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 2009:

STEPHANIE WHITTEN, WATERVILLE

IN HIGH SCHOOL: Whitten was the MVP for girls’ soccer. She played on three state title teams her senior year – soccer, basketball and outdoor track. Whitten had 25 goals and 30 assists to lead the Panthers to their first state soccer championship in 25 years. She played point guard in basketball and competed in the pole vault and other events in track.

SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: She will be a senior this fall at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., majoring in nursing. Whitten played soccer her freshman year, but dropped the sport to concentrate on her studies.

WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: “It was a very great honor. I played with and against so many talented people that it could have been anyone of them who won. I was very grateful it was me.”

NATE DOEHLER, BONNY EAGLE

IN HIGH SCHOOL: Doehler was named the Maine Sunday Telegram football MVP. A star quarterback/punter for Bonny Eagle, Doehler put up gaudy statistics in leading the Scots to back-to-back Class A state titles. He was also a track and field standout, excelling in the javelin, discus and hurdles.

SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: Doehler went to the University of Maine on a football scholarship. He didn’t play for the Black Bears and left after two years. He moved to Utah and works with his father remodeling homes and selling them.

WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: “It was a recognition for my teammates and the coaches for all the hard work we put in. It was an honor to win.”