Deering Rams Fall Athletes of the Year

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McGonagle

McGonagle

Broda

Broda

MALE:

ALEX MCGONAGLE, Senior-Golf

  • SMAA Northern Division all-star, first-team

  • Individual state match qualifier

  • Captain

McGonagle loves golf and golf has loved him back, especially this fall when he cemented his status once and for all as one of the state’s elite players. One who has a bright future in the sport.

McGonagle started playing golf at a young age and while hockey was his top sport for awhile, by high school, the golf course was his favorite place to be.

“In golf, things change and you can’t always do it the same way,” McGonagle said. “I’m always trying to better myself and shoot better. The more I practice, the fewer mistakes I made. I made progress from consistent practice.”

At Deering, he showed promise as a freshman, he placed 23rd at the individual state match as a sophomore and as a junior, moved all the way up to seventh in Class A.

This fall, McGonagle, who spends hours a day on the course honing his skills, lowered his scoring average to 37 and held his own against top players from eventual state match qualifiers Cheverus, Falmouth and Portland and state champion Scarborough. He qualified for the individual state match for the third year in a row and his round of 79 left him tied for 11th.

“I didn’t finish quite as high as I wanted to,” said McGonagle, a two-year captain. “I putted well, but I had a tough time getting off the tee.”

McGonagle is an assistant captain on the Portland/Deering co-op boys’ hockey team and is an infielder on the baseball team in the spring. He plans to play in college (somewhere warm, far from Maine) and wants to study professional golf management.

Alex McGonagle, Deering’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, accomplished a great deal in his high school golf career and isn’t close to being finished making his mark on the sport.

Coach Billy Goodman’s comment: “Alex is one of the best ball-strikers I’ve ever coached. He’s a hard worker and he’s willing to work on his weaknesses. That allowed him to become one of the best players in the state. The talent in our division this year was amazing and he was voted one of the six best players. He got better every year. He led our program for four years. I’ve been proud to coach him. He’s a great kid.

Prior winners:

2016 Yahya Nure (cross country)

2015 Max Chabot (football)

2014 Stephen Ochan (soccer)

2013 Will Barlock (golf)

2012 Kenny Sweet (football)

2011 Joe Walp (golf)

2010 Jamie Ross (football)

2009 Charlie Dupee (soccer)

2008 Jack Heary (football)

2007 Tony Yeboah (soccer)

2006 John Misener (cross country)

2005 Sean Meehan (soccer/football)

2004 Ryan Flaherty (football)

FEMALE:

MADDY BRODA, Junior-Volleyball

  • All-state, first-team

  • SMAA all-star, first-team

  • Captain

Broda played a key role on arguably the fall’s best story, the stunning and sudden rise to prominence of the Deering volleyball team, which sprung an epic upset on Opening Night and advanced all the way to the Class A state semifinals.

Broda started playing volleyball at the age of eight and while she’s also competed in indoor track and softball, volleyball quickly became her passion.

“I’ve always enjoyed volleyball,” Broda said. “I love the people. It’s a nice escape.”

Broda came to Deering when the Rams became a varsity program in 2015. Deering made the playoffs her sophomore season, but that was a mere tuneup for what occurred this fall.

Broda, a setter, and her teammates spent extra time learning the sport and it paid dividends.

“It sounds cliche’, but Maddy is the first one to practice, the last one to leave, the one that helps set up and take down equipment,” said Deering coach Larry Nichols. “She pushes herself and it’s contagious.”

Deering shocked perennial powerhouse Scarborough in five sets in the opener, then won its first 12 matches, earning plenty of attention in the process. The Rams finished 13-1 and won a quarterfinal round playoff match over Bonny Eagle, their first-ever postseason triumph. The storybook run ended with a semifinal loss to South Portland, but it was a season to remember.

Broda finished the year with 403 assists, 87 aces (successfully landing 95 percent of her serves), 122 digs and even 10 kills. 

“Our goal was just to go further than last year, but I didn’t know we’d do that well,” Broda said. “Beating Scarborough told us we could do it. We hadn’t had attention before. There was some pressure, but it was nice.”

Broda, who throws the shot put in track and plays infield in softball, has spent eight years playing with the Maine Juniors club volleyball team. She also belongs to Deering’s Student Senate, Environmental Club and Key Club. She hopes to win a state championship as a senior, then will look to play at the college level.

Maddy Broda, Deering’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, has led her team to great heights and she isn’t finished yet. One of the state’s best players still has plenty of thrills to produce.

Coach Larry Nichols’ comment: “Maddy, as the setter, was crucial to our success. Virtually everything that we implemented, attempted and worked on went through Maddy. Her understanding of the game, her work ethic and her desire to improve herself and her teammates was constant. She is an invaluable role model for everyone on the team. In addition, she has a heart of gold, is painfully modest and has a maturity that often finds her helping others. I think that she looks for the good in things, has a sense of leaving things better than she found them and that approach has seemed to work pretty well for her both on and off the court.”

Prior winners:

2016 Kaylee Helmick (volleyball)

2015 Simone Lauture (soccer)

2014 Rylie Turner (field hockey)

2013 Alexis Elowitch (soccer)

2012 Alexis Elowitch (soccer)

2011 Alexis Sivovlos (soccer)

2010 Amanda Masse (soccer)

2009 Jami LeRoy (field hockey)

2008 Jess Ruhlin (field hockey)

2007 Jess Ruhlin (field hockey)

2006 Chelsea Johnson (soccer)

2005 Ashley Morgan (cross country)

2004 Bronwyn Potthoff (field hockey)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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