Falmouth Yachtsmen Fall Athletes of the Year

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FALL 2011 MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

ANDREW MURRY, Senior-Soccer

• All-State

• Western B regional all-star

• WMC All-Star, Class B, first-team

With the absence of a big-time scorer in the Falmouth boys’ soccer lineup for the first time in ages, Andrew Murry could have been the one to fill the void.

Instead, he took one for the team and played defense and his leadership helped one of the state’s most storied programs get back to the pinnacle.

Murry was an island of stability during a challenging campaign and not only got to bow out as a state champ, but is also The Forecaster’s choice for Falmouth’s Fall 2011 Male Athlete of the Year.

Murry grew up in Falmouth playing soccer and was a varsity team fixture, winning a pair of titles. He was on offense for three years, but made the move back this fall to solidify the defense.

As a result, the Yachtsmen were, as usual, very stingy, allowing just 17 goals in 18 games. While Murry was making life easier for goalkeeper Will D’Agostino and the defense, he did get involved in the scoring on occasion.

Murry had two assists in a season-opening win over Poland, assisted on the tying goal in a 2-1 come-from-behind victory at rival Cape Elizabeth, scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Gray-New Gloucester and may have saved the season by setting up the tying goal late versus Fryeburg in the regional semifinals.

While Falmouth wound up on top, the road wasn’t easy as the Yachtsmen lost early to Yarmouth, tied and lost to Greely, then suffered their worst loss this century, 4-0, at York.

“That loss was a wakeup call,” Murry said. “We had a team meeting. We realized we had to work hard every day.”

Sure enough, Falmouth turned the corner, beating Yarmouth and tying Cape Elizabeth to end the regular season 9-3-2. The Yachtsmen blanked Lincoln Academy in the quarterfinals, then embarked on their most perilous run to a championship.

After Murry set up the tying goal, Falmouth beat Fryeburg in the semifinals on a goal from Jeremy Lydick with 14 seconds to go. In the regional final, the Yachtsmen avenged their regular season loss with a 1-0 win over York on Grant Burfeind’s tally in the final minute. Burfeind then clinched the title when he beat Camden Hills, 2-1, on a goal in the 67th minute of the state game.

Murry will compete in indoor track this winter for the first time, as a sprinter. He’s a middie on the state champion lacrosse squad in the spring. He volunteers teaching younger kids soccer and has played several years with the Maine Coast United and Portland Phoenix premier teams. He hopes to play in college, likely somewhere in New England, where he’ll study business.

He certainly helped produce a memorable final act. Andrew Murry, Falmouth’s Fall 2011 Male Athlete of the Year, proved that selflessness can lead to great rewards.

Coach Dave Halligan’s comment: “Andrew’s been a four-year player for us. He’s the type of player who could have led the team in scoring. He had those abilities, but we needed him in the back. He’s always a team player. He’s our heart and soul. He kept us in games with his work in the back.”

Previous winners:

• 2010 winner: Tim Follo (Cross country)

• 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 2011 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

CAITLIN BUCKSBAUM, Junior-Soccer

• Western B regional all-star

• WMC All-Star, Class B, first-team

The Falmouth girls’ soccer team won a championship a year ago, but Caitlin Bucksbaum did not.

Bucksbaum, then attending school in North Carolina, got to her state final, but lost.

This autumn, the Yachtsmen won again and a big reason was because Bucksbaum joined the program.

Making her presence felt immediately, with big goals and timely assists, she demonstrated what a strong work ethic and commitment to the sport can do and as a result, Caitlin Bucksbaum is The Forecaster’s selection for Falmouth’s Fall 2011 Female Athlete of the Year.

Bucksbaum gravitated to soccer at a very young age in North Carolina and has honed her game playing premier (she’s currently playing for a team out of Acton, Mass.). She got to Falmouth just in time for the 2011 season and it was a year of many highlights for her and her teammates.

Bucksbaum made her presence felt with two goals against Poland in the opener. She added two (with one assist) against Lake Region, assisted the tying goal against Cape Elizabeth, had two goals and an assist in a win over Fryeburg and did the same against Freeport.

In the playoffs, as Falmouth won a series of dramatic games to repeat as champion, Bucksbaum set up the first goal off a corner kick in the semifinals (as the Yachtsmen went on to beat York in penalty kicks), assisted Cassie Darrow for the tying goal in a come-from-behind victory at Morse in the regional final, then crossed to Alex Bernier for the lone goal of the state game win over Presque Isle.

In all, Bucksbaum led the team with 11 goals and 11 assists.

“The team really worked hard and bonded well,” Bucksbaum said.

Bucksbaum was then recognized as one of the conference’s and region’s finest players. She’s a member of Falmouth’s Key Club and Environmental Committee and is an Alpine skier. Don’t be surprised to see her playing soccer at a high college level in two years.

First, she’ll have one more season with the Yachtsmen, as they seek a third successive crown. With Caitlin Bucksbaum, Falmouth’s Fall 2011 Female Athlete of the Year leading the way, more excellence is likely.

Coach Wally LeBlanc’s comment: “The best athletes make the team around them better and this is exactly what Caitlin is all about. While she’s very driven to be the best that she can both in the classroom and on the field, she also takes pride in helping her team be the best that it can be. People do not see the behind the scenes effort put forth. It’s not unheard of for her to show up 45 minutes before a training session and go for a run or practice attacking dribbling patterns. On more than one occasion, I have watched her invite her teammates along to join her. Additionally, she normally stays after every training session to work on her set pieces and distance shooting, sometimes with her Mom in the net. What I am most thankful for is the way she was able to bond with the team. Right from the beginning, the girls were very welcoming and Caitlin just appeared to fit right in with them. My dream for her is to feel like this is home and for her to continue to be able to share her dreams with her teammates.”

Previous winners:

• 2010 winner: Kate Sparks (Volleyball)

• 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.