His record-breaking senior season helped the Stags win their fifth straight Class A crown.Shane Moore started his senior season at Cheverus by breaking three school records in his first meet, then finished it by winning two individual titles and setting a meet record at the Class A state championships.
Before his last high school practice as a junior, Shane Moore took a long, hard look at the Cheverus High record board. He picked out a few marks he thought might be within reach – no matter that one of them had stood for a quarter century and another was set by a future Olympic gold medalist.
Throughout his summer and fall training, “those records were always my goals,” Moore said.
And so, when his senior season finally began in early December, Moore wasted no time. On opening night, he took down three of those records.
He swam the 50-yard freestyle in 21.16 seconds. He won the 100 breast stroke in 58.15. On the opening leg of the 400 free relay, he turned in a time of 47.11.
The guys who held the previous marks: Trebor Lawton, Brian Agro and Ian Crocker.
Moore never let up. He led Cheverus to a fifth straight Class A state championship, was named performer of the meet, and set Southwesterns records in the 200 individual medley and 100 breast stroke. He ranked first in the state in four individual events and was among the top 10 in the other four.
He is our choice as Maine Sunday Telegram Boys’ Swimmer of the Year.
“As good as he is in the water,” Cheverus Coach Kevin Haley said, “he’s a better human being. He is that kid who is extremely humble and kind. With any kind of praise, he always deflects it onto his team, on his mom and dad, on the coaching staff. It was everybody else but him.”
In that Southwestern meet, Moore lowered the breast stroke record, set by Deering’s Eric Delmonte three years earlier, to 58.68 and the IM record, set by Scarborough’s Jerry Gravel in 2013, to 1:56.31. He also broke the IM school record of 1:56.47 set by Robert Ley in 1991.
“Bringing all those guys down in one year, that’s an amazing feat,” Haley said. “We’re not going to see a kid like this in a while.”
Moore, who lives in Biddeford, started out as a basketball player. At age 9, he gave swimming a try with the Manta Ray Swim Team at the Biddeford YMCA. He stayed with them through junior high and, after his freshman year in high school, joined the Portland Porpoises.
He also dabbled in lacrosse and soccer, “but not for very long,” he said. “That was all before I started to focus on swimming and started to practice twice a day,” as a high school sophomore.
Cheverus won the Class A title by a whisker his freshman year and rather handily when he was a sophomore and junior. This winter, Moore was the only Cheverus swimmer to place among the top four in an individual race, but the Stags came up with enough depth to hold off Bangor and Brunswick.
“I don’t want to say it was unexpected, but last year we were a little more confident we were going to come away with it. The freshmen really pulled through,” said Moore, whose time of 21.28 in the 50 free broke the meet record set by Brunswick’s Nate Samson, the 2015 and 2016 Swimmer of the Year.
Moore was accepted early decision to Bates College and plans to continue his swimming career in Lewiston. He lauds Haley and Porpoise Coach Matt Baxter for his progress.
“They’ve both been instrumental in my success as an athlete,” Moore said. “Without those two guys, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you.”
Tucker Banger, Morse senior: Banger won the Class B 50-yard freestyle in 21.84 seconds and placed fourth in the 100 free. He also anchored the 200 medley and 200 free relays to help the Shipbuilders place third overall.
Nick Gould, Old Town senior: Gould won the 100 backstroke (53.07) and 100 butterfly (52.85) to lead Old Town to the Class B state title. His winning times were the fastest in the state for each event, regardless of class.
Nathaniel Hayward, Wells senior: Hayward won the Class B diving title for the second year in a row, and his score of 355.50 was the highest of either state meet. He plans to continue his career at George Washington University.
Camden Holmes, Ellsworth sophomore: Named performer of the meet in Class B after winning state titles in the 100 free (48.27) and 200 free (1:49.76), Holmes also swam on two relays.
