Athletes of the Year: Freeport Falcons
2009 FALL MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
MIGUEL BECKLES, Senior-Football
* Campbell Conference Class C all-star
The Freeport football program went big-time this fall and fortunately boasted a gamebreaker on its roster.
Miguel Beckles came to town from New Jersey just in time to threaten to take the ball to the house every time he touched it. He kept the Falcons competitive and led them to their first varsity victory.
For being such a dominant force on the gridiron and for helping a nascent program find its way, Miguel Beckles is The Forecaster's choice as Freeport's 2009 Fall Male Athlete of the Year.
Beckles played his share of football in middle school and high school in New Jersey and stepped right in this season. Playing running back, as well as linebacker and safety, he had many highlights.
Beckles rushed for nearly 100 yards and his team's lone score in a loss at eventual state champion Dirigo in the season opener. Then, the following week, he ran for 153 yards and three TDs as Freeport pulled away to beat Sacopee 24-6, for its first-ever win. Beckles also had 139 yards and two TDs versus Madison, a scoring run against Lisbon and 103 yards and a final TD in a season-ending loss to Yarmouth.
Beckles was named to the Campbell Conference Class C All-Star team and was recognized as one of the better players in the area.
Beckles, who plans to run outdoor track this spring and is also a member of the school chorus, would like to play football at the next level. He's also interested in medicine.
His addition to the Falcons' program was a much-needed tonic this fall. Miguel Beckles, Freeport's 2009 Fall Male Athlete of the Year, was an athletic marvel during his team's first varsity season.
Coach Rob Grover's Comment: "Miguel is our heart-and-soul. He runs hard every play and gives his all. He has great speed."
2008 winner: Cody Bartlett (Soccer)
2007 winner: Jon Klages (Football)
2006 winner: Luke Charest (Soccer)
2005 winner: Elliott Townsend (Soccer)
2004 winner: Jeff Smith (Soccer)
2003 winner: Josh Zolla (Cross Country)
2002 winner: Chris Vigliotta (Soccer)
2001 winner: Scott Newell (Golf)
2009 FALL FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
HANNAH SCHUCHERT, Senior-Field hockey
* All-State team
* WMC all-star, first team
* Team MVP
* Team captain
The Freeport field hockey team enjoyed a bounce-back season in 2009, improving from three wins to nine and qualifying for the playoffs.
The biggest reason was obvious. She could be seen making save after save after save, in a scrum, on the ground or flying through the air.
No way the Falcons would have enjoyed the success they did this autumn were it not for senior goalie Hannah Schuchert. Schuchert did whatever it took to keep the ball out of the cage and her superb efforts convinced The Forecaster to name her Freeport's 2009 Fall Female Athlete of the Year, the second time in three years she's been honored.
Schuchert grew up in Freeport and started playing field hockey in the seventh grade. The team needed a goalie and she tried out and the rest is history. She was a stalwart in the cage throughout her time in a Falcons' uniform and truly stood tall this season.
Schuchert stopped 21 shots in a win over Old Orchard Beach, made 25 saves in 1-0 victory over Sacopee and stopped 15 in a scoreless tie against Waynflete. Her finest hour indisputedly came Sept. 29 at defending state champion NYA. Schuchert spent virtually the whole game turning away shots. She gave up five goals, but made over 50 saves, dazzling all on hand. She stopped 21 shots in a rematch with Old Orchard Beach and saved 26 in a loss to Sacopee.
Freeport was eliminated by Livermore Falls in the Western C quarterfinals, but deservingly, Schuchert (who stopped 89 percent of the shots she faced while averaging 19 saves per game) was named a conference and state all-star.
Schuchert, who also plays hockey (with Yarmouth), softball and lacrosse, is a mentor and facilitator, belongs to National Honor Society, the math team, Art and Service Clubs and has taken part in the Science Olympiad. She's unsure if she'll play field hockey in college.
If this season was her swan song, it will long be hailed. Hannah Schuchert, Freeport's 2009 Fall Female Athlete of the Year, redefined the goalie position while leading the Falcons to great heights.
Coach Sara Dimick's Comment: "Hannah has been the ideal player to coach. She is that tough and determined athlete who will always play 100 percent for her team. Her athleticism has led her to new heights in her career, where she continuously pushes herself to improve her own technique in goal. She certainly became a crutch for our team in some circumstances. She set the bar high as a leader on defense and as a captain for the team."
2008 winner: Molly Susla (Cross country)
2007 winner: Hannah Schuchert (Field hockey)
2006 winner: Molly Susla (Cross country)
2005 winner: Kelsey Nichols (Cross country)
2004 winner: Lucy Garrec (Cross country)
2003 winner: Dani O'Rourke-Suchoff (Cross country)
2002 winner: Michelle Peters (Field Hockey)
2001 winner: Amy Morejon (Soccer)