Deering Rams Spring Athletes of the Year

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Nate Richards

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Sydney Giroux

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Male:

NATE RICHARDS, Senior-Lacrosse

  • SMAA all-star, first-team 

  • Senior All-Star

Richards was a four-year stalwart for the Rams boys’ lacrosse team and capped his fine career with his best season yet, helping Deering enjoy a successful campaign.

Richards grew up in Portland and started playing lacrosse in the third grade.

“I loved it right away,” Richards said. “I love the fast pace and that it’s physical.”

Richards also played football and basketball at Deering, but it was lacrosse where he earned his most acclaim.

Richards debuted as a freshman, scoring 17 goals. He added 38 more in both his sophomore and junior seasons and as a senior, he would tickle the twine 50 times and add 26 assists, as well as collect 61 ground balls.

Richards, a middie, set the tone in the opener, scoring eight times, eclipsing the 100-goal mark for his career in the process, and helping the Rams dominate Westbrook, 20-9. He had two goals and three assists in a win over Portland, two goals against defending Class A champion Scarborough, five goals in a win over Oak Hill, six goals in a victory over Bonny Eagle, seven in a victory over Massabesic, five in a win over Windham and six more in a regular season-ending victory over Noble.

Deering dropped a hard-fought Class A North quarterfinal at rival Cheverus, 15-12, but Richards bowed out by scoring five more goals, giving him 143 for his career (to go with 73 assists and 176 ground balls).

“I was very happy with our season,” Richards said.

Richards plans to play lacrosse and study nursing at the University of Southern Maine.

He won’t soon be forgotten for his high school accomplishments. Nate Richards, Deering’s Spring Male Athlete of the Year, scored goals with abandon and led the Rams to great things.

Coach Jon Dubois’ comment: “Nate was the ultimate Deering lacrosse player. He worked hard in every facet of the game to constantly improve and be the best player he could be. Nate played 47 games in purple and scored in 45 of them. I knew with him on the team, we had a chance to win every game. He had the mindset to persevere through any adversity. Coaches game-planned around him, but Nate took games over. He was pressured to be the best in many situations, but he never let the team down. The team’s record and his personal stats improved every year. He was the rock Deering leaned on.”

Previous winners:

2016 Max Hornblower (lacrosse)

2015 Kevin Goldberg (baseball)

2014 Tyler Butler (tennis)

2013 Jared Bell (track)

2012 Karl Rickett (lacrosse)

2011 Carleton Allen (lacrosse)

2010 Sam Balzano (baseball)

2009 Regan Flaherty (baseball)

2008 Taylor Candage (baseball)

2007 Matt Watson (baseball)

2006 Adam Rothbart (lacrosse)

2005 Neall Oliver (tennis)

2004 Ryan Reid (baseball)

Female:

SYDNEY GIROUX, Senior-Softball

  • SMAA all-star, honorable mention

  • Captain

Giroux was the heart-and-soul for a Deering squad which made nice strides and set the stage for future success.

Giroux started playing softball at a young age and it quickly became her top sport. 

“I’ve always enjoyed softball,” Giroux said. “I’m very competitive on the field.”

She also played volleyball and basketball in high school, but made her biggest impact on the diamond, especially this past spring where she played every single position, including pitcher.

Giroux, who spent most of her time in the outfield and who usually batted in the heart of the order, hit .320 with five doubles and had a .970 fielding percentage, making just two errors.

Highlights included three hits in a season-opening loss to Gorham, a single, triple and strong relief pitching performance against Noble, a win in relief versus Cheverus/North Yarmouth Academy, a run scored and a stolen base in a loss to Portland, two hits versus Massabesic, two more against Bonny Eagle and three hits, including a pair of doubles, in a season-ending loss to Maine Girls’ Academy/Falmouth. 

“I focused on being a leader this year,” Giroux said. “I got to play every position and made the most of it.”

Giroux will attend the University of Maine next year and plans to play club softball.

The Rams program will go on to bigger and better things in the years to come and Sydney Giroux, Deering’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year, can say she played a key role in setting the stage for the turnaround.

Coach John Coyne’s comment: “Sydney was a good captain for this year’s team. She was a leader from the beginning of the season right through the end. She was a four-year starter and settled in as a solid contributor. She proved her versatility by playing multiple outfield positions, as well as significant time at first base. She was also called upon as a pitcher for the first time. I’m proud of what she accomplished for herself. She left the program better off than when she entered it.”

Previous winners:

2016 Micary Verville (lacrosse)

2015 Maddie Abbott (tennis)

2014 Alexis Elowitch (track)

2013 Rashad Zagon (track)

2012 Veronica Mitchell (lacrosse/track)

2011 Jen Lynch (softball)

2010 Julie Pallozzi (lacrosse)

2009 Melissa Bell (softball)

2008 Lesley Warn (softball)

2007 Chelsea Johnson (lacrosse)

2006 Kate Bustin (softball)

2005 Lesley Warn (softball)

2004 Gina Axelson (softball)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached atmhoffer@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.