Shane Moore, Cheverus senior: Moore set a Class A meet record in the 50 free (21.28) and won his second straight 100 free title (46.64). He also swam on the winning 200 free relay as the Stags extended their championship streak to five years.
Connor Perron, Falmouth senior: Perron won the Class A 500 freestyle in 4:46.94 (the fastest time in the state by more than nine seconds) and the 200 free in 1:47.05. He plans to swim for Providence College.
Carson Prouty, Bangor freshman: The Class A champion in the 100 backstroke, his time of 53.11 was the second-fastest in the state this winter. He was also runner-up in the 200 free (1:47.70).
Colby Prouty, Bangor junior: Prouty defended his Class A titles in the 100 breast stroke (57.74) and 200 individual medley (1:58.42), and swam on the winning 200 medley relay and runner-up 400 free relay.
Eli Steward, Thornton Academy junior: Steward won the Class A 100 butterfly (53.65) with the state’s second-best time, and also placed second in the 500 free and anchored the runner-up 200 free relay and the winning 400 free relay.
Liam Sullivan, Mt. Desert Island sophomore: Sullivan broke a 26-year-old meet record in the Class B 100 breast stroke, with a time of 58.47, to win for the second year in a row. He also defended his 200 individual medley title (1:57.41) and led off the winning 400 free relay.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Dave Ploch, Old Town: The Coyotes ended a 14-year title drought by holding off defending champ Ellsworth and Morse to win the Class B state championship and cap an unbeaten season, the school’s first since 1997. Ploch, in his 24th season, attributed the title to “a lot of seniors and excellent, hard-working kids.” Old Town lost a senior swimmer, Aaron Ricker, to cancer in late January after a seven-year battle. In his honor, the Coyotes wore AR on the sleeves of their dark green T-shirts while poolside at the state meet.
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:
Of the eight individual swimming events, she had the state's best time this year in four of them and was second best in three others.Caitlin Tycz of Brunswick just missed her own state record in the 100-yard butterfly at the Class A state championships but did set a record in the 200 freestyle – one of four events in which she swam the fastest time in the state this season.
She made college visits made to Princeton, Yale and the University of Virginia, so it’s clear Caitlin Tycz is serious about her academics, as well as her swimming.
But as fine as those institutions are, Tycz’s mind drifted to another university that has stellar academics and a historic outdoor pool.
“USC has been a dream school for me since I can remember,” said Tycz, a Brunswick High senior who will enroll at the University of Southern California on a swimming scholarship.
The Trojans’ outdoor pool was the site of the 1984 Summer Olympics. And it’s a pool where Tycz has practiced her strokes.
“I went to swim camps there my freshman and sophomore years,” Tycz said. “I enjoyed all those other schools, and I wasn’t sure (going to USC) was going to happen. It’s so competitive.”
The Trojans are perennially one of the top teams in the country and draw swimmers not only from across the country, but also from other countries. This year’s roster had no swimmers from the northeast, but USC will get a Mainer – the best this state has to offer. For the second straight year, Tycz is the Maine Sunday Telegram Girls’ Swimmer of the Year.
At the Class A state meet at Bowdoin College, Tycz won the 200-yard freestyle in a state-record time of 1:50.35. Her winning time of 53.67 in the 100 butterfly was a pool record, and just shy of her own state record of 53.32. Tycz also took part in the winning 200 free relay. She was named performer of the meet, just as she was in 2016.
Her butterfly time qualified Tycz for All-America status for the fourth straight year.
“She’s the first female swimmer in Maine to do that,” said Brunswick Coach Dave Bright, who has been researching the subject.
Bright said Tycz is also under consideration for All-America in the 100 and 200 freestyle.
Of the eight individual swimming events, Tycz had the state’s best time this year in four of them and was second best in three others. Along with the butterfly and the 200 free, she posted the best times in the 200 individual medley (2:05.29) and 100 free (51.27).
She had second-best times in the 50 free (24.09), 500 free (5:02.05) and 100 backstroke (57.18).
