Ben Ekedahl (Class of 2017, football, hockey and lacrosse)

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Ekedahl wasn’t just a three-sport star, he exemplified grace under pressure as he continued to excel as an athlete even after his father fell ill.

Ekedahl was a dominant receiver in football, a matchup nightmare on the ice in hockey and a formidable defender in lacrosse. On the gridiron, he was a Fitzpatrick Trophy finalist and was named to the Lobster Bowl. He made the playoffs in all of his hockey seasons and earned All-American honors in lacrosse, while playing a key role on three state championship teams.

Ekedahl’s biggest challenge came away from the playing field, as his father, Jim, was diagnosed with brain cancer (he passed away in 2018). Ekedahl’s brilliance as an athlete gave his family solace during a difficult time.

Ekedahl is now playing lacrosse at the University of Colorado, but his time in a Capers’ uniform, regardless of the season, and the way he carried himself, is what set him apart.

“Coaches admired Ben for his ability and maturity in taking on his leadership growth so seriously,” said former Cape Elizabeth football coach Aaron Filieo. “It’s doubtful that he truly knows the positive impact that he had on the kids that he spent time with.”

Karli Chapin (Class of 2020, soccer, lacrosse and basketball)

Scoring one overtime state championship game winning goal is enough to fulfill any athlete’s wildest dreams, but to do so twice, that’s the stuff that movies are made of. Chapin has accomplished that feat, providing the winning goal in soccer and lacrosse in her junior season and her knack for coming up with the biggest plays at the biggest times gives her the edge over a very talented and deep field of candidates for this award.

Chapin is best known for lacrosse and has won Class B state titles with the Capers as a sophomore and a junior. Last spring, she finished in triple-overtime to give Cape Elizabeth its second successive highlight reel victory over Yarmouth. She’s a top scorer in soccer as well and as a junior, scored in OT to win the title. This past fall, the Capers repeated, in more orthodox fashion, but Chapin scored her share of big goals along the way. Have I mentioned that in basketball, she’s pesky and opportunistic and nearly helped her team make an improbable run to the regional final last winter?

Chapin will take her talents to Roger Williams University in Rhode Island to play lacrosse next year, but don’t be surprised if she produces another thrill or two before she departs high school in June.

“Karli is just a special player who is so fun to watch,” said Alex Spark, Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse coach. “She’s never afraid. She can handle the pressure.”

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

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