Falmouth Yachtsmen Fall 2010 Athletes of the Year

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FALL 2010 MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

TIM FOLLO, Junior-Cross country

* All-State

* WMC All-Star, first team

* New England qualifier

Consistency, commitment and excellence led to one of the finest cross country performances around this fall.

Falmouth’s Tim Follo was steady and spectacular against league, state and regional foes, from September into November, and along the way, helped the Yachtsmen retain their status as one of the state’s premier programs.

For being not only so good on the trails and committed to his craft, but also for demonstrating leadership far beyond his years, Tim Follo is The Forecaster’s selection for Falmouth’s Fall 2010 Male Athlete of the Year.

Follo grew up in Falmouth and started running in elementary school. He took to cross country in middle school. Initially he wasn’t fond of running, doing it to get in shape for Nordic skiing and to spend time with friends, but it didn’t take long to discover he was very good.

Follo was 10th in the state as a freshman and sixth as a sophomore (when he qualified for New Englands as an individual). This autumn, he was even better.

Follo had the fastest time at a season-opening meet with Cape Elizabeth, Lake Region and NYA. He won again the following week, then posted the top finish in the Yachtsmen’s first regular season meeting with rival Greely. Follo was fifth at the Festival of Champions in Belfast, then excelled in the postseason.

At the Western Maine Conference meet, Follo came in third. He was second to Fryeburg standout Silas Eastman at both the regionals (where Falmouth was third) and Class B state meet (where the Yachtsmen were runners-up to Caribou), achieving his goal for the season. Follo would come in 33rd overall at New Englands, but was second among Maine runners, helping Falmouth post the best score of any team from the state.

Follo is an avid Nordic skier in the winter and runs track in the spring (he was fourth in the two-mile and sixth in the mile for a state championship Falmouth team a year ago). He’s the co-editor of the school newspaper, is a member of Key Club and plays the guitar. His college prospects are myriad, but first, he figures to have a dominant senior season.

That’s because he’s only getting better. Immense talent and hard work have paid off for this young man. Tim Follo, Falmouth’s Fall 2010 Male Athlete of the Year, was as steady and superb as they came this season.

Coach Danny Paul’s Comment: “Tim leads as a student-athlete who cares about doing everything well. We have a terrific team, especially our junior class, and Tim is the class of the group. He makes everyone better. He’s an intelligent and strong runner. He’s always focused and positive. His performances/times this season put him among the best three of four male runners ever to compete in cross country here at Falmouth. We’re lucky to have him.”

Coach Jorma Kurry’s Comment: “Tim has been exceptionally consistent. He’s a dedicated athlete who rises to every challenge. His steady leadership helped our team mature greatly. He’s very good at executing his race strategy and remaining calm under pressure. He’ll be one of the top returning seniors next year.”

2009 winner: Gabe Hoffman-Johnson (Soccer)

2008 winner: Gabe Hoffman-Johnson (Soccer)

2007 winner: Jack Wyman (Golf)

2006 winner: Nick Ford (Football)

2005 winner: Adam Packard (Golf)

2004 winner: Connor Hollowell (Soccer)

2003 winner: Jimmy Velas (Soccer)

2002 winner: Brandon Bonsey (Cross country)

2001 winner: Brian Giggey (Golf)

FALL 2010 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

KATE SPARKS, Senior-Volleyball

* Southern Maine first team

* WMC All-Star, first team

For the second year in a row, the Falmouth volleyball team stole headlines and enjoyed a spirited run to the state championship match. After losing some key seniors from last year’s breakthrough team, the Yachtsmen needed a player to step up and lead the way. They found one in senior Kate Sparks.

Sparks was Falmouth’s sparkplug, doing a little of everything on the court, while serving as a team leader. She lifted the Yachtsmen to greatness again and is The Forecaster’s selection for Falmouth’s Fall 2010 Female Athlete of the Year.

Sparks grew up in Falmouth and was a field hockey and soccer player much of her youth. She started playing volleyball her freshman year, which was also the first year for the varsity program, and was one of three girls who played varsity all four years. She fell in love with the sport immediately and became a key cog for the Yachtsmen, who rapidly became a top contender, reaching the state match in 2009 before losing to Greely.

This season, Falmouth excelled again and Sparks, an opposite hitter, was the engine that made the Yachtsmen go. Falmouth won its first nine matches, dropped five-game decisions to Biddeford and Yarmouth, but beat Greely twice down the stretch (Sparks had eight kills and three blocks in the second victory) to wind up 12-2 and third in Class A. After blanking Scarborough and Mt. Desert Island, the Yachtsmen made it back to the state match to face Biddeford. Falmouth’s dream ended there, with a three-set loss.

Sparks’ final stats were staggering as she had a 90.7 serve percentage, a team-high 300 attacks and a 35.7 kill percentage. She led the Yachtsmen in serve receptions and added 176 digs. She was not only widely esteemed by her teammates and coach, but received recognition from the other coaches in the league by being named to the conference and regional first teams.

Sparks competes in indoor and outdoor track, sprinting and throwing the shot put (she came in fifth in the shot put at last year’s indoor state championship meet an third in last spring’s outdoor state meet). She’s an honors student and a member of National Honor Society, plays with a travel team, competes in a co-ed league and also enjoys beach volleyball.

If you haven’t guessed, she’s an aficionado of the sport.

Sparks is looking at her college options. She hopes to continue playing volleyball and is undecided on a major.

Love of the game and devotion to her craft and teammates paid great dividends this fall for Kate Sparks, Falmouth’s Fall 2010 Female Athlete of the Year. She capped her high school career in fine fashion.

Coach Gary Powers’ Comment: “Kate is every coach’s dream athlete. She works hard, is dedicated, takes direction and encourages her teammates. She sets the standard and leads by example. She’ll push herself to her limits and at the end, you know she’s given 110 percent. She was a calming factor on the court. She got everyone focused and got them to give their all. Everyone respected her for her ability and poise. She truly was an all-around player.”

2009 winner: Emma Wilberg (Volleyball)

2008 winner: Nicole Foley (Field hockey)

2007 winner: Maddie Grygiel (Cross country)

2006 winner: Emily Bowden (Field hockey)

2005 winner: Riley Haddock (Field hockey)

2004 winner: Riley Haddock (Field hockey)

2003 winner: Hannah Millick (Field hockey)

2002 winner: Ali Hollowell (Field hockey)

2001 winner: Whitney Huse (Soccer)

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