Deering Rams Winter Athletes of the Year

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Ed. Note: This story will appear in the April 9 edition of The Forecaster.

Male:

ERIC DELMONTE, Senior-Swimming

  • Performer of the Class A state meet

  • State record holder, 100 breaststroke

  • Class A state champion, 100 breaststroke

  • Class A state champion, 200 individual medley

  • Co-Performer of the Southwesterns meet

  • Southwesterns champion, 100 breaststroke

  • Southwesterns champion, 200 IM

  • Southwesterns record holder, breaststroke

  • All-state, breaststroke

  • All-state, IM

  • All-state, medley relay

  • All-state, 400 freestyle relay

  • All-conference, breaststroke

  • All-conference, IM

  • All-conference, 400 freestyle relay

  • Captain

Delmonte was unstoppable and unbeatable during a triumphant, record-setting senior campaign.

Sometimes Mom really does know best and Delmonte is Exhibit A. At the age of five, he was forced by his mother to take swimming lessons and after initially resisting it, he grew to love to sport, became a natural and never looked back.

Delmonte is blessed with a natural swimmer’s build, but he hasn’t hesitated to put in the time (four practices a day at the peak of the year) and the work (especially with the Portland Porpoises club team) to become elite.

His high school career was one of much triumph. As a freshman, Delmonte was runner-up in both the 100 breaststroke and the 500 freestyle. The next year, he won a state title for the first time, taking the breaststroke, while placing third in the 200 individual medley. As a junior, Delmonte slipped to third in the breaststroke and was second in the IM (he was battling mono after all), but this winter, he had no peer.

Prior to the season, Delmonte committed to Virginia Tech. At Southwesterns, he shared Performer of the Meet honors with Cheverus’ Michael O’Donovan after setting a new meet record in the breaststroke (59.67 seconds) and winning the IM as well (1:58.13). At the Class A state meet, Delmonte set a new breaststroke record with a time of 57.61 seconds. If that wasn’t enough, he won the IM as well (1:54.58). For that performance, Delmonte was named Performer of the Meet.

After being named to the all-conference and all-state teams in several events, Delmonte won the 200 breaststroke at the club meet sectionals and was the top performer in his age group.

I’m serious, but not too serious,” said Delmonte. “I’m competitive, but I’m not too hard on myself.”

Delmonte expects to swim the breaststroke in college (perhaps the IM too).

He figures to keep getting better, but Eric Delmonte, Deering’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year, will have a hard time overshadowing a senior season for the ages.

Coach Sarah Rubin’s comment: “Eric is a wonderful leader, a natural talent and a great all-around swimmer. He has the body of a swimmer and he’s an incredibly hard worker. He has an easy demeanor. He did double practices all winter. He’d practice with the Porpoises in the morning and with us in the afternoon and he spent three days a week in the weight room. He’s an athlete unlike I’ve never met before.”

Previous winners:

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)

Female:

EMMA PONTIUS, Senior-Swimming

  • Southwesterns champion, 100 butterfly

  • All-conference, 200 individual medley

  • Captain

Deceptively fast and powerful, Pontius rode her competitiveness and talent to a memorable final high school season.

Pontius grew up in Portland, started swimming at the age of six and while she attended Casco Bay High School, chose to represent the Rams in the pool.

I loved swimming for Deering,” said Pontius. “It was nice to represent both schools.”

She certainly made her presence felt as a freshman, coming in second in the 100 butterfly and third in the 100 backstroke at the Class A state meet. After placing second again in the fly (and fifth in the backstroke) as a sophomore, Pontius was part of a champion 400 freestyle relay team as a junior.

This winter, she helped fill the void after the departure of 2012 and 2013 Winter Female Athlete of the Year, Genevieve Worthley. At Southwesterns, Pontius won the fly and anchored a champion 400 relay. She also came in third in both the fly and 200 individual medley at states. She capped her year by representing the Portland Porpoise club team at sectionals.

Pontius’ success stemmed from her love for swimming.

It’s such an extreme passion,” said Pontius, a team captain. “I’m very driven and determined to work hard. I’m so proud of our team. We had awesome energy. The kids wanted to do well.”

Pontius, who also tutors and volunteers, plans to attend and swim at the University of Maine next year, where she’ll swim her best strokes: backstroke, butterfly and IM, and study marine biology.

(Maine) was at the bottom of my list, but the door opened and it’s a great fit academically and athletically,” Pontius said.

Things have a way of working out quite nicely for this young lady. Hard work paid big-time dividends for Emma Pontius, Deering’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, who figures to continue to enjoy great success in her future.

Coach Sarah Rubin’s comment: “Emma is a ridiculously hard worker. She’s just a peanut, but she calls herself a bear and she is a bear in the water. She takes it so seriously. She’s incredibly competitive and she’s a wonderful kid. She chose to swim at Deering and she was a Ram through and through. The team was first priority. She wanted to leave the program in good hands.”

Previous winners:

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 mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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Eric Delmonte

Emma Pontius

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