Falmouth Yachtsmen Winter Athlete of the Year

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2010-11 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:

REID PRYZANT, Junior-Track

* Class B state champion, long jump

* Class B state champion, 55 hurdles

* WMC All-Star, first team, 55 hurdles

The Falmouth boys’ indoor track program has long produced some of the best athletes in the state.

You can now add Reid Pryzant’s name to that list.

Overcoming nerves and a self-described lack of natural ability, Pryzant was at his best in February when the Yachtsmen won yet another Class B state championship, thanks in large part to his two individual titles.

For committing himself to his craft, for shining when his team needed him most and for being a well rounded student-athlete, Reid Pryzant gets The Forecaster’s nod as Falmouth’s 2010-11 Winter Male Athlete of the Year.

Pryzant grew up in Falmouth and followed his friends to cross country and track in middle school. Prior to this season, however, he wasn’t a standout (he did place fifth in the triple jump at the outdoor state meet last June), but this winter, he really came of age, thanks in large part to a commitment to working to be a better athlete.

“Reid’s desire to improve has been the key to his progress,” said Falmouth assistant coach Danny Paul. “He is conscientious and willing to do the little things, even when they are tedious or not so exciting. He is always genuinely excited when he performs well and he is equally happy for his teammates’ successes.”

Successes (individual and team) came with regularity during the season and in the postseason, Pryzant was at his best.

At the Western Maine Conference championship meet, Pryzant won the senior 55 hurdles in 8.09 seconds and finished third in both the long (19 feet, 6 inches) and triple (38-9) jumps.

At states, he produced 26 points on his own, taking the 55 hurdles by lowering his time to 7.96 seconds, winning the long jump in a surprise (20-9) and taking third in the triple jump (40-9).

Pryzant, who credited his hard work and “great coaches” for his success, has off-the-track interests and accomplishments that are even more impressive.

Pryzant is a high honors student, was part of a state champion debate team, plays the trombone, is a member of the Environmental Action Committee and is a certified beekeeper, with two hives at home. Pryzant says he’s learned the value of teamwork from watching the bees.

He’s beginning the college selection process. While he’s not sure if he wants to compete in track at the next level, he may look to study biology or computer science.

After making a quantum leap this past season, the future figures to only bring more triumph to Reid Pryzant, Falmouth’s 2010-11 Winter Male Athlete of the Year.

Coach Jorma Kurry’s comment: “Reid came into this season with complete focus on being the best hurdler he could be. He set extremely high goals for himself and worked out twice a day through the winter to achieve those goals. Reid didn’t let little setbacks stop him, he redoubled his efforts and hit his peak perfectly. With some late-season attention to the jumps, working with Coach (Mark) Campbell, Reid had the day of his life at the state meet, surpassing all his goals and giving the team a great push toward the state championship. Reid sets a great example for younger teammates with his hard work, positive attitude and great team spirit.”

2009-10 winner: Stefano Mancini (Basketball)

2008-09 winner: Mike Chase (Hockey)

2007-08 winner: Tom Winger (Indoor track)

2006-07 winner: James Tolan (Hockey)

2005-06 winner: Bryant Barr (Basketball)

2004-05 winner: Peter Gustavson (Hockey)

2003-04 winner: Brandon Bonsey (Indoor track)

2002-03 winner: Jon Hutchins (Hockey)

2001-02 winner: Garrett Weliever (Basketball)

2010-11 Winter Female Athlete of the Year

NICOLA MANCINI, Junior-Diving

* Class B state champion

* Southern Maine Swim League first-team all-star, diving

* All-State, diving

Nicola Mancini comes from a very accomplished athletic family, but has managed to set herself

apart in a sport that doesn’t get a lot of recognition.

While older sister Gina’s swimming exploits (multiple state titles and state records and Falmouth Winter Female Athlete of the Year recognition in 2003 and 2006) and older brother Stefano’s heroics on the hardwood (Class B state champion and Winter Male Athlete of the Year in 2010) were easy to appreciate, Nicola’s ability on the diving board is much more subtle, yet exhilarating nonetheless.

Mancini not only repeated as Class B diving champion this year. She became the first girl this century to post a score of over 400 in the process. Her natural ability, hard work and love for her sport stand out.

Those qualities and her great accomplishments convinced The Forecaster to name Nicola Mancini Falmouth’s 2010-11 Winter Female Athlete of the Year.

Mancini grew up in Falmouth and gravitated toward gymnastics instead of swimming or basketball. After her mother suggested she try diving when Nicola was in fifth grade, a star was born.

She trains year-round and after an injury-plagued freshman season, won Class B as a sophomore even though she looks back at that state performance as less than her best. She also won diving at New Englands.

This year, she was expected to repeat and didn’t disappoint, scoring a whopping 416.15 points at the state meet.

Mancini is a member of the Video Yearbook Committee. She wants to keep the good times rolling and set records as a senior before moving on to college, where she’s not sure if she’ll continue diving.

Before she graduates, her legacy will be secure. Nicola Mancini, Falmouth’s 2010-11 Winter Female Athlete of the Year, has lived up to her family’s legacy and then some.

Coach Maria Mazorra’s comment: “Nicola is a combination of tremendous talent and work ethic. Although her diving performances continue to amaze and inspire, her strength of character is what shines through the most. There couldn’t be a more coachable, dedicated and likable person.”

2009-10 winner: Sarah Abramson (Skiing)

2008-09 winner: Kristin Jackson (Swimming)

2007-08 winner: Kristin Jackson (Swimming)

2006-07 winner: Alicia Hahn (Swimming)

2005-06 winner: Gina Mancini (Swimming)

2004-05 winner: Emily Sheldon (Swimming)

2003-04 winner: Alison Tozier (Swimming)

2002-03 winner: Gina Mancini (Swimming)

2001-02 winner: Megan White (Diving)

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