Tycz had a new responsibility this season as a senior captain of a young team.
“Last year, we had a really strong team, but we lost a lot of seniors,” said Tycz, whose team won back-to-back state titles in 2015-16. “We had to rebuild. At states, everyone swam well, but Cony swam tremendous.”
Brunswick placed second to Cony, as Tycz collected the runners-up trophy.
“She took her role as team captain very seriously,” Bright said. “She spent time helping out the newer kids, as well as getting her own work in. She was great.”
And she’s not bad in the classroom, maintaining a 4.0 GPA and finishing sixth in her class.
At USC, she will major in chemistry.
Lydia DaCorte, Mt. Desert Island senior: A previous 500 free and 100 butterfly champion in Class B, DaCorte added the 200 individual medley title (2:08.67) to her collection. She placed second in the butterfly (57.89). DaCorte will swim for Wheaton College.
Emily Ecker, Cape Elizabeth freshman: Ecker broke the 500 free state record (4:56.15), also won the 200 free (1:52.15) and was part of a record-setting 400 free relay (3:32.67), helping the Capers win the Class B title.
Cecilia Guadalupi, Cony freshman: The only individual double winner for the Class A champions, Guadalupi took first in the 200 individual relay (2:11.87) and 100 breast stroke (1:08.68) and also swam on the winning medley and 400 free relays.
Olivia Harper, Morse freshman: Harper emerged with a state record in the 100 backstroke (56.25) and a fourth-place finish in the 100 butterfly (59.84), and helped the 200 free relay team set a state record (1:37.62).
Abby Longstaff, Cheverus senior: Longstaff defended her Class A titles in the 50 free (24.47) and 100 backstroke (58.02), leading the Stags to a third-place finish. She will swim for American University.
Ana Neff-Jendrasko, Maine Girls’ Academy senior: She won the Class B 100 breast stroke (1:08.02) and placed second in the 200 individual medley (2:09.01). Neff-Jendrasko will swim for Florida Atlantic University.
Emma Patterson, Kennebunk junior: Patterson defended her Class B diving championship with a total of 344.55 points, giving her a seven-point margin.
Olivia Tighe, Cape Elizabeth sophomore: The Class B performer of the meet, she won back-to-back events – the butterfly (57.30) and 100 free (51.76) – and also helped set state records in the medley and 400 free relays.
Ann Tolan, Morse senior: Tolan led the Shipbuilders to second place in Class B, defending her 50 free title (23.70), taking second in the 100 free (51.90) and anchoring the record-setting 200 free relay. She will swim for Penn State.
Caitlin Tycz, Brunswick senior: A two-time Class A performer of the meet and Telegram Swimmer of the Year, Tycz set the 200 free record (1:50.35), won the 100 fly (53.67) and swam on the winning 200 free relay. She will swim for the University of Southern California.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Jon Millett, Cony: A former swimmer at Cony and Cheverus and the University of Maine, Millett has directed the Rams’ program since 1996. He molded a talented group, as the Rams finished first or second in every swimming event in Class A and won their first state championship.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:
The senior earned All-American in the pentathlon.Scarborough's Sam Rusak clears the bar at 16 feet, 3 inches to set a pole vault state record at the Class A indoor track championships. Rusak also won the high jump and 200 meters as he swept all three of his events for the second straight year.
Sam Rusak remembers in seventh grade when his track and field coach showed him the top decathlon age-group results in the country, and Rusak saw that his own results weren’t far behind.
Since then, Rusak has been methodically learning and improving in each of the decathlon’s 10 events. Judging from his results, all his hard work is paying off.
Rusak, now a Scarborough High senior, capped another outstanding indoor season by finishing fourth in the pentathlon at the New Balance national championships. That followed his stellar performance at the Class A state meet, where Rusak won all three of his events for the second straight year, including a state-record mark of 16 feet, 3 inches in the pole vault.
