2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:
EDDIE TIRABASSI, Senior-Basketball
* SMAA All-Conference, second team
* SMAA Senior All-Star
The Deering boys’ basketball team didn’t accomplish all it hoped this winter, but the Rams, and one player in particular, certainly left a mark on the league.
Deering was always tenacious, never gave up and fought against long odds to win, qualities epitomized by senior captain Eddie Tirabassi.
Tirabassi was a monster on the boards, scored clutch hoops, played smothering defense and earned the respect of opposing players and coaches alike for his heart, especially in light of the fact he was playing hurt.
For being so skilled and so determined, for being an ideal team leader and for showing great courage, Eddie Tirabassi gets The Forecaster’s nod as Deering’s 2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year.
Tirabassi grew up in Portland and started playing organized basketball in the fourth grade. He became a varsity player as a freshman at Deering and always worked hard at his game, practicing by himself, as well as competing with older kids.
This season, Tirabassi dazzled on several occasions. He had 14 points in a win over Sanford, 15 against Scarborough, 19 versus Gorham, 20 against Biddeford, a team-high 15 in a close loss to defending state champion Thornton Academy, 17 against Massabesic, a season-high 21 versus Noble and 15 against Marshwood.
Tirabassi was 13th in the league in rebounds (5.8 per game) 14th in scoring (11.8), 17th in steals (1.6) and 19th in free throw percentage (60.6). His defense can’t be quantified, but rest assured that several players learned that driving the lane against him was anything but a wise idea.
Tirabassi bowed out with a team-high 13 points in a quarterfinal round playoff loss to South Portland.
Tirabassi, who has worked with younger kids at Lyman Moore, hopes to play basketball in college. He’s looking at Colby-Sawyer, U. Maine-Farmington (the alma mater of Deering coach Dan LeGage) and the University of Southern Maine.
Wherever he ends up, he figures to make a big impact. Eddie Tirabassi, Deering’s 2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year, makes any team better simply by his presence.
Coach Dan LeGage’s comment: “Eddie has all the qualities a coach could want in a player. He’s talented, dedicated, honest, respectful and respected. He’s hard working, reliable and is a leader who is a good listener. He was truly a team player with good sportsmanship and a great attitude. Above all, he’s courageous and the ultimate competitor. Whatever needed to be done for our team to be successful he did it. No questions asked. He was a leader for our program on and off the court. He epitomized what it meant to be a team player.”
2008-09 winner: E.J. Googins (Swimming)
2007-08 winner: Chris Smith (Wrestling)
2006-07 winner: Brandon Carbone (Basketball)
2005-06 winner: Allen Stein (Wrestling)
2004-05 winner: Kyle Johnson (Swimming)
2003-04 winner: Brian Vail (Indoor track)
2009-10 Winter Female Athlete of the Year:
CLAIRE RAMONAS, Senior-Basketball
* Miss Maine Basketball finalist
* SMAA All-Conference, first team
* SMAA All-Defensive team
* SMAA Senior All-Star
* Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star
* Team captain
Flair earns the headlines and the oohs and aahs of the crowd, but fundamentals, a love of the game and a willingness to do whatever it takes to win merits admiration of its own.
For the past four seasons, Deering’s Claire Ramonas has epitomized hard work, grit, clutch play and perseverance and she’s also been defined as a big-time winner. Ramonas will graduate as a two-time state champion and one of the more memorable players of recent vintage and she did it as a grinder, one that always came up big under the brightest lights.
For being willing to do whatever it took, for saving her best for when her team needed it the most and for being a tremendous leader throughout, Claire Ramonas is The Forecaster’s choice for Deering’s 2009-10 Winter Female Athlete of the Year.
Ramonas grew up in Portland, got serious about basketball in the fourth grade and immediately played a role on the Deering varsity team as a freshman. By her sophomore season, the Rams were Class A state champions and they repeated her junior campaign. Those teams were headlined by the likes of Nicole Garland and Diana Manduca. This year’s squad was led by Ramonas. She did her job well.
Highlights included 17 points and 10 rebounds in a season-opening win over Bonny Eagle, 12 points versus Gorham, 16 against Biddeford, 17 in a win over Thornton Academy, 15 versus South Portland, 11 (and nine boards) against Portland, 14 versus Windham, 19 against McAuley, and 14 in a rematch versus Portland.
For the season, Ramonas averaged 12.3 points (good for 10th in the league) and 7.2 rebounds (10th) per contest in the regular season, despite sitting much of the time in several blowout wins. She had 3.6 assists per game (fifth in the league) and 4.0 steals per contest (fourth in the SMAA). Not only was she her team’s second offensive option (junior Kayla Burchill was the top scorer) and a premier rebounder, but she played shutdown defense, often going head-to-head with the best players in the conference.
In the playoffs, Ramonas had four points in a quarterfinal round win over Thornton Academy, eight in the semis versus McAuley, then finished her career with nine against Scarborough in the regional final, including a clutch, late three-point play that momentarily put the Rams back on top.
If all that wasn’t enough, Ramonas, who played two years of soccer and is about to embark on her third season of outdoor track, also competed in indoor track, finishing fourth in the state in the shot put. She’s a member of Key Club and the school Senate and enjoys coaching younger kids. Ramonas has played for the Maine Hoops AAU team since the eighth grade.
Next year, she hopes to compete in basketball and maybe track as well at either the Division 2 or 3 level. She’s considering studying early childhood education.
Regardless of what happens at the next level, she’ll always be part of school lore as one of the best competitors and biggest winners to don purple and white. Claire Ramonas, Deering’s 2009-10 Winter Female Athlete of the Year, is a transcendent player and a very impressive young lady.
Coach Mike Murphy’s Comment: “Claire was, I think, the foundation of success that Deering had for four years. She was the rock of our whole program. She was valuable on both ends of the floor. She always worked hard. She’s a unique individual. A pleasure to coach. We’ll miss her.”
2008-09 winner: Diana Manduca (Basketball)
2007-08 winner: Diana Manduca (Basketball)
2006-07 winner: Nicole Garland (Basketball)
2005-06 winner: Emily Sweatt (Swimming)
2004-05 winner: Rebecca Schack (Indoor Track)
2003-04 winner: Megan Urban (Basketball)