Gus Ford. Contributed photo

MALE:

GUS FORD, Junior-Soccer

  • Southern Class A regional all-star

  • SMAA all-star, first-team

Ford came up big on many occasions this fall as Falmouth returned to the pinnacle and won the Gold Ball for the first time in seven seasons.

Ford started playing soccer at a young age and while he also competes for the baseball team, he has a lot of respect for what happens on the pitch.

“I have fun with all my sports, but soccer is so different,” Ford said. “It takes a different kind of focus. I’m very competitive and I hate to lose. I get angry when the ball gets taken from me.”

Ford, who also plays for the Seacoast club team, joined the Falmouth varsity as a freshman. As a sophomore, he was an honorable mention all-star, but in each season, the Yachtsmen’s playoff run ended sooner than hoped.

This fall, everything came together for Ford and Falmouth, as he scored 16 goals and added nine assists.

Highlights included two goals and an assist in a win over Massabesic, a goal to help produce a tie against Kennebunk, two goals in a victory over Bonny Eagle, the winning tally in a victory at Cheverus, the only goal in a win at Thornton Academy, the winner against Scarborough and two goals in a victory over Westbrook.

In the playoffs, Ford remained a key factor, scoring a goal and adding an assist in a win over Kennebunk in the quarterfinals, assisting on the winning goal in a regional final victory over Gorham, then scoring a goal in Falmouth’s impressive 5-2 victory over defending champion Lewiston in the Class A state final.

“I could tell from the preseason that we could be good,” Ford said. “We were very aggressive and we fed off each other.”

Ford also participates in the school’s Big Buddies program. He hopes to win a repeat championship and be an All-American as a senior, then he intends to play soccer in college.

Plenty more glory is in store on the pitch. Gus Ford, Falmouth’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, played like a champion this year and helped his team return to glory.

Coach Dave Halligan’s comment: “Gus was a game-changer for us. He seemed to play his best soccer in the biggest games. With his speed and technical ability with the ball, he put constant pressure on the opposing defenses and was a player that opposing teams had to give special attention to. We look forward to having him back next year.”

Gus Ford. File photo

Prior winners:

2018 Riley Reed (football)

2017 Jack Bryant (football)

2016 Jeremiah Sands (cross country)

2015 Connor Aube (football)

2014 Bryce Murdick (cross country)

2013 Joe Lesniak (golf)

2012 J.P. White (soccer)

2011 Andrew Murry (soccer)

2010 Tim Follo (cross country)

2009 Gabe Hoffman-Johnson (soccer)

2008 Gabe Hoffman-Johnson (soccer)

2007 Jack Wyman (golf)

2006 Nick Ford (football)

2005 Adam Packard (golf)

2004 Connor Hollowell (soccer)

2003 Jimmy Velas (soccer)

2002 Brandon Bonsey (cross country)

2001 Brian Giggey (golf)

Sofie Matson. Contributed photo.

FEMALE:

SOFIE MATSON, Junior-Cross country

  • New England champion

  • Class A state champion

  • All-state, first-team

  • SMAA Runner of the Year

  • SMAA all-star, first-team

Matson grew her legend this fall, not only leaving every female runner in Maine in her wake, but by winning a New England title to boot.

Matson took up running cross country in middle school and became an instant star as a freshman, winning the Class A individual title and being named to the Northeast Region second-team. As a sophomore, Matson won the championship again, helping Falmouth finish second as a team. This past summer, Matson was the fastest Maine female at the Beach to Beacon.

That merely set the stage for a dominant campaign this fall.

Matson opened the season with a first-place finish in a home meet and never looked back. She was 44 seconds better than teammate Karley Piers at the Southern Maine Classic and posted a time of 17 minutes, 35.91 seconds in winning the Festival of Champions in Belfast.

At regionals, Matson finished first in 17:51.54, more than a minute better than the runner-up, helping Falmouth place second. Then, at states, she had a time of 17:52.02, a minute, 26 seconds faster than Piers, to win another individual title. Matson then turned heads at New Englands, winning with a time of 17:52.

“I wanted to go sub-18 (minutes) this year and I knew I could compete with the top runners in New England,” said Matson.

Saturday at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York, Matson placed eighth at the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals, in 18:00.1, to qualify for a return trip to San Diego for the national finals Dec. 14. Last year, Matson was eighth in the Northeast and 14th at nationals.

Matson, who runs distance in outdoor track, plans to be less time focused as a senior, but still wants to win another title and lead the Yachtsmen to great things.

Matson, who is also an accomplished clarinet player, plans to run in college and will have an abundance of suitors.

There haven’t been many runners as exceptional as this one. Sofie Matson, Falmouth’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, keeps raising the bar for excellence and is far from finished.

C0-Coach Jorma Kurry’s comment: “Sofie is a wonderful young runner and student who, despite being among our finest students and athletes even as a freshman, continues to make significant improvements every year. The area where I have seen the most growth from Sofie this year is in becoming a more outgoing leader on her team. Sofie has learned to enjoy her role at the front and never fails to recognize the efforts and successes of her teammates when she is recognized for her accomplishments. She is a joy to coach and her positivity and composure earn her high marks from faculty, peers, coaches and rivals in our school and around the state.”

Co-Coach Danny Paul’s comment: “Quiet composure and strength make Sofie an unusually capable high school cross country runner. Sofie is an incredibly willing worker. During the past season, she trained almost every day with talented members of our boys team. Her ‘easy’ training pace for base runs is faster than many of her teammates’ and opponents’ racing pace. I believe she is especially successful because she is so efficient. Sofie is a willing worker who cares about results, but also enjoys the journey. She is a wonderful role model for her teammates and her rivals. We are fortunate to her in our school and community.”

Sofie Matson. File photo.

Prior winners:

2018 Liberty Ladd (field hockey)

2017 Sofie Matson (cross country)

2016 Malaika Pasch (cross country)

2015 Sydney Bell (field hockey)

2014 Elle Fitzgerald (field hockey)

2013 Riley Burfeind (volleyball)

2012 Cassie Darrow (soccer)

2011 Caitlin Bucksbaum (soccer)

2010 Kate Sparks (volleyball)

2009 Emma Wilberg (volleyball)

2008 Nicole Foley (field hockey)

2007 Maddie Grygiel (cross country)

2006 Emily Bowden (field hockey)

2005 Riley Haddock (field hockey)

2004 Riley Haddock (field hockey)

2003 Hannah Millick (field hockey)

2002 Ali Hollowell (field hockey)

2001 Whitney Huse (soccer)

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

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