MICHAEL BELLEAU, Senior – Soccer

Belleau

• WMC Class C/D all-star
• Captain

Belleau was an anchor and a sparkplug for a squad that caught fire as the season progressed and made it all the way to the final game of the season.

Belleau took over in goal his junior season, which was shortened by COVID. This fall, the Panthers, who won the Class D title in 2018, then lost in the state game in 2019, started 3-1, then lost successively to Yarmouth, Traip Academy and Waynflete, and suddenly, the season was hanging in the balance.

But with Belleau setting the tone as a defensive wall, NYA roared to life and finished the regular season on a 5-0-2 surge, only allowing six goals in the process. The Panthers then edged Buckfield and Richmond by 2-1 scores to reach the regional final, where they blanked Islesboro, 4-0. NYA’s dream of a championship was dashed by Lee Academy in a 5-0 setback in the state game, but Belleau finished the year with 11 victories, seven by shutout, and of his five losses, four were to eventual state champions.

“After that loss to Waynflete, we didn’t lose a game until the state final and (Michael) was a huge part of that, including several huge saves in the Western Maine semifinals against Richmond,” said NYA coach Matt Williams.

Other highlights included six saves in a season-opening win over Richmond, five saves in a loss to eventual Class C champion Waynflete, a pair of clutch saves in a quarterfinal round victory over Buckfield and a dozen saves in the state game loss to Lee Academy.

While the Panthers’ dream of a championship ultimately fell just short, they had another tremendous season and a huge reason for that was Belleau’s play in goal.

Coach Matt Williams’ comment: “You can’t measure Michael’s toughness and leadership for our team. We hit a part of our season after three straight losses where we needed someone to step up and lead by example and Michael did that. For my money, Michael was the best shot stopper in the state this year and was vital to our run to the state final.”

Prior winners:

• 2020 Chris Hamblett (cross country)
• 2019 Chris Hamblett (cross country)
• 2018 Xander Kostelnik (soccer)
• 2017 Ryan Baker (soccer)
• 2016 Jeremy Thelven (soccer)
• 2015 Thomas Pitts (soccer)
• 2014 D.J. Nicholas (soccer)
• 2013 Jackson Cohan-Smith (soccer)
• 2012 Matt Malcom (cross country)
• 2011 Cam Regan (cross country)
• 2010 Cam Regan (cross country)
• 2009 Tim Millett (golf)
• 2008 Henry Sterling (soccer)
• 2007 Taylor Gorman (soccer)
• 2006 James Sterling (golf)
• 2005 Sean Lynch (soccer)
• 2004 Nathaniel Bishop (soccer)
• 2003 Luke Welch (soccer)
• 2002 Sam Crocker (cross country)
• 2001 Colin Minte (soccer)

ANGEL HUNTSMAN, Junior – Soccer

Huntsman

• Class D South regional all-star
• WMC Class C all-star
• Team MVP

Regardless the season, Huntsman can’t help but steal the show, and this fall, her goal-scoring acumen led NYA’s girls’ soccer team to not just another Gold Ball but perhaps the finest season in program history.

Huntsman, who was also named Winter Athlete of the Year due to her brilliance at point guard on the basketball court, also plays softball in the spring and while those teams have enjoyed their share of success, the Panthers girls’ soccer squad was almost perfect this season, with Huntsman leading the way.

After seeing time as a freshman on a state champion in 2019, then playing an abbreviated schedule due to COVID in 2020, Huntsman found the net on 33 occasions this year and also had 10 assists. She could score on the run, from long-range and arguably her most impressive tallies this season came with her head, off corner kick serves from senior captain Maggie Holt.

“Of her 33 goals, six were a result of header goals, which is spectacular,” said NYA coach Ricky Doyon. “Her stats don’t account for her off-ball play and creativity.”

Highlights included five goals in a season-opening victory over Old Orchard Beach, three more in a win over Richmond, two goals in a victory over St. Dom’s, three goals in a win over Traip Academy, the only goal in a thrilling tie at Class B South runner-up Yarmouth, three goals and two assists in a victory at Sacopee Valley, two goals in a win at Richmond, two more in a victory over Gray-New Gloucester, and the only goal in an overtime win at Traip Academy.

“I got the ball in the right spots,” Huntsman said. “Credit to my teammates. They set me up and I just had to finish for them. I wanted to win another Gold Ball so badly. Especially for last year’s seniors who didn’t get to play and this year’s seniors, too.”

While Huntsman has turned her attention to basketball, she’ll be back on the pitch next fall and good luck stopping her as she seeks to lead the Panthers to yet another title.

Coach Ricky Doyon’s comment: “We all know what Angel can do. Angel’s a phenomenal athlete. She’s so competitive. She wants to be the best at everything. Angel is a player’s player. She’s a great kid to have on the team. She had a stellar season. It all started with summer league play and continued on through the postseason. Angel creates great opportunities for the team. She’s scorer who also sets up her teammates for scoring opportunities. Her speed, skill and drive is what separates her from many other players. In fact, this is with any sport she plays.”

File photo

Prior winners:

• 2020 Naomi Reischmann (soccer)
• 2019 Serena Mower (soccer)
• 2018 Serena Mower (soccer)
• 2017 Jordan Ackerman (volleyball)
• 2016 Savannah Shaw (field hockey)
• 2015 Linnea Hull (field hockey)
• 2014 Elizabeth Coughlin (field hockey)
• 2013 Kayla Rose (field hockey)
• 2012 Jen Brown (field hockey)
• 2011 Katherine Millett (field hockey)
• 2010 Katherine Millett (field hockey)
• 2009 Courtney Dumont (soccer)
• 2008 Nicole Fuller (field hockey)
• 2007 Allie Tocci (field hockey)
• 2006 Alex Mack (soccer)
• 2005 Zoe Filliter (cross country)
• 2004 Elizabeth Werley-Prieto (field hockey)
• 2003 Abby Hamilton (field hockey)
• 2002 Rachael Blanchard (cross country)
• 2001 Kelsey Wilcox (soccer)

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

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