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 2006.
MICHELLE LIBBY, Sacopee Valley
IN HIGH SCHOOL: Libby participated in three sports at tiny Sacopee Valley in South Hiram: golf, basketball and softball. She was generally regarded as the state’s top softball player. She hit .719 with four home runs as a senior, also going 12-0 as a pitcher with 152 strikeouts in 78 2/3 innings.
SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she played softball — she hit 10 home runs as a senior — and graduated with a degree in sports management. Lives in Emeryville, Calif., and works for Enterprise Rent-A-Car in San Francisco.
WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: “It was awesome. I felt super honored. I remember meeting a snowboarder (Seth Wescott) at the banquet and that was cool. It was the icing on the cake of my high school career. It was nice that we were recognized for what we did every single day.”
JOSH PELLETIER, Foxcroft Academy
IN HIGH SCHOOL: Pelletier was a three-sport star at Foxcroft Academy. He played football and baseball, but it was wrestling where he excelled. He won three consecutive Class C state individual titles and the New England 275-pound title after his senior year. He finished his varsity career with a 113-11 record.
SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Wrestled at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. In his senior year, tore the MCL and meniscus in his right knee one hour before NCAA qualifying meet. Graduated with a degree in criminal justice. Now living in Jacksonville, Fla., working for a security company.
WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: “It came as a pretty big shock to me. I remember that banquet a lot. When you’re young, it really doesn’t hit you how important something like this is There aren’t many people who can say they were the Athlete of the Year for their state.”