June 15, 2013

A day for honoring the best high school athletes in Maine

The top male and female athletes in the state will be named, and the top athlete in each sport will be honored.

By Mike Lowe mlowe@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Three-sport standout? Or one-sport star? Large school? Or small?

Sunday, some of the very best high school athletes in the state will come together in Portland to celebrate the 2012-13 high school season.

The 26th annual Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram All-Sports Awards Ceremony will be held at the Italian Heritage Center, beginning with a social gathering at 11:30 a.m. Athletes selected as Player of the Year by the newspaper staff in the 28 sports sanctioned by the Maine Principals' Association will be honored, with the overall Male and Female Athletes of the Year announced about 2:15 p.m.

Julia Clukey, the U.S. Olympic women's luger, will be the guest speaker.

Here's a brief look at the athletes who will be honored:

BOYS' CROSS COUNTRY

Dan Curts, a junior at Ellsworth, had the fastest time in any class, 15 minutes, 47 seconds, over the 5-kilometer course in Belfast at the state championships, winning the Class B title by edging Silas Eastman of Fryeburg Academy at the finish line. He was a repeat all-New England runner with a 17th-place finish and was 25th at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional.

GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY

Waterville senior Bethanie Brown ran the fastest time of any class (17:56) at the state championships by nearly a minute. She was seventh in the New England championships and 11th at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional. She set mile and 2-mile records in the indoor season, and won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 as well as anchoring a winning relay team in the outdoor season. She plans to continue her running career at the University of Connecticut.

FIELD HOCKEY

Kristy Bernatchez of Messalonskee in Oakland has been one of the state's best players for years, but this year became a dominant force. She scored 47 goals and was the only person to score against Skowhegan, doing it twice. She will attend the University of North Carolina.

FOOTBALL

Andrew Libby, a junior, led Thornton Academy to its first Class A state championship since 1988 with a display of versatility seldom seen. He scored 30 touchdowns -- 23 on rushes, two on passes, four on punts and one on an interception return. He rushed for 1,092 yards and did his best work in the playoffs.

BOYS' GOLF

Reese McFarlane of Cape Elizabeth is only a sophomore, but he is already accustomed to winning big tournaments. He won the Class B individual title with a 74, one week after shooting a 69 on the same course in the team tournament. He was 11-1 in the regular season.

GIRLS' GOLF

Alice Hwang of Bangor was a member of the boys' team and played in eight matches as a junior. She won the schoolgirl title with an 84. Her family has since moved to Orlando, Fla., where she will continue to play golf.

BOYS' SOCCER

Senior J.P. White of Falmouth could have played just about anywhere, but he was most effective in the middle of the field, where he could direct everything. He was pretty effective, with 12 goals and 12 assists, as Falmouth won its third Class B state championship in four years. He will attend Hobart College.

GIRLS' SOCCER

Caitlin Bucksbaum of Falmouth was at her best when it mattered most. She scored four game-winning goals as a senior and assisted on five game-winning goals. A midfielder, she helped Falmouth win back-to-back state titles. Also a member of the ski team as well, she will attend Villanova.

(Continued on page 2)

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