Male:

CULLEN ADAMS, Junior-Hockey

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  • Jeff King 7th Player Award
  • Captain

Adams didn’t just star on the ice, he played a huge role as a captain during an unprecedented season.

Adams, who also plays soccer and lacrosse at South Portland, started playing hockey at a very young age and grew to quickly love it.

“Hockey was my first sport,” Adams said. “It’s very much in my family. My Dad and grandfather both coached. I enjoy hockey because I’m good at it. It’s nice to feel successful. I push myself to get better.”

Adams joined the South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete varsity as a freshman, then helped the squad make it to the state semifinals for the first time his sophomore campaign. This winter, although the Red Riots were only able to play nine games, Adams scored six goals and added seven assists, giving him 23 goals and 21 assists for his career.

“It was a strange year, but we got all our games in, so that made it a successful season,” Adams said. “It felt normal when we were out there playing.”

Behind the scenes, Adams, a captain for the second straight year, made sure everyone stayed focused, even when the start of the season was delayed.

Adams has one final year to turn heads on the ice and the Red Riots should be one of the top teams in Class A and will again have a tournament to compete in.

“I’m very excited for next year,” Adams said. “We have a lot of sophomores who got experience this year. I think we’ll be very good next year.”

Cullen Adams, South Portland’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year, is the type of player and leader a coach dreams of. We haven’t heard the last of his excellence.

Coach Joe Robinson’s comment: “Cullen is really well-rounded offensively, but also is a great back-checker and plays a solid physical game. He won our Jeff King 7th Player Award that is given to the player that goes beyond what is expected. Usually this has to do with on-ice play, but it was a little different this year. Because the two other captains graduated last year, Cullen was the only one returning coming into this season. He really took the initiative upon himself to organize Zoom workouts and meetings with the rest of the guys. When I couldn’t be present to run the workouts, he ran them. I think next year he will make a great Travis Roy Award candidate.”

Previous winners:

2019-20 Liam McGibbon (hockey)

2018-19 Liam McGibbon (hockey)

2017-18 Noah Malone (basketball)

2016-17 Ruay Bol (basketball)

2015-16 Jack Fiorini (basketball)

2014-15 Andrew Whipple (hockey)

2013-14 Andrew Whipple (hockey)

2012-13 Tanner Hyland (basketball)

2011-12 Chad MacWhinnie (swimming)

2010-11 Tommy Ellis (hockey)

2009-10 Zach Horton (hockey)

2008-09 Keegan Hyland (basketball)

2007-08 Nick Wright (basketball)

2006-07 Coleman Findlay (basketball)

2005-06 Tim Clark (hockey)

2004-05 Andrew Cousins (basketball)

2003-04 Max Ludwig (track)

2002-03 Ethan Gato (track)

2001-02 Jesse Ludwig (track)

Female:

KILEY MATTHEWS, Senior-Swimming

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* Captain

Matthews stood out as a captain, as a star in the pool and as a member of school record-setting teams and you can rest assured that she’ll be missed after helping the Red Riots reach heights they hadn’t seen in decades.

Matthews started swimming at a young age, but didn’t get involved competitively until the sixth grade.

“Ironically, I refused to swim competitively for years, so it’s crazy I’ve earned lots of achievements in the sport,” Matthews said. “I love swimming because it enables you to gain mental grit and I have made lifelong friends from teams I’ve been on. People I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I can’t imagine not swimming. It’s very uplifting to know we all have each other’s backs. Overall, nothing compares to the feeling of diving into cold water for a race you’ve worked all season for.”

Matthews was part of a runner-up medley relay team at the Class A state meet her freshman season, but it was her junior year where she really turned heads, finishing second in both the 50 freestyle and the 100 free, helping South Portland to a runner-up team finish at states, its best showing in 24 years. She was also part of school record 200 and 400 free relay teams. This winter didn’t see traditional team competition, but Matthews had one final hurrah, breaking a 27-year-old school record in the 50 free in a virtual meet on Senior Day.

Matthews plans to swim in college (and study elementary education), but she hasn’t chosen a school yet. She does have many interested in bringing her aboard.

And that’s no surprise considering what Kiley Matthews, South Portland’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, has accomplished at the high school level.

Coach Ryan Green’s comment: “Kiley has been a rock for our program for the past four years. She is a great sprint freestyler, but has swum every race on the program in order to help us fill our lineups. She is wonderful to coach. She listens well, takes feedback and puts it immediately into practice. She was a shoo-in as a captain this year, because she has the respect of all of her teammates. After narrowly missing our school records in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle last year, it appeared that COVID was going to rob Kiley of her chance at breaking them this year, however, she summoned up one last-ditch effort and broke our school record in the 50 free. It was a performance that brought tears to the eyes of many who were watching in person and online and a perfect way to end her high school career.”

Previous winners:

2019-20 Maggie Whitmore (basketball)

2018-19 Rebekah Hunnewell-Dunphe (track)

2017-18 Meghan Graff (basketball)

2016-17 Juliana Selser (track)

2015-16 Maddie Hasson (basketball)

2014-15 Maddie Hasson (basketball)

2013-14 Brianne Maloney (basketball)

2012-13 Danica Gleason (basketball)

2011-12 Nyajock Pan (track)

2010-11 Abby Hasson (basketball)

2009-10 Danielle DiBiase (basketball)

2008-09 Brianna Hawkins (basketball)

2007-08 Curry Girr (diving)

2006-07 Kelsey Flaherty (basketball)

2005-06 Christina Aceto (basketball)

2004-05 Whitney Morrow (basketball)

2003-04 Courtney Albin (track)

2002-03 Abby Lesneski (basketball)

2001-02 Abby Lesneski (basketball)

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

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