestled at the Naval Academy for four years, finishing with 75 wins at 184 pounds. He missed qualifying for the nationals in his senior year by one match. He is a lieutenant in the Navy, flying helicopters for HSC-25 Island Knights in Guam. He was previously stationed in the Middle East.
WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: Kane was unavailable for comment.