REMIJO WANI, Junior – Basketball

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• SMAA Class AA all-star, second-team

Wani

Wani was the engine that made the Rams go this winter and he kept them competitive throughout, despite being the focal point of the opposition.

Wani entered the season being hailed as a rising star, and he didn’t disappoint, averaging 18 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals per contest.

Highlights included 21 points in a season-opening win over Bonny Eagle, a season-high 31 points, fueled by six 3-pointers, in overtime loss to Cheverus; 17 points in a loss to eventual regional champion Oxford Hills; 26 points and six rebounds in a close home loss to rival Portland; 19 points, including the game-winning hoop, against Windham; 22 points in a home loss to Lewiston; 16 points in a loss to eventual state champion South Portland; 26 points in an upset win over Edward Little; 20 points in a second victory over Windham; 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists in a win over Westbrook; and 19 points in a regular season-ending victory over Scarborough.

Deering was eliminated by Lewiston in the Class AA North quarterfinals, but Wani bowed out with a team-high 22 points.

Wani still has one more season to shine for the Rams and that likely means one more memorable winter is in store.

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Coach Todd Wing’s comment: “Remijo is a coach’s dream. He is extremely coachable, a wonderful teammate, the hardest worker at practice and ultra-competitive, but better yet, an amazing human being. And he’s a pretty darn good basketball player to boot. He’s one of the best players in the state. He does it all.”

Previous winners:

• 2020-21 Mpore Semuhoza (basketball)
• 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)

MEGAN CUNNINGHAM, Senior – Skiing

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Cunningham

Cunningham has been one of the state’s best and most consistent Nordic skiers since arriving on the scene, and not surprisingly, she bowed out with a terrific senior season.

Cunningham came in fourth in the freestyle and sixth in the classical and was named Deering Winter Athlete of the Year as a sophomore, and after having no postseason in a COVID-shortened junior campaign, she was solid from start to finish this winter.

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Cunningham was first at a home meet in January, winning the freestyle in 15 minutes, 11.7 seconds. She came in fifth at the Maranacook Wave race (17:56.6), won a freestyle race at Libby Hill (20:04.7) and was second at a classic race at Starks Hill (17:27.8).

At the Class A state meet, Deering tied Cheverus for second place in Class A, thanks in large part to Cunningham, who finished third in the freestyle (14:08.8), 10th in the classic (21:18) and sixth in the pursuit standings.

Cunningham will matriculate at Wellesley College in Massachusetts next year.

The Deering Nordic ski team has seen plenty of talent over the years, but Megan Cunningham was one of a kind and will remain the standard bearer.

Coach George Aponte-Clarke’s comment: “I’ve had the pleasure of being Megan’s coach for more than eight years. She’s an exemplary student-athlete, incredibly determined, driven and engaged. Megan’s ‘never-hold-back’ and ‘never-say-never’ attitude inspires others. She is a role model not just because of consistently amazing results but due to her approach to sports and life. She consistently strives to improve and grow to be the best athlete and person she is capable of being. She does so with vigor, sincerity and compassion. I also marvel at how well Megan strikes a balance between working hard, supporting others and having fun no matter the activity, challenge or conditions. It has been a joy to coach Megan and witness her growth.”

Previous winners:

• 2020-21 Sierra Aponte-Clarke (skiing)
• 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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