And for the second year in a row, Rusak is the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
Over the last 13 months, Rusak is 10 for 10 at state championship meets across a wide range of events – winning six indoor and four outdoor titles. And he’s demonstrated his all-around proficiency by earning All-America honors in the decathlon (placing fourth at nationals last June) and pentathlon.
Rusak proudly says he’s learned all the decathlon events without the help of a personal trainer or coach, relying instead of the guidance of his high school coaches. He estimates that he works out for about four hours most days.
“During the season, I focus on the events I’ll compete in for the team,” Rusak said. “It doesn’t mean I don’t work on my other events, but I focus on the ones the team needs. Then, after states, I start training for my (other) events. That’s when I worked on the 1,000 (meters).”
In addition to his pole vault victory at the state meet, Rusak successfully defended his titles in the 200 (22.99) and high jump (6-0). He won those same events outdoors last June, along with the 110 hurdles.
At the indoor nationals, Rusak got off to a slow start, finishing 11th out of 14 competitors in the 60 hurdles (8.95). He improved in the long jump, finishing eighth with a personal-best mark of 20-61/4.
“He came up pretty clutch with a big PR that got him back on track. That was his first jump over 20 feet,” said Scarborough Coach Derek Veilleux.
Then Rusak surprised even himself in the shot put with a personal-best throw of 44-31/4, good enough for second place.
After taking fifth in the high jump (5-111/2), Rusak was fourth overall going into the 1,000 and knew he needed to stay within 1.5 seconds of Pittsburgh’s Noah Swaby to keep his overall position. Swaby, the top seed in the 1,000, won the final event, but Rusak finished right behind him in 2:43.27, for an overall total of 3,576 points.
Rusak, who will attend the University of Connecticut on a track scholarship, said all the work has been fun, and that’s the secret to his success.
“I remember when I jumped my height in the high jump as a sophomore. I always thought it would be cool to jump over your height,” said Rusak, who is 6-1. “Then when I jumped 6-3 and 6-5, my dad got a photo of me standing under the bar looking up at it.”
Ben Batoosingh, Scarborough senior: Won the 400 (52.44) and placed third in the 200 (23.29) at the Class A state meet. Also ran a leg on their winning 800 relay (1:33.81).
Tanner Burton, Messalonskee junior: Won the 55-meter hurdles at the Class A state meet (7.73) and finished third (7.76) at New Englands.
Paul Casavant, Hampden Academy senior: Won the 2-mile by 27 seconds at the Class A meet in a state-leading time of 9:28.24.
Jarett Flaker, Scarborough freshman: Placed first in the 55 (6.68) and second in the 200 (22.99) in Class A. Ran a state-leading time of 6.61 in the 55 earlier in the season.
Zachariah Hoyle, Messalonskee junior: Won the 800 at the Class A meet in a state-leading time of 1:56.74.
Jason Montano, Thornton Academy sophomore: Took second at the Class A meet in the shot put (51-10) and finished fourth at New Englands (50-91/2).
Luke Laverdiere, Yarmouth junior: Won the mile (4:24.35) and 2-mile (9:49.73) at the Class B state meet, and finished fifth in the mile at New Englands (4:19.04).
Austin Lufkin, Brewer senior: Won the Class A shot put with a state-record throw of 61-2, and also won the event at New Englands (61-91/2).
Michaiah Robinson, Washington Academy senior: Won the 200 (22.83) and 400 (50.83) at the Class B meet, recording state-leading times in both events.
Sam Rusak, Scarborough senior: Set a state record of 16-3 in the pole vault and also won the 200 (22.99) and high jump (6-0) in Class A.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Derek Veilleux, Scarborough: Led the Red Storm to their seventh state title in nine years as Scarborough piled up 102.25 points – more than twice as many as runner-up Westbrook.
Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or:
The senior proves yet again she's one of Maine's top distance runners of all time.Mt. Desert Island's Tia Tardy leads the pack on her way to victory in the mile at the Class B indoor track state championships. Tardy also won the 800 and placed second in the 2-mile, then went on to finish second in the mile at the New England championships.
