David Elowitch, left, and Tony Napolitano

Aponte Clarke

Boys’ Team

DAVID ELOWITCH AND TONY NAPOLITANO—Portland wrestling

Elowitch and Napolitano have long made the most of a limited roster and in recent years, have established the Bulldogs as one of the top programs in the state, one which produced an individual champion and several other top contenders this winter.

In light of their effort, The Forecaster is naming David Elowitch and Tony Napolitano our Portland edition Winter Coach(es) of the Year, for a boys’ team.

Elowitch wrestled for Portland High and later at the University of Pennsylvania, while Napolitano won a state title for the Bulldogs in 1990 and later wrestled at West Point and with the All-Army Greco-Roman and Freestyle team. In addition to coaching at the high school level, the duo formed the Portland Youth Wrestling program.

Elowitch and Napolitano took over the Portland High School program in 2003. After the Bulldogs, who included some South Portland wrestlers to make up a co-op squad, finished 11th in Class A a year ago, they moved up to 10th this season, but the bigger story was that several individuals excelled.

Zack Elowitch, David Elowitch’s son, won the Class A state title at 160 pounds, while Malcolm Garland was runner-up at 195 pounds and Harold Degenhardt placed third at 220 pounds.

The Bulldogs hope to remain a consistent contender and as long as David Elowitch and Tony Napolitano, our Portland edition boys’ team Coaches of the Year, are running the show, good things lie ahead.

Previous winners:

2017-18 Kevin Haley (Cheverus swimming)

2016-17 Jeff Beaney (Portland/Deering hockey)

2015-16 Joe Russo (Portland basketball)

2014-15 Dan Lucas (Cheverus hockey)

2013-14 Joe Russo (Portland basketball)

2012-13 Rich Henry (Waynflete basketball)

2011-12 Dan LeGage (Deering basketball)

2010-11 Joe Russo (Portland basketball)

2009-10 Bob Brown (Cheverus basketball)

2008-09 Kevin Haley (Cheverus swimming)

2007-08 Bob Brown (Cheverus basketball)

2006-07 Bob Brown (Cheverus basketball)

2005-06 Dan LeGage (Deering basketball)

2004-05 Jack Lowry (Cheverus hockey)

2003-04 Joe Russo (Portland basketball)

Girls’ team

GEORGE APONTE CLARKE, Deering/Portland/Cheverus Nordic skiing

Aponte Clarke brought skiers together from multiple schools and molded a state champion when all was said and done.

In light of that accomplishment, The Forecaster is recognizing George Aponte Clarke as our Portland edition Winter Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Aponte Clarke moved up from the middle school program to replace Aaron Duphily as coach in 2017 and while his squad had several top individuals, a big challenge/opportunity presented itself this winter.

The Maine Principals’ Association allowed the squad, which features skiers from Deering, Portland, Cheverus and Casco Bay High Schools, to score as a team for the first time and as the season went on, it was clear that the squad wasn’t just competitive, but capable of doing big things.

At the Class A state Nordic meet, thanks strong performances from Grace Tumavicus, Sierra Aponte Clarke, Lucy Medd, Leska Whitmarsh and Elizabeth Thomas, the squad finished atop the Class A heap.

Several skiers then qualified for the U-16 and/or NENSA teams, putting a punctuation mark on a terrific campaign.

George Aponte Clarke, our Portland edition girls’ team Winter Coach of the Year, got skiers from different schools to embrace being one squad and the story had a happy and championship ending.

Previous winners:

2017-18 Tom Clifford (Portland/Deering hockey)

2016-17 Billy Goodman (MGA basketball)

2015-16 Kent Hulst (Cheverus hockey)

2014-15 Billy Goodman (McAuley basketball)

2013-14 Kevin Haley (Cheverus swimming)

2012-13 Brandon Salway (Waynflete basketball)

2011-12 Brandon Salway (Waynflete basketball)

2010-11 Amy Vachon (McAuley basketball)

2009-10 J.P. Lavoie (Cheverus hockey)

2008-09 Mike Murphy (Deering basketball)

2007-08 John Smith (McAuley swimming)

2006-07 Jan Veinot (Waynflete basketball)

2005-06 Kevin Campbell (Deering track)

2004-05 Lindsay Reagan (Waynflete Nordic skiing)

2003-04 Mike D’Andrea (Deering basketball)

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