Male:

JAKE ROGERS, Senior—Lacrosse

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  • WMC all-star, first-team
  • Team MVP
  • Captain

Rogers was an underappreciated defensive standout for a team that consistently frustrated opposing offenses and went on to capture an elusive state championship.

Rogers started playing lacrosse in the fifth grade, gravitated to the defensive side and quickly became a fan of the sport.

“Lacrosse has always been fun for me,” Rogers said. “I found out I could be pretty good sophomore year when I started defending the top opposing attack. I took a lot of pride in not allowing him to score.”

By his sophomore season, Rogers made the All-Conference team and as a junior, he was a first-team selection. This spring, Yarmouth allowed fewer than seven goals per contest, a most impressive feat considering it was playing most of the prolific offenses around. Opposing top scorer after top scorer came in riding high, but would be held completely in check by Rogers, forcing other players to do damage, which didn’t happen often.

The Clippers earned the No. 2 seed in Class B and after losing in overtime in the semifinals a year ago, Yarmouth avenged that loss by handling Brunswick in the state semifinals (Rogers held Dragons All-American standout Aiden Glover without a goal when he was defending him), then holding off Greely’s furious rally in the state game (where Rangers star Schuyler Wetmore scored just once, but only after Rogers slid off him).

“Winning a championship felt great after coming up short the past three years,” Rogers said. “Our team chemistry was really good. Everything just came together for us. I really like to win and put the team first. I love the team aspect of lacrosse and making connections.”

Rogers, who also played four years of basketball for the Clippers and used his size and athleticism to his advantage, was named All-Conference again and in the opinion of his coach, David Pearl, should have been an All-American as well.

“(Jake) should have been All-American as a junior and for him to not get it this year is crazy,” Pearl said.

Rogers will attend the University of South Carolina where he plans to study economics and play club lacrosse for a team which just won the national championship at that level.

Jake Rogers, Yarmouth’s Spring Male Athlete of the Year, took on a difficult challenge and became one of the finest defensemen around. In the process, he elevated his team to the pinnacle.

Coach David Pearl’s comment: “Jake was one of the top defenders in the state. He was the anchor of a state championship defense that boasted a 6.8 goals against average for the season against the hardest schedule in the state. All season long, he shut down the opponents’ best player. He’s not flashy, but he almost never got beat one-on-one and made everyone around him better. He directed traffic on the field like a coach.”

Previous winners:

2018 Luke Waeldner (baseball)

2017 Gibson Harnett (baseball)

2016 Matthew Beatty (lacrosse)

2015 Joe Oliva (lacrosse)

2014 Braden Becker (tennis)

2013 Ben Decker (tennis)

2012 Bryce Snyder (baseball)

2011 Campbell Belisle-Haley (baseball)

2010 Nick Whittaker (baseball)

2009 Rob Highland (lacrosse)

2008 Robb Arndt (baseball)

2007 Jon Poole (lacrosse)

2006 Hans Tobiason (lacrosse)

2005 Chris Hichborn (lacrosse)

2004 Jon Miller (lacrosse)

2003 Jared Harriman (lacrosse)

2002 Tim Kjeldgaard (lacrosse)

Female:

ABI THORNTON, Senior-Lacrosse

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  • WMC all-star, first-team
  • WMC All-Academic team

Thornton was a top scoring threat and steady veteran presence for a Yarmouth team which entered the season full of uncertainty, yet found itself in the state final for the seventh year in a row.

Thornton, like so many girls in Yarmouth, took up lacrosse at a very early age, second grade in her case, and quickly grew to love it.

“I love that it’s a team sport and that I can be with my friends,” Thornton said. “I also love to run. I like to work hard.”

Thornton got pulled up to the Yarmouth varsity as a freshman and by sophomore year was contributing to a powerhouse squad which reached the Class B state final, only to lose a painful one-goal decision to Kennebunk. As a junior, Thornton was a second-team league all-star and helped the Clippers get back to the state game, which they lost in agonizing fashion to Cape Elizabeth in overtime.

After most of its starting lineup graduated, Yarmouth had some holes to fill this season, but Thornton was a stabilizing force, erupting for 39 goals and adding 11 assists to help the Clippers finish atop the Class B Heal Points standings once more. Highlights included four goals in a season-opening win over Freeport, three goals and three assists in a victory over eventual Class C champion St. Dom’s, four goals in a win over Marshwood and five goals in a win over Messalonskee.

In the playoffs, Thornton had two goals in a state quarterfinal round win over Mt. Ararat, scored four more in a semifinal round victory over Biddeford, then had two goals and an assist in the state final against Cape Elizabeth, where history repeated itself and Yarmouth lost a one-goal heartbreaker, this time in triple overtime.

“We had a very successful season,” said Thornton, who again got to play with her sister, sophomore Anna Thornton. “We connected and worked together.”

Thornton, who also Nordic skied for four years, played two years of soccer and ran cross country for two years in high school, served as a volunteer ski instructor, was a member of Global Action Club and volunteered with the Nutrition Closet, helping families in need.

Thornton will attend the University of Wisconsin in the fall.

Her contributions to the Clippers program will long be remembered. Abi Thornton, Yarmouth’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year, gave her all to her teammates and to her sport and she enjoyed a superb senior season.

Coach Dorothy Holt’s comment: “Abi led our team on and off the field. She gave 110 percent every day in practice and in games. Abi made everyone around her feel important and she pushed her teammates to work hard. As a coach, you greatly appreciate a player like Abi who always wanted to please and create a fun and friendly team environment. We are going to miss her.”

Previous winners:

2018 Eva Then (lacrosse)

2017 Gretchen Barbera (lacrosse)

2016 Mary Kate Gunville (lacrosse)

2015 Mari Cooper (softball)

2014 Grace O’Donnell (lacrosse)

2013 Grace O’Donnell (lacrosse)

2012 Hannah Potter (tennis)

2011 Danielle Torres (lacrosse)

2010 Danielle Torres (lacrosse)

2009 Haley Knaub (track)

2008 Nicole Grover (lacrosse)

2007 Laurie Baker (lacrosse)

2006 Emily Johnson (lacrosse)

2005 Chrissie Attura (lacrosse)

2004 Louise Taylor (tennis)

2003 Louise Taylor (tennis)

2002 Christine Clancy (tennis)

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


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