Tia Tardy has competed for three schools as one of the state’s top distance runners – Mattanawcook Academy as a freshman and sophomore, Orono as a junior, and Mt. Desert Island as a senior.
Throughout her journey, Tardy has maintained her focus and hasn’t stopped improving.
Tardy added two more individual titles at the Class B indoor track championships – giving her seven indoor titles overall – and took second in another event to score 28 of her team’s 53 points, leading the Trojans to a second-place finish. She went on to place second in the mile at the New England championships, with one of the fastest times in Maine schoolgirl history.
Now a four-time member of the Maine Sunday Telegram All-State team for indoor track, Tardy is our choice as Girls’ Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
Tardy was busy as usual at the Class B state meet, running all three distance events. She won the mile in 5 minutes, 4.95 seconds – nine seconds faster than her closest challenger – and also placed first in the 800 (2:18.58) for the third year in a row. In the 2-mile, she was second (11:43.69), behind Yarmouth’s Abby Hamilton.
Two weeks later, Tardy placed second in the mile at the New England championships in 4:57.18 – a time that qualified her for the emerging-elite division at the New Balance Indoor Nationals. She won that event on March 10 with a time of 4:58.83.
Tardy is one of only three Maine high school girls to break five minutes in the mile, according to Scarborough Coach Derek Veilleux, the Maine editor of Milesplit.com.
And Tardy has done so three times, with a personal best of 4:55.23 last year.
According to MDI Coach Brad Witham, Tardy was focused on winning the mile at New Englands rather than trying to break five minutes.
“She ran incredibly fast and incredibly tactical,” Witham said. “It went out a little slow. She went to the front with a surge. That’s what I love to see, especially for a distance runner. She’s not just running to win, but running for the challenge, elbow to elbow and tactical. She had two final amazing races.”
At nationals, Tardy ran for the win again. While her victory in the emerging elite race didn’t earn her All-American status (which is reserved for the championship race), Witham said she dominated the race.
No matter how many events she was running at a meet or where she was in the pack, Tardy never lost focus, according to her coach. And she has fit in well at her latest school.
“She identified well with everyone and really was receptive to being a part of it all here at MDI,” Witham said. “She’s a great supporter of Maine and a great ambassador of the distance runners here.”
Nyagoa Bayak, Westbrook sophomore: Won the high jump (5-6) and triple jump (37-03/4) at the Class A state meet, and finished fifth at New Englands in the high jump (5-3).
Olivia Damboise, Old Town junior: Won the Class B triple jump (35-01/4) and pole vault (9-9) and finished second in the long jump (16-71/2).
Emma Gallant, Cheverus freshman: Took first at the Class A state meet in the 200 (26.48) and 400 (58.86) – both in state-leading times – and was third in the 55 (7.48).
Abby Hamilton, Yarmouth senior: Won the 2-mile at the Class B state meet by 22 seconds (11:21.24) and previously ran a state-leading time of 11:11.18.
Emily Labbe, Scarborough freshman: Won the 55 (7.47) and finished second in the 200 (26.98) and 55 hurdles (8.79) at the Class A state meet, scoring 26 points to lift the Red Storm to the title.
Daija Misler, Hampden Academy senior: Won the shot put at the Class A state meet (40-9) and previously threw a state-leading mark of 41-1.
Juliana Selser, South Portland junior: Won the 800 at the Class A meet in a state-record time (2:16.82), and took fourth at New Englands in the 1,000 (2:53.72). Recorded a state-best time for the season in the 800 at the national championships (2:14.30).
Rihan Smallwood, Bangor senior: Successfully defended her Class A title in the pole vault (11-4) and moved up to third on the state’s all-time list.
Tia Tardy, Mt. Desert Island senior: Won the Class B mile (5:04.95) and 800 (2:18.58) and finished second in the 2-mile (11:43.69). Placed second in the mile at New Englands (4:57.18).
