Deering Rams Fall Athletes of the Year

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FALL 2010 MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

JAMIE ROSS, Senior-Football

* Fitzpatrick Trophy semifinalist

* SMAA All-Star, Cumberland County Offense, first team quarterback

* SMAA All-Star, Cumberland County Defense, first team punter

The Deering football team entered 2010 coming off a 2-6 campaign with virtually no projections of greatness.

The few who did believe in the Rams, however, did so largely because of the special talents of their quarterback, Jamie Ross.

Ross showed flashes of greatness as a sophomore and junior and entered the new season seeking to restore his proud program to excellence.

Ross and the Rams might have surprised even themselves when all was said and done, as they won eight games and fell a point shy of playing for the state championship.

Ross was arguably the best quarterback in the state, boasting a cannon for an arm and elusive running ability. If that wasn’t enough, his foot was as potent as any. Mix in solid leadership skills and a flair for the dramatic, and The Forecaster is naming Jamie Ross as Deering’s Fall 2010 Male Athlete of the Year.

Ross grew up in Cape Elizabeth and started playing football in the fifth grade. His father played in college and coached his middle school team. Ross was a tight end and defensive end until the end of middle school, when he moved behind center.

He was a perfect fit. Ross credits Danny Hendrix and Tim Bryant for his development. Ross became the varsity quarterback his sophomore year and teaming with dynamic running back Jack Heary, led Deering to an undefeated regular season. Last year, the Rams began 2-0, then lost six straight, leading the pundits to write them off long before 2010 began.

Instead of struggling, Ross and his teammates dazzled all year.

In the opener, Ross led Deering on a late 98-yard TD drive, capping it with his second score of the night, a 2-yard burst, with 14.8 seconds to play, for a 21-14 win over rival Portland. He had two TD passes and a scoring run against Gorham, ran for two scores and threw for one in a victory over defending state champion Windham, had three TD passes and two rushes at Thornton Academy, rushed for three scores and threw for another in a shutout over South Portland, had three TD passes and a run against Westbrook and a TD run and pass in a regular season-ending loss at Cheverus.

Deering wound up 6-2 and earned the No. 3 seed for the playoffs. In the quarterfinals, a 56-18 drubbing of Thornton Academy, Ross rushed for 101 yards and four TDs, threw for 131 yards and a score, kicked a field goal and had clutch punts. The Rams then went to nemesis Bonny Eagle for the semifinals and enjoyed a stunning 28-6 win. In that one, Ross threw for 137 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 29 times for 106 yards and two scores.

Deering’s season ended with an epic 35-34 regional final loss at Cheverus in the regional final, but Ross rallied the Rams from a 29-6 halftime deficit with 372 passing yards and three TDs and 93 rushing yards and two more scores. After the Stags went ahead with 30 seconds left, Ross drove Deering into field goal position, but his last-ditch 36-yard attempt barely missed and a magical run had come to a close.

“Last year just wasn’t Deering football and this year, we wanted to get back,” said Ross. “States was the goal. We didn’t quit.”

Ross is also a key cog on a boys’ basketball team that should go deep into the playoffs. He pitches and plays outfield for the perennially strong Rams baseball squad in the spring. Ross is considering his college options. He wants to play football, maybe baseball, and is considering studying criminal justice or sports management.

He managed to provide myriad thrills in his time in purple and white. Jamie Ross, Deering’s Fall 2010 Male Athlete of the Year, was a pleasure to watch as he and his teammates proved the experts wrong.

Coach Greg Stilphen’s Comment: “Jamie’s a special player. We wanted the ball in his hands. We looked to showcase and maximize his talents. He’s a guy we expected a lot of and he delivered. He’s been tremendous for us.”

2009 winner: Charlie Dupee (Soccer)

2008 winner: Jack Heary (Football)

2007 winner: Tony Yeboah (Soccer)

2006 winner: John Misener (Cross country)

2005 winner: Sean Meehan (Soccer/Football)

2004 winner: Ryan Flaherty (Football)

FALL 2010 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

AMANDA MASSE, Senior-Soccer

* SMAA Student-Athlete of the Year

* SMAA All-Star, first team

* SMAA All-Academic team

* Captain

The Deering girls’ soccer team was very competitive in 2010 and boasted several talented players.

One stood apart due to her on-field ability, as well as academic prowess. Senior Amanda Masse capped her stellar high school career by leading the Rams to the playoffs. She then received not only all-star recognition for her play, but also garnered a prestigious academic award.

For being the consummate student-athlete and for hinting at even more greatness to come, Amanda Masse gets The Forecaster’s nod as Deering’s Fall 2010 Female Athlete of the Year.

Masse grew up in Portland and started playing soccer at a young age. At Deering, she made the varsity team as a freshman and was a standout sweeper before being moved to center-mid this year, which paid obvious dividends for the Rams’ offense.

Masse scored goals (she had two versus Noble and one each against Massabesic, Kennebunk and Bonny Eagle) and helped her younger teammates come to the forefront. Deering would win eight games and make it to the playoffs where it lost at Cape Elizabeth in the preliminary round.

Masse, deservedly so, made the SMAA all-star first team, but that was just the beginning. She also qualified for the All-Academic team and received the league’s Student-Athlete of the Year Award.

Masse has been a member of Deering’s student senate and Key Club for four years, is a member of National Honor Society, participates in the community service Unity Project, volunteers at Maine Medical Center, is currently ranked sixth in her class with a GPA near 98, takes all honors/AP classes and attended a national leadership conference for medicine at Northwestern University in the summer of 2009.

Masse, is a sprinter in both indoor and outdoor track and plays premier soccer with the Seacoast United U-18 team. She wants to attend college out of state and has some enticing options. She plans to go pre-med and study neuroscience.

Not too shabby!

While Amanda Masse, Deering’s Fall 2010 Female Athlete of the Year, was a soccer star through and through, that only begins to tell her story. This fascinating and diverse young lady has much greatness to come.

Coach Kevin Olson’s Comment: “Amanda was a four-year starter for me. She’s an excellent leader on and off the field. She’s an incredible defender. She primarily played center-mid this year and helped our offense out tremendously. Because of her vision and ability to distribute the ball so well, we had the most goals Deering’s scored in eight or nine years.”

2009 winner: Jami LeRoy (Field hockey)

2008 winner: Jess Ruhlin (Field hockey)

2007 winner: Jess Ruhlin (Field hockey)

2006 winner: Chelsea Johnson (Soccer)

2005 winner: Ashley Morgan (Cross country)

2004 winner: Bronwyn Potthoff (Field hockey)

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.