Falmouth Yachtsmen Fall Athletes of the Year

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JACK BRYANT, Senior-Football

  • Fitzpatrick Trophy semifinalist

  • Campbell Conference Class B all-star, first-team

  • Campbell Conference All-Academic team

Bryant put up some dazzling numbers, led Falmouth to its best season to date and best of all, we haven’t heard the last of his gridiron excellence.

Bryant started playing football in third grade and it’s long been his favorite sport.

“Football has always been my top sport and I love the team aspect of it,” Bryant said. “It is one of the few sports where every person is important on every play of the game.”

In his freshman season at Falmouth, Bryant learned from Noah Nelson (now at Bowdoin) and was ready to make his mark.

Bryant became a starter as a sophomore, leading the Yachtsmen to nine wins and their first trip to the regional final, setting new program records in the process (completing 106 of 186 pass attempts, good for 1,406 yards). As a junior, Bryant made the Campbell Conference all-star team and sparked a six-win campaign.

That was a mere warmup to 2017, which saw the Bryant-led Falmouth offense emerge as nearly unstoppable. In the regular season, Bryant completed 65 out of 130 passes for 1,018 yards and ran for 845 yards and 15 touchdowns, accounting for more than half of the team’s yardage.

In a season-opening win over Cony, Bryant ran for 128 yards and three scores. The next week, in a victory over Mt. Ararat, Bryant ran for 89 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 171 yards and another TD. In a loss at Kennebunk, Bryant still managed to rush for 94 yards and two scores and threw for 252 yards and three more touchdowns. In a win at Biddeford, Bryant ran for a season-high 223 yards and three TDs. The big numbers kept coming in a win over Messalonskee (17 completions for 205 yards and three touchdowns through the air and 77 yards and a TD on the ground), a loss at Marshwood (82 yards and a touchdown rushing), a victory over Gorham (88 rushing yards and two TDs and 116 yards more yards through the air) and a season-ending blanking of rival Greely (108 passing yards and 69 rushing yards and a TD).

Bryant remained prolific in the playoffs, throwing four touchdown passes and rushing for another in a 48-8 quarterfinal round victory over Westbrook. In the semifinals, Falmouth upset reigning regional champion Kennebunk, as Bryant threw a pair of long TDs. The Yachtsmen then nearly upset Marshwood in the Class B South Final, but fell just three points short as Bryant ran for two scores and threw for another, passing for 223 yards and running for 97 more.

“It’s been so fun playing for Falmouth,” Bryant said. “Some of the best experiences of my life have been playing with this team. Great coaches, great guys. I love Falmouth.”

Bryant, who is also a key cog on the always-competitive Yachtsmen boys’ basketball team and is involved in the National Honor Society and Big Buddies, could very well become the next Falmouth quarterback to play in the NESCAC, as he hopes to play for Bates College next year.

Jack Bryant, Falmouth’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, demonstrated quarterbacking brilliance whether he was throwing or running the ball and his skill, desire and leadership helped the Yachtsmen enjoy a very special season.

Coach John Fitzsimmons’ comment: “Jack has been a star. He’s the real deal. A special player who raised the bar for Falmouth football. He’s so skilled intellectually, with desire and execution. We often asked him what he was seeing. His football IQ is exceptional. He truly understands what’s happening. Our offense was about his reads. He executed it well. He’s a true student of the game. He’ll play someplace in college and whoever gets him will be lucky.”

Prior winners:

2016 Jeremiah Sands (cross country)

2015 Connor Aube (football)

2014 Bryce Murdick (cross country)

2013 Joe Lesniak (golf)

2012 J.P. White (soccer)

2011 Andrew Murry (soccer)

2010 Tim Follo (cross country)

2009 Gabe Hoffman-Johnson (soccer)

2008 Gabe Hoffman-Johnson (soccer)

2007 Jack Wyman (golf)

2006 Nick Ford (football)

2005 Adam Packard (golf)

2004 Connor Hollowell (soccer)

2003 Jimmy Velas (soccer)

2002 Brandon Bonsey (cross country)

2001 Brian Giggey (golf)


SOFIE MATSON, Freshman-Cross country

  • Class A state champion

  • SMAA Runner of the Year

  • SMAA all-star, first-team

  • All-state, first-team
  • New England qualifier

  • All-Northeast region, second-team

Matson broke on to the scene this fall in dominant fashion, making an immediate name for herself by winning the individual title in the biggest division in girls’ cross country. And she’s only getting started.

Matson began running in her hometown of St. Louis and after moving to Falmouth for middle school, she took up cross country, which she quickly grew to love.

“I like cross country because it’s an individual and a team sport at the same time,” Matson said. “I was always better at running than I was at other sports.”

This fall, Matson debuted by beating a strong field to win the Southern Maine Classic. She also took first in Falmouth’s first-ever SMAA league meet, won by over a minute in a meet at Kennebunk and took first place at the Festival of Champions in Belfast with a personal best time of 18 minutes, 17.33 seconds.

“After winning Festival of Champions, I thought I could win states,” Matson said.

After setting a course record at Marshwood, Matson made the postseason her personal playground.

At the Class A South regional championship, Matson posted a time of 19:03.58 and beat runner-up Carolyn Todd of Greely by 53 seconds. Then, at the state meet, Matson lowered her time to 18:41.60 and won the crown by nearly 37 seconds.

“Winning states was very exciting,” Matson said. “I just tried to do the best I could do. I just wanted to be consistent.”

Matson’s showing helped Falmouth placed third in Class A as a team.

“We had a great group of runners and our coaches are amazing,” Matson said.

Matson went on to post the 10th-best time (and the best from a Maine runner) at New Englands (18:17.30) and capped her season by competing in the Foot Locker Northeast Regional race in New York City (she was 14th in 18:46.7 to earn second-team all-Northeast honors).

Matson, who also runs road races, belongs to Falmouth’s debate team, writes for the school paper and plays the clarinet in the school’s jazz band, will run the mile and two-mile in outdoor track. She hopes to eventually lower her time under 18 minutes and return to the Foot Locker race and improve her showing.

Those goals will likely to be attained. Sofie Matson, Falmouth’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, has already made quite a mark on the local cross country scene and she’s only going to get better.

Co-coach Jorma Kurry’s comment: “Sofie has a great ability to focus on her own strengths and race strategy and not be caught up in what others are doing. She raced well regardless of competition, pushing herself and running course records. She has a quiet confidence in her ability and the enjoyment she finds in it helps her succeed even in tough situations.”

Co-coach Danny Paul’s comment: “Sofie loves to run. Her unusual ability to focus on her task whether training or racing is impressive. She is also incredibly efficient as a runner. She looks effortless sometimes when running very fast.”

Prior winners:

2016 Malaika Pasch (cross country)

2015 Sydney Bell (field hockey)

2014 Elle Fitzgerald (field hockey)

2013 Riley Burfeind (volleyball)

2012 Cassie Darrow (soccer)

2011 Caitlin Bucksbaum (soccer)

2010 Kate Sparks (volleyball)

2009 Emma Wilberg (volleyball)

2008 Nicole Foley (field hockey)

2007 Maddie Grygiel (cross country)

2006 Emily Bowden (field hockey)

2005 Riley Haddock (field hockey)

2004 Riley Haddock (field hockey)

2003 Hannah Millick (field hockey)

2002 Ali Hollowell (field hockey)

2001 Whitney Huse (soccer)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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