Emma White, Cheverus sophomore: Finished second at the Class A state meet in the long jump (17-21/4) and triple jump (36-51/2) and was third in the long jump at New Englands (18-0).
COACH OF THE YEAR
John Folan, Greely: Led his team to its first Class B state title since 2008, even though the Rangers didn’t produce an individual champion.
Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or:
The senior forward capped his career with back-to-back Class A titles and won the Travis Roy Award.Jeremy Rancourt led Lewiston to consecutive state championships, including a 6-2 win over Falmouth in this year's Class A final.
When Jeromey Rancourt was sick the week of the Class A boys’ hockey state championship game, Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau was nervous.
After all, Rancourt had played a crucial role in helping the Blue Devils get to that stage for the second straight year.
“It would have taken (a catastrophe) to keep him off the ice that game,” Belleau said. “He battled forward. He’s a heck of a player.”
Rancourt came through with a goal and two assists in a 6-2 win over Falmouth – the only team to beat the Blue Devils (20-1) this season. The senior forward capped his career with back-to-back Class A titles and won the Travis Roy Award on March 26.
For his determination on and off the ice, Rancourt is the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Boys’ Hockey Player of the Year.
“It was probably the worst possible time to get sick, but it’s senior year – you can’t get that back,” Rancourt said. “Lewiston is a tough team to play for – it’s lot of responsibility. Everybody on this team has worked hard and sacrificed a lot to get where we are.”
A captain the last two years, Rancourt tied for the team lead in scoring during the regular season with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) and had a goal and five assists in three playoff games. He also scored the winner in last year’s state championship game, which snapped a 13-year title drought for the program.
“His skill and performance on the ice and his character off it was obviously a huge factor in bringing our team together,” Belleau said. “He takes his role as a leader seriously. He’s always looking out for the players. We became a family.”
It didn’t take long for Belleau to recognize Rancourt’s potential. By his sophomore year, Rancourt was getting a regular shift and was an “All-State caliber player,” said Belleau.
“He was always a very talented skater, always had good hands and a good shot,” Belleau said. “He continued to get stronger and grow. He’s really just an all-around solid player for our program, and he has gained the respect from coaches around the league.”
However, Rancourt wasn’t always so graceful on the ice. In fact, during his first time on skates, he told his dad he wanted to quit.
“He told me I had to stick with it,” Rancourt said. “He taught me a lot while he was here.”
When Rancourt was 7, his father, David, died in an accident the day of Rancourt’s first hockey game. David was a U.S. Army Reserve veteran who completed two tours in Iraq. He had served with the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years before suffering a fatal heart attack at age 40 while diving in the Androscoggin River searching for evidence in a criminal case.
Rancourt’s mother, Dawn – who was pregnant with Rancourt’s brother, Brock – broke the news to Jeromey before his Mites debut. He didn’t make it to his game that night, but he was on the ice for the next one.
“She’s my rock. She always told me, ‘You don’t have to be the man of the house,'” Rancourt said. “I never thought I had to be, but I knew I had to grow up a little bit earlier. Things weren’t going to be the same, and I wasn’t going to have that ideal childhood.”
Rancourt turned to hockey as a way to feel connected with father. On his stick are the numbers 1-1-5 – his dad’s license plate with the sheriff’s department. During the national anthem before every game, Rancourt talks to his dad.
“I ask him to look over me,” Rancourt said. “He’s with me every game.”
Rancourt plans to play junior hockey for the next year or two, but isn’t sure where. He just knows he wants to keep playing hockey.
“Once he passed, I wanted to do this for him, to make him proud,” Rancourt said. “I just don’t want that feeling to ever go away. I know it won’t, I know it will always be with me. It’s just one way to feel that I can be with him.”
Jackson Aldrich, Waterville senior forward: Aldrich led the state with 70 points (29 goals, 41 assists), two more than teammate Justin Wentworth. Both scored a hat trick in the Class B state final to help the Panthers win back-to-back titles.
