McGibbon

Male:

LIAM MCGIBBON, Junior-Hockey

* Players Award winner

McGibbon got better and better as the season progressed and he helped his team earn some crucial victories and enjoy a playoff run.

McGibbon started playing goalie at the age of 10 and while he wasn’t a big fan initially, he grew comfortable in the position.

“It’s tough if you make a mistake because everyone knows,” said McGibbon. “The mental part of playing goalie is big. I like the speed and pace of hockey. There’s always something going on. I’m competitive. I like winning, especially as a goalie.”

McGibbon spent his freshman year on the junior varsity team, then moved up and became the varsity starter as a sophomore. This winter, he struggled at times, but was at his best as January gave way to February. 

Highlights included 27 saves in a win over York, 24 saves in a historic, first-ever victory over two-time defending Class A champion Lewiston and 17 saves in a shutout win over Massabesic/Old Orchard Beach/Bonny Eagle. McGibbon stopped 22 shots in a quarterfinal round victory over Cheverus, then made 18 saves in a semifinal round loss to eventual repeat regional champion Biddeford.

“It was a fun year,” said McGibbon, who stopped 84 percent of the shots he faced and had a 3.69 goals against average. “I worked in practice on fixing what needed to be fixed and I picked things up.”

McGibbon also plays travel hockey and ultimate Frisbee. He hopes to make the All-State team as a senior.

That’s a distinct possibility, as Liam McGibbon, South Portland’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year, is only getting better and is at his best under the brightest lights.

Coach Joe Robinson’s comment: “Liam came on strong towards the end and made some amazing saves. The fact that he started so slow and didn’t get down and quit shows what kind of person and competitor he is. He was the backbone of this team. He will be a senior next year and he will be even better.”

Previous winners:

2017-18 Noah Malone (basketball)

2016-17 Ruay Bol (basketball)

2015-16 Jack Fiorini (basketball)

2014-15 Andrew Whipple (hockey)

2013-14 Andrew Whipple (hockey)

2012-13 Tanner Hyland (basketball)

2011-12 Chad MacWhinnie (swimming)

2010-11 Tommy Ellis (hockey)

2009-10 Zach Horton (hockey)

2008-09 Keegan Hyland (basketball)

2007-08 Nick Wright (basketball)

2006-07 Coleman Findlay (basketball)

2005-06 Tim Clark (hockey)

2004-05 Andrew Cousins (basketball)

2003-04 Max Ludwig (track)

2002-03 Ethan Gato (track)

2001-02 Jesse Ludwig (track)

Female:

REBEKAH HUNNEWELL-DUNPHE, Junior-Track

* Class A state champion, shot put

* SMAA all-star, first-team, senior shot put

* New Englands qualifier

Hunnewell-Dunphe exceeded even her own goals this winter, as she dominated her event, set records and captured a state championship in the shot put.

Hunnewell-Dunphe played basketball and softball growing up, but in the eighth grade, she gave throwing a chance and she soon became a standout.

“I enjoy the people I throw with,” she said. “Some of us have thrown together for years.”

Hunnewell-Dunphe made her mark at the high school level as a sophomore, coming in second in the shot put at the Class A state meet with a top throw of 33-feet, 5.75-inches.

This winter, Hunnewell-Dunphe had no peer, thanks in part to hard work in the offseason.

“I started going to a personal trainer and that made a huge difference,” she said.

Hunnewell-Dunphe, who also plays field hockey, then swept the competition during league meets, finished first in the USM Relays, took the Southwesterns with a throw of 36-7, then won the Class A state title with a throw of 36-3.25. On three different occasions, she broke the school record.

“I was very happy with my season,” Hunnewell-Dunphe said. “I did a little more than I’d hoped. It was great to win a championship. I wasn’t sure I could do it.”

Hunnewell-Dunphe, who is a member of Latin Club, is now competing in outdoor track, where she throws the shot put, discus and javelin. She was third in the shot put last spring and is hoping to win a title this time around. Looking ahead, she’d like to compete in college.

Rebekah Hunnewell-Dunphe, South Portland’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, has made her presence felt as one of the state’s premier throwers and the scary thing for the opposition is that she’s only getting stronger.

Coach Karen Reardon’s comment: “Rebekah obviously has been very important to our team this season, as well as the previous two years, but one of things that has helped her this season is getting stronger. She made a bigger commitment to lifting over this past year and that showed in her throwing. Rebekah is also a student of the sport and has worked hard to understand the event and see/feel what she is doing when she throws. I think she has also improved her competitive drive and competition attitude in being able to deal with a throw that might not be as far as she would like and getting herself right back in there to come back and throw again. It was fun to watch her compete this year. Overall, I think there has been a lot of growth in Rebekah as a competitive athlete and it is exciting to see what she has done and what she still has to accomplish.”

Previous winners:

2017-18 Meghan Graff (basketball)

2016-17 Juliana Selser (track)

2015-16 Maddie Hasson (basketball)

2014-15 Maddie Hasson (basketball)

2013-14 Brianne Maloney (basketball)

2012-13 Danica Gleason (basketball)

2011-12 Nyajock Pan (track)

2010-11 Abby Hasson (basketball)

2009-10 Danielle DiBiase (basketball)

2008-09 Brianna Hawkins (basketball)

2007-08 Curry Girr (diving)

2006-07 Kelsey Flaherty (basketball)

2005-06 Christina Aceto (basketball)

2004-05 Whitney Morrow (basketball)

2003-04 Courtney Albin (track)

2002-03 Abby Lesneski (basketball)

2001-02 Abby Lesneski (basketball)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter:@foresports.

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