Male:

RYAN BAKER, Senior—Lacrosse

Contributed photo

File photo

  • WMC Class C all-star, first-team
  • Senior All-Star

Baker was NYA’s goal-maker this spring and his record-setting performance on the big stage led the Panthers to their first state championship in a dozen years.

Baker, who was also named NYA’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year in 2017, started playing lacrosse in the fifth grade and made the Panthers varsity as a freshman.

“I love lacrosse because it’s high energy,” said Baker. “When I get going, I get adrenaline.”

Baker has also starred in soccer and ice hockey at NYA, won championships in all three sports this school year. He emerged into a lacrosse all-star as a junior, scoring over 40 goals, and this spring, he scored 53 times and added 30 assists for an NYA squad which showed steady improvement, bided its time, then peaked at the optimal moment.

Baker scored with regularity during the regular season, but he was at his best in the playoffs, scoring three times to help the Panthers upset defending state champion Waynflete in the Class C state semifinals, then setting a new record with eight goals in the state final, a decisive win over the Mararanacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain co-op team.

“I have a scorer’s mentality,” Baker said. “I accomplished everything I wanted this year.”

Baker, a Brunswick resident, plans to continue playing lacrosse next year at Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut, where he plans to study criminal justice.

He’s a record holder and a state champion and Ryan Baker, North Yarmouth Academy’s Spring Male Athlete of the Year, figures to keep his good times rolling at the next level.

Coach Sam Manders’ comment: “Ryan meant everything to our team this year. He was the straw that stirred the drink. He was so hard for other teams to stop. His mental tenacity is so good. He wants to score. The team knew what he wanted to do and worked with him.”

Previous winners:

2018 Connor Clock (lacrosse)

2017 Dana Nichols (baseball)

2016 Thomas Pitts (lacrosse)

2015 D.J. Nicholas (lacrosse)

2014 Bryce Tetrault (tennis)

2013 Jacob Scammon (lacrosse)

2012 Jake Burns (track)

2011 Ryan Salerno (baseball)

2010 Henry Sterling (track)

2009 Sam Fear (track)

2008 Henry Gleason (lacrosse)

2007 Than Wellin (lacrosse)

2006 Michael Moody (track)

2005 Peter Gerrity (lacrosse)

2004 Brian Chin (track)

2003 Matt Curran (baseball)

2002 Matt Fortin (track)

Female:

HELEN HAMBLETT, Senior-Lacrosse

File photo

Contributed photo

  • Steve Morris Award winner
  • Coach’s Award winner
  • WMC all-star, first-team
  • Senior all-star
  • Captain

Hamblett’s leadership and unselfish nature helped the Panthers enjoy their best season in years, a campaign that ended just one goal shy of a trip to the state final.

Hamblett lives in Boothbay Harbor and started playing lacrosse in kindergarten.

“Lacrosse has always been my top sport,” Hamblett said. “I like how the ball moves and how you have to work as a team. There are so many ways to work together.”

Hamblett, a midfielder, whose size and athleticism proved tough to match up against, also played soccer and basketball at NYA, winning a championship on the pitch last fall and helping the hoops team enjoy its best season in two decades this past winter.

Lacrosse is where she has shined the brightest, however.

Hamblett came to NYA for her sophomore season and as a junior, she made the lacrosse All-Conference team.

This spring, Hamblett scored 14 goals, but more importantly, was a force in the draw circle and set up her teammates 38 times for goals.

“Assists can be more valuable than goal-scoring,” Hamblett said. “I’m happy to find my teammates.”

Hamblett had four assists in a win over Mt. Ararat, scored three times in a victory over Camden Hills, produced seven assists in a win over Deering, scored three times against Wells and added three more goals in a win over Fryeburg Academy.

The Panthers then upset Freeport in the Class C state quarterfinals, as Hamblett scored a goal and had five assists, including the pass that set up Natalie Farrell for the winner in overtime. Hamblett then scored one final goal in a one-goal loss to defending champion Lake Region in the semifinals.

“We got so close to states,” Hamblett said. “I was very happy with our season.”

Hamblett will continue playing lacrosse next year at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, where she will study interior design.

If anyone ever proved that it’s better to give than to receive, or to assist rather than score, it was Helen Hamblett, North Yarmouth Academy’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year, whose play this past season was inspirational.

Coach Molly Climo’s comment: “Helen is the ultimate team player, always wanting the best for her teammates. She’s such a natural leader. As a two-year captain, it’s been amazing to watch her teammates support her just as she supports them. She’s worked so hard for our team’s success by pushing her teammates to do their best while also elevating her skills. She’s certainly going to be missed next year.”

Previous winners:

2018 Bella McMahon (lacrosse)

2017 Sydney Plummer (softball)

2016 Lena Rich (tennis)

2015 Muriel Adams (track)

2014 Olivia Madore (lacrosse)

2013 Muriel Adams (track)

2012 Sarah Jordan (tennis)

2011 Katie Cawley (lacrosse)

2010 Courtney Dumont (lacrosse)

2009 Thu-Trang Ho (tennis)

2008 Kayte Demont (track)

2007 Erin Lachance (lacrosse)

2006 Meghan Meintel (lacrosse)

2005 Molly Moss (lacrosse)

2004: Kristen Lothes (tennis)

2003 Jenny Kendall (tennis)

2002 Emma Harper (track)

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