Robbie Armitage, Falmouth senior forward: Armitage and his twin brother, Reece, were the only seniors on a team that won the Class A South title. The Travis Roy Award finalist had a team-high 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in the regular season.
Joe Bisson, Lewiston junior forward: Bisson led Class A with 24 goals and tied for the team lead with 44 points in the regular season, helping the Blue Devils win a second straight state championship.
Derek Fournier, Bangor senior goalie: Fournier, a Travis Roy Award finalist and returning All-State pick, finished the regular season with a 1.86 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He helped the Rams reach the Class A North final.
Tanner McClure, Massabesic/Old Orchard Beach/Bonny Eagle senior forward: A team captain for three years, McClure recorded his 100th career point and led Class A players in scoring during the regular season with 53 points (23 goals, 30 assists). He was a semifinalist for the Travis Roy Award.
Eric Murray, Scarborough senior defenseman: An offensive-minded defenseman, Murray led the Red Storm in points during the regular season with 15 (seven goals, eight assists). He is a finalist for the Travis Roy Award.
Cole Ouellette, Lewiston senior defenseman: Ouellette compiled 32 points in the regular season (16 goals, 16 assists) for the two-time Class A champions.
Spencer Pierce, Falmouth junior goalie: Pierce had a .926 save percentage in the regular season – the best among full-time goalies. He was the only goalie to defeat Lewiston, making 48 saves in a 3-2 win over the Blue Devils in January.
Jeromey Rancourt, Lewiston senior forward: The returning All-State pick tied for the team lead with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in the regular season – second-most in Class A. He had a goal and five assists in the playoffs to help the Blue Devils repeat as champions.
Andrew Roderigue, Waterville senior defenseman: A returning All-State pick, Roderigue totaled more than 130 points for his career, including 51 (18 goals, 33 assists) in the regular season this winter.
Ricky Ruck, Biddeford senior forward: The Travis Roy Award semifinalist led the Tigers to the Class A South quarterfinals, collecting 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) during the regular season.
Dominic Tocci, Portland/Deering forward: Tocci led the Bulldogs with 25 regular-season points (12 goals, 13 assists), helping them get to the Class A South semifinals. He scored the winning goal with one second left in the quarterfinals.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Jamie Belleau, Lewiston: The Blue Devils went into the season as the favorite in Class A and didn’t disappoint, going 20-1 to capture their second straight state title by defeating Falmouth 6-2 in the championship game.
Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:
The sophomore forward had 55 goals and 29 assists to lead the Saints to an undefeated season and their second straight state championship.Kristina Cornelio is already closing in on 100 career goals after just two seasons at St. Dominic Academy, but she might not be back for her junior year, as she's looking at going to a prep school in Connecticut.
St. Dominic Academy girls’ hockey coach Paul Gosselin knows a talent like Kristina Cornelio doesn’t come around often.
“Every now and then, a coach gets ‘that player.’ ” Gosselin said. “You get this one kid who just takes it to another level. She’s a pure student of the game.”
A sophomore forward, Cornelio had 55 goals and 29 assists to lead the Saints to an undefeated season and their second straight state championship. She stood out among a team of standouts, earning recognition as the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Girls’ Hockey Player of the Year.
“Most (standout) high school kids are lucky to get 100 goals in their career,” Gosselin said, noting that Cornelio has almost 90 in just two years. “A lot of those games, I held her back. It could have been more.”
Cornelio started playing hockey at age 4. She grew up around the sport, watching her brother, Alexander, play for St. Dom’s before he graduated in 2008.
“I wanted to be like him when I was younger,” Cornelio said. “I kind of followed in his footsteps.”
She attended clinics and played on various teams before high school – none more physical than a boys’ checking league in seventh and eighth grade.
“That was definitely a big opportunity for me to play at a higher pace,” Cornelio said. “When I was younger, I knew that I wanted to play in college, so that has been my goal.”
