Male:

CALEB HUNTER, Senior—Nordic Skiing

* WMC all-star, first-team

Hunter posted some terrific individual results and led the Falcons to a state championship in a season to remember.

Hunter started skiing in middle school and also took up the biathlon (an Olympic sport which combines skiing and shooting), training year-round and also competing in rollerski events in the offseason.

With Freeport’s Nordic team, Hunter came in 19th in the classic as a sophomore and as a junior, he finished 15th in both the classic and freestyle, but he really came into his own as a leader and top skier this winter.

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“In the weeks leading up to the season, rumors were circling that Caleb was leading some pretty hard student-led practices,” said Freeport coach Joel Hinshaw. “When the coaches showed up for the season, it was evident that Caleb had been working hard since last season to improve his fitness, technique, and overall race strategy. We knew then he was going to have an impressive season. He did just that. He continued to train hard both at practices with the Freeport team but also with his biathlon team and coach. This means he had more races and more training sessions than anyone else on the team.”

Hunter held his own against top conference competition all season and was at his best in the postseason. At the Western Maine Conference championship meet, Hunter placed third in the classic (15 minutes, 24.6 seconds) and fifth in the skate (13:55.6). At states, he was second in the classic (16:11.7) and fifth in the skate (16:34.3).

“Being a part of the Freeport Nordic team was a super-rewarding experience,” Hunter said. “It felt really good to have all our hard work pay off. We had an amazing team this year, we all really enjoyed pushing each other to improve and I think that showed in our results as we all made a lot of progress throughout the season.”

Hunter went on to qualify for the biathlon junior nationals, which were eventually postponed, and also was named to the Maine state Nordic team.

Hunter hopes to continue to ski and compete in biathlon in college.

Caleb Hunter, Freeport’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year, did a little of everything this past season and left quite a triumphant legacy in his wake.

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Coach Joel Hinshaw’s comment: “Caleb has been a great role model for the team, helping other skiers become proficient with waxing skis, focusing on training at practice and learning about Nordic skiing. It’s been an honor to have Caleb on the team the past four years. I’m looking forward to seeing him in Nordic and biathlon events in the future.”

Coach Elysha Dyer’s comment: “Caleb had a standout season. Throughout the season, Caleb worked hard, led his team by his actions, showed determination and drive and above all, continued to show up with a positive attitude.”

Previous winners:

2018-19 Toby Holt (basketball)

2017-18 Toby Holt (basketball)

2016-17 Yacob Olins (Skiing)

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2015-16 Henry Jaques (track)

2014-15 Blake Enrico (skiing)

2013-14 Harrison Stivers (track)

2012-13 Ryder Bennell (skiing)

2011-12 Taylor Saucier (track)

2010-11 Ryan Collet (skiing)

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2009-10 Ryan Collet (skiing)

2008-09 Jon Klages (basketball)

2007-08 Reid Christian (basketball)

2006-07 Danny Mehler (basketball)

2005-06 Nate Fuller (skiing)

2004-05 Dan Sandberg (skiing)

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2003-04 Kegan Pettit (hockey)

2002-03 Frank Roy (skiing)

2001-02 Griff Leach (skiing)

Female:

CAROLINE SMITH—Senior, Basketball

* Miss Maine Basketball semifinalist

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* Butler Award finalist

* WMC All-Conference, first-team

* WMC Senior All-Star

* WMC All-Academic

* Captain

Smith capped her transcendent career by reaching a milestone and leading the Falcons to another memorable campaign.

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Smith made the Freeport basketball varsity team as a freshman and as a sophomore, she was a top player on a senior-laden squad which got to the regional final for the first time in over four decades. As a junior, she was named regional tournament MVP and Freeport Athlete of the Year after averaging 17.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.4 steals per game after leading the Falcons to the Class B South Final again.

This winter, Freeport wore the bulls-eye as the favorite in the region and the Falcons won 14 regular season games to earn the top seed for the playoffs. Smith finished third in the league in scoring with 16.7 points per game and was also sixth in steals (3.1), seventh in assists (3.8), eighth in made 3-point shots (27) and ninth in rebounds (7.3). Smith was the only player in the Western Maine Conference to appear in that many statistical categories.

Highlights included 15 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists in a win over Cape Elizabeth, 14 points in a victory over Morse, 24 in a loss to two-time defending Class A champion Greely, 15 in a loss to defending Class B champion Gray-New Gloucester, 22 in a victory over Yarmouth, 12 in the Falcons’ first win over Gray-New Gloucester in many years, 23 in a victory over Mt. Ararat, 17 in a win over Lake Region, 14 in a victory over Fryeburg Academy, 25 (including the 1,000th of her career) in a win over Traip Academy, 13 in a second win over Yarmouth, 14 in a victory over York and 21 in a regular season-ending loss to Wells.

Smith had 10 points, four rebounds and three assists in a quarterfinal round victory over Cape Elizabeth, then had seven points in the semifinals where Freeport was upset by Yarmouth.

Smith finished with 1,074 career points and also exceeded 500 rebounds, 300 assists and 250 steals. She’s definitely on the short list, if not atop the list, of the best players in program history.

Caroline Smith, Freeport’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, isn’t done making memories on the basketball court. She’ll play at Colby College next year and it’s safe to say she’ll never be forgotten for what she accomplished in a Falcons uniform.

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Coach Seth Farrington’s comment: “Obviously, on the court, Caroline did a little bit of everything for us. She scored, rebounded, assisted and defended night in and night out. More importantly though, she was the gold standard on how a player should conduct herself on and off the floor. Her commitment to continuous growth during her four-year career and the sacrifices she made to be as great as she could be, I feel honored to be a small part of it. Working with our youth, let’s just say ’20’ will be a popular jersey number for years to come.”

Previous winners:

2018-19 Caroline Smith (basketball)

2017-18 Allie Goodman (basketball)

2016-17 Lily Horne (Skiing)

2015-16 Lily Johnston (skiing)

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2014-15 Emily Johnson (hockey)

2013-14 Nina Davenport (basketball)

2012-13 Nina Davenport (basketball)

2011-12 Elly Bengtsson (skiing)

2010-11 Elly Bengtsson (skiing)

2009-10 Adrian Baker (track)

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2008-09 Molly Susla (skiing)

2007-08 Adrian Baker (track)

2006-07 Abby Fuller (swimming)

2005-06 Lucy Garrec (skiing)

2004-05 Logan Crane (track)

2003-04 Logan Crane (track)

2002-03 Jessica Harold (skiing)

2001-02 Molly Pierce (skiing)

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

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