June 21, 2012

Athletes of the Year: 2011

On Friday, 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 2011.


IN HIGH SCHOOL: Gwilym led Cheverus to the Class A state football title and a 12-0 record. His running ability at quarterback keyed the Stags' offense. Along with directing the winning drive against Deering in the Western Class A final, his 106-yard interception return against the Rams was arguably the biggest play of the season. He also played basketball and baseball.

SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: After enrolling at Ohio State, Gwilym tried out for the Buckeyes' football team as a walk-on this spring. He was selected to take part in the team's spring practice with the scholarship athletes after being among seven selected in a tryout with 50 other walk-on candidates.

WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: "Winning the all-sports banquet MVP was a tremendous honor. You are in a room with the premier athletes at their respective sports for the whole state, so to be recognized among that group is a blessing. Not only is it a great individual honor, but a team and community one as well."


IN HIGH SCHOOL: Rapolla was the Maine Sunday Telegram's girls' lacrosse MVP. She was also named to the All-State basketball team as a senior and to the All-State cross country team as a junior.

SINCE HIGH SCHOOL: She went to UMass on a lacrosse scholarship and started early in the season. She then asked for a release from her scholarship so she could transfer to Division II Merrimack College to play lacrosse and basketball. She didn't play after that. "I missed basketball," said Rapolla. She will be on a lacrosse scholarship at Merrimack.

WHAT IT MEANT TO WIN: "It meant the world to me. Winning the athlete of the year award made it apparent that everything I did at Gorham, both individually and with the team, paid off."


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