Male:

MPORE SEMUHOZA, Senior-Basketball

File photo.

* Captain

Semuhoza went from playing a supporting role on a regional finalist to being the only returning veteran on a team full of question marks and did he ever make the most of his opportunity to shine.

Semuhoza, whose love of game flows naturally, joined the Deering varsity as a sophomore and for two seasons, he made key contributions coming off the bench.

This season, after graduation took its toll on a very talented Rams roster, Semuhoza had to lead the way and lead he did, not only tallying a whopping 22 points and 13 rebounds per game, but doing it despite a balky ankle amid a pandemic for a team that began the year 0-2, but won seven of its final eight games.

Semuhoza was a scoring threat, used his size and quickness to excel on the boards and at the defensive end and he didn’t hesitate to support to his teammates. Highlights included 24 points in a season-opening loss to South Portland, 19 in a second loss to the Red Riots, 15 points in the Rams’ first victory, over Cape Elizabeth, 21 points in a win over Cheverus, 17 in a second victory over the Stags, 13 in a victory over Scarborough, 22 points in a season-defining victory over then-undefeated Falmouth and a grand finale that was simply perfect, 23 points and 11 rebounds in a second straight win over rival Portland.

“As a captain, I have to be that player who gets us going,” Semuhoza said. “I think we could have been a championship team if we’d had a (normal) season.”

Now that’s how you produce a senior season to remember. Mpore Semuhoza, Deering’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year, didn’t have a chance to win a state championship, but he’ll depart as a champion nonetheless.

Coach Todd Wing’s comment: “It’s amazing the difference a year can make. Mpore starred in his role off the bench in his first two seasons. His willingness to do whatever was asked of him was refreshing as a coach. He transformed his game from being primarily an inside junkyard dog-type player to a skilled perimeter player that was consistent from beyond the arc. With his increase in perimeter skills he never lost his gritty nature. As a senior captain, he showed leadership and future Deering success will have his stamp on it. In any normal year his statistics paired with the team’s success would have put him in the conversation for SMAA All-Conference, McDonald’s All-Star team, as well as other accolades.”

Previous winners:

2019-20 Darryl Germain (basketball)

2018-19 Ben Onek (basketball)

2017-18 Owen McLaughlin (swimming)

2016-17 Ezra Chapola (track)

2015-16 Paolo DeMarco (track)

2014-15 Hany Ramadan (track)

2013-14 Eric Delmonte (swimming)

2012-13 Jared Bell (track)

2011-12 Jon Amabile (basketball)

2010-11 Jon Amabile (basketball)

2009-10 Eddie Tirabassi (basketball)

2008-09 E.J. Googins (swimming)

2007-08 Chris Smith (wrestling)

2006-07 Brandon Carbone (basketball)

2005-06 Allen Stein (wrestling)

2004-05 Kyle Johnson (swimming)

2003-04 Brian Vail (track)

Female:

SIERRA APONTE-CLARKE, Senior-Skiing

Contributed photo

  • Maine State team qualifier
  • Captain

Aponte-Clarke has excelled on the trails for four years and her senior season, shortened as it was, saw her turn heads one final time.

Aponte-Clarke, who attends Casco Bay High School but competes for Deering, placed sixth in the skate and seventh in the freestyle at states as a freshman, then helped the Portland Nordic co-op team to a first-ever Class A state title her sophomore season, placing third in the skate and eighth in the classic. As a junior, Aponte-Clarke placed eighth in the classic and 11th in the skate.

This winter, there was no postseason and opportunities to compete were limited, but Aponte-Clarke still made her presence felt, finishing runner-up at the Sassi Memorial race at Black Mountain in Rumford and qualifying for the Maine state Nordic team for the fourth consecutive year.

Aponte-Clarke’s next stop will be Bates College in Lewiston.

City skiers have proved in recent years that they can compete with the best that the state has to offer. Sierra Aponte-Clarke, Deering’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, was unquestionably one of the prime examples.

Coach Kalie Dunn’s comment: “Although this year was undoubtedly a challenging one that presented many unknowns and inconsistencies throughout, Sierra captained the team with grace and dedication. Sierra leads by example in so many ways and her own impressive results during our season made her leadership qualities that much stronger. Sierra consistently demonstrated her commitment to the sport and those who looked up to her, whether it was imparting wisdom and positivity to teammates on a Zoom team meeting, or leading a group through an interval training session at practice. Ski coaches often say that skiers are made in the summer. Sierra dedicated much of her summers throughout her high school career to offseason training, including roller skiing, running and hiking. We were grateful to have had Sierra’s positivity, commitment and dedication to our team.”

Previous winners:

2019-20 Megan Cunningham (skiing)

2018-19 Grace Tumavicus (skiing)

2017-18 Annah Rossvall (track)

2016-17 Tasia Titherington (basketball)

2015-16 Abi Ramirez (basketball)

2014-15 Amanda Brett (basketball)

2013-14 Emma Pontius (swimming)

2012-13 Genevieve Worthley (swimming)

2011-12 Genevieve Worthley (swimming)

2010-11 Kayla Burchill (basketball)

2009-10 Claire Ramonas (basketball)

2008-09 Diana Manduca (basketball)

2007-08 Diana Manduca (basketball)

2006-07 Nicole Garland (basketball)

2005-06 Emily Sweatt (swimming)

2004-05 Rebecca Schack (track)

2003-04 Megan Urban (basketball)

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

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