Cornelio’s experience competing against boys is evident in her physical style. And she is strong. Gosselin attributes her improvement from her freshman season to the hours she spent in the gym during the offseason.
“As you get to higher levels, not only do you have to be talented – you have to have strength,” Gosselin said. “She really took that to heart last season, and it paid off. She got exponentially better than the league as a whole.”
St. Dominic (21-0) rolled to the state championship, averaging eight goals a game and defeating Falmouth 10-2 for the title.
Gosselin said Cornelio has “speed and a killer shot” along with “great lateral movement.” But Gosselin said it’s her character off the ice that sets her apart. He recalled a conversation at midseason when players debated getting jackets or sweatshirts if they were to win back-to-back state titles. He said one girl suggested adding “2017” to their jackets from last year.
“Before that sentence was even done, Kristina was saying, ‘Well, yeah, but we have one girl who wasn’t with us last year, so she won’t be able to take pride in it,’ ” Gosselin said. “Right off the bat, she’s thinking of that person instantly.”
That unselfishness translates to her play on the ice. Gosselin points to games where Cornelio had an open net but passed to a teammate who hadn’t yet scored.
Along with her coach and teammates, who she calls her “best friends,” Cornelio has enjoyed the support of her hockey-loving family. Her brother videotapes her games and sends her “good luck” texts.
Next season is still up in the air for Cornelio, who is looking at transferring to a prep school. She tentatively plans to play hockey at the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut.
One thing is for sure: her early success hasn’t gone to her head.
“I know I’m not the best – there are so many girls who are way better than me,” Cornelio said. “I just try each game to be the best on the ice.”
Courtney Brochu, Scarborough sophomore defenseman: A strong skater who can play the body well, Brochu earned first-team All-South honors and had 10 assists and six goals – two of which were game-winners.
Jenna Brooks, Brunswick sophomore forward: A first-team All-North selection, Brooks scored four of Brunswick’s seven playoff goals and totaled 73 points (49 goals, 24 assists) on the season.
Evie Clement, Falmouth senior forward: A strong all-around player and a first-team All-South pick, Clement recorded 24 goals and 19 assists.
Katie Clemmer, Yarmouth/Freeport/Gray-New Gloucester senior, forward: Clemmer, a first-team All-North selection, has great hands, skating skills and an ability to anticipate, making her extremely dangerous with the puck.
Kristina Cornelio, St. Dominic sophomore forward: The first-team All-North pick led the Saints to their second straight state title with 55 goals and 29 assists.
Isabelle Frenette, St. Dominic sophomore defenseman: A quick, reliable defenseman who’s strong on the puck, Frenette finished with 17 goals and 27 assists.
Bekah Guay, Biddeford/Thornton Academy senior goalie: A two-time All-State selection, Guay often faced 40-plus shots but kept her team in a lot of close games.
Avery Lutrzykowski, St. Dominic sophomore forward: A fast skater with great hands, Lutrzykowski contributed 32 goals and 40 assists, including three goals and three assists in the state final. She also excels at killing penalties.
Caroline Proctor, Falmouth senior defenseman: A smart defenseman with great vision, Proctor always seemed to be in position. The first-team All-South pick totaled three goals and 11 assists.
Ellie Schad, Greely senior defenseman: The first-team All-North selection is quick with great lateral movement and a powerful shot, making her a dynamic, offensive defenseman. She had 10 goals and 10 assists.
Courtney Sullivan, Greely junior forward: An elusive player with a deceptively quick shot, Sullivan was a first-team All-North selection and finished the season with 29 goals and 12 assists.
Nica Todd, Greely senior goalie: Todd rarely made mistakes or gave up a bad rebound. The first-team All-North pick recorded seven shutouts.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Paul Gosselin, St. Dominic: The Saints have gone 40-2 over the last two seasons, winning back-to-back state championships. This winter, they capped an undefeated season with a 10-2 win over Falmouth in the state final.
Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or: