Male:

HUNTER OWEN, Junior-Baseball

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  • Maine Gatorade Player of the Year
  • SMAA Most Valuable Pitcher
  • SMAA all-star, first-team

Owen took his already impressive game to a stratospheric level this spring, absolutely dominating the competition while leading the Red Riots to the regional final.

Owen, a lanky southpaw, started playing baseball at a young age and began pitching in Little League, but until middle school, football was his sport of choice. That changed as he realized just how special he could be.

“I love the mental part of baseball,” Owen said. “It’s more than being the best athlete. It’s about pitching, hitting, running bases and having fun with your teammates.”

Owen played football, basketball and baseball his first two high school seasons, but as a junior, it was baseball only and his commitment to the sport showed. After a sophomore campaign which saw him named to the All-Conference first-team, Owen was a workout fiend and it paid huge dividends this spring.

Owen allowed one earned run all season (not a misprint), in 40.2 innings of work. He went 5-0 with a 0.17 earned run average, allowed just 16 hits and 11 walks and struck out 73 batters while allowing the opposition to hit just .114.

There were many highlights and they included a three-hit, 12-strikeout masterpiece against Windham in the opener, a two-hitter with 16 Ks in a win over Falmouth, two hits and three RBI in a victory over Thornton Academy, a three-run home run in a win over Kennebunk, a two-hitter with 15 strikeouts in an eight-inning victory over Deering and a one-hit gem (the hit came in the seventh inning), which included 11 strikeouts, in a win over Cheverus.

“I worked harder prior to this year,” Owen said. “There’s no excuse not to work hard.”

In the playoffs, Owen fanned 12 in 6.1 innings in a semifinal round victory over Marshwood, then, in the regional final against eventual champion Scarborough, he wasn’t eligible to pitch, but hit a double. Ultimately, South Portland lost by a run and Owen never go to pitch in the state final.

“No one on the team was really happy,” said Owen. “I was happy how my season went, but not winning the state championship was tough.”

Owen has committed to playing at Vanderbilt University, but first, he’s in line to dazzle as a senior.

His bar is set high, but Hunter Owen, South Portland Spring Male Athlete of the Year, has demonstrated that when he’s at his best, the opposition simply doesn’t have a chance.

Coach Mike Owens’ comment: “Hunter is the most dominant player at any position in our league. He gives us a chance to win anytime he walks on the mound. He improved so much from last year. His velocity was better as well as his control of all three pitches. He threw his curveball in and around the strike zone with much more consistency. Not only is he so good on the mound, he’s a great leader and teammate. The other players look up to him and love to play with him. He’s as unassuming a star player as I’ve ever seen and fits in with every player in the entire program. He’s truly a joy to coach.”

Previous winners:

2018 Riley Hasson (baseball) and Cooper Mehlhorn (lacrosse)

2017 Steven Smith (track)

2016 Sam Troiano (baseball)

2015 Henry Curran (baseball)

2014 Duncan Preston (lacrosse)

2013 Duncan Preston (lacrosse)

2012 Brendan Horton (baseball)

2011 Adrian Reid (track)

2010 Adam Burpee (lacrosse)

2009 Ben Linscott (lacrosse)

2008 Will Furbush (baseball)

2007 Eugene Arsenault (lacrosse)

2006 Thomas McCoubrey (track)

2005 Justin Collett (baseball)

2004 Scott Guillerault (baseball)

2003 Anthony Dambrie (track)

2002 Greg Norton (baseball)

Female:

JENA LECKIE, Senior-Lacrosse

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  • SMAA all-star, first-team
  • Senior all-star
  • Captain

Leckie was a scoring machine this spring for a Red Riots squad which was once again a contender in Class A South.

Leckie is one of the top athletes that South Portland has produced in recent years, playing soccer in the fall, being a key cog in a powerhouse basketball team in the winter and scoring an abundance of goals in lacrosse in the spring.

Leckie made her mark on the Red Riots varsity as a freshman, she was a league all-star as a sophomore (scoring the tying goal in a historic quarterfinal round overtime victory over Gorham) and a junior, and as a senior, she scored 53 goals, giving her 144 for her career (a new program benchmark).

Highlights included five goals in a season-opening win over Deering, the 100th goal of her career in a loss to Portland, five more goals in a victory at Mt. Ararat and seven goals in a win over Bonny Eagle.

In the playoffs, Leckie had five goals as South Portland beat Marshwood in the quarterfinals and in a semifinal round loss to Kennebunk, Leckie scored her final goal.

Leckie is planning to go to the University of Southern Maine next year, where she’ll study business. At press time, she was unsure if she would continue to play a sport.

Whatever she does, she’ll be successful. Jena Leckie, South Portland’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year, was a force to be reckoned with for the Red Riots and has etched her name in program lore.

Coach Leslie Dyer’s comment: “Jena has been a powerhouse force for us for four seasons. She made things happen for us on the field. I consider her to be our enforcer. She never held back and she’s one of the reasons we made it as far as we did. She was imperative on our draw circle and helped us win possession of a majority of draws. She’s going to be hard to replace.”

Previous winners:

2018 Grace Rende (softball)

2017 Juliana Selser (track)

2016 Mary Cronin (lacrosse)

2015 Laurine German (softball)

2014 Shannon Conley (track)

2013 Danica Gleason (softball)

2012 Erin Bogdanovich (softball)

2011 Alexis Bogdanovich (softball)

2010 Katlin Norton (softball)

2009 Danielle DiBiase (softball)

2008 Julie DiMatteo (softball)

2007 Christina Aceto (softball)

2006 Kristin Kill (softball)

2005 Krystal Shannon (softball)

2004 Lindsay Coit (lacrosse)

2003 Nichole Cousins (softball)

2002 Morgan O’Donnell (softball)

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


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