Falmouth Yachtsmen Winter Athletes of the Year

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2011-12 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:

JACK COOLEEN, Senior-Basketball


* WMC all-star, second-team

* WMC Senior All-Star

* Team captain

Cooleen isn’t just a big boy who can put home missed shots (although he did his share of that). He proved to be an all-around talent, whose leadership helped the Yachtsmen return to form this winter.

Cooleen, who already stood 6-foot-5 in the eighth grade and naturally gravitated to basketball, rode the competitive roller coaster over the past three seasons. The lone holdover (who played a key supporting role) from the 2010 Class B state champion suffered through a frustrating and postseason-less junior campaign, but this winter was a far different story.

Falmouth started strong, winning the close games that eluded it last season and victory after victory ensued. Regular season highlights for Cooleen included 13 points in a season-opening win over Cape Elizabeth, 18 versus Lake Region, 16 against Wells, 13 against York and nine points, eight rebounds, six blocks and the winning basket in an overtime victory at Yarmouth to close the 18-0 regular season, the first unblemished campaign in program history.

Cooleen then was a beast in the playoffs, scoring 26 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking three shots in a quarterfinal round come-from-behind victory Poland and registering 10 points, 10 boards and three blocks when the teflon Yachtsmen again snatched victory from defeat in the semifinals versus York. In the regional final, however, Falmouth finally dug a hole that was too deep and despite 23 points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocks from Cooleen, finally met its match against Yarmouth.

Cooleen finished with a 10.5 points per game average, also averaged 8.2 boards and 3 blocks. In the tournament, he upped those numbers to 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocks per game. For his Yachtsmen career, Cooleen appeared in three regional finals and one state game.

Cooleen was also a key contributor at wide receiver for the football team in the fall and looks to help the boys’ lacrosse squad repeat as state champion this spring. He’s helped out with the theater group at Falmouth and will take his talents to Tufts next year, where he hopes to play both football and lacrosse.

While his time on the hardwood appears over, Cooleen put on quite a show for the Yachtsmen. Especially when the stakes were at their highest.

Coach Dave Halligan’s comment: “What makes Jack an outstanding player is not only his size, but also his athleticism. He’s very quick and has the skill set usually seen in a smaller player. He’s not only an outstanding player, but also an outstanding young man with a strong strength of character. He’s well respected by peers, teammates, coaches, teachers and game officials. He’s a leader in the community, school and on the court. He’s been an outstanding role model for the younger players and the youth of our community.”

2010-11 winner: Reid Pryzant (Indoor track)

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)

2011-12 Winter Female Athlete of the Year



* All-State

* West Region all-star, first-team

* All-Academic team

Fortier enjoyed a storybook return to Falmouth this winter as she left hapless defenders in her wake while scoring goal after goal for a dominant team.

Fortier took naturally to the sport through her father, Chip, who played at New Hampshire College. She spent part of her youth facing shots in goal from her brothers, but soon developed her own game and eventually a name for herself. Fortier played for Falmouth as a freshman and sophomore, but went to North Yarmouth Academy as a junior before returning home.

This winter, Fortier scored goals with abandon. She opened with four versus Yarmouth, then had three against Gorham, three more versus Greely, three against both Cape Elizabeth and Cheverus, four versus Biddeford, five against Portland, three versus St. Dom’s and five in a win over Winslow.

And that was only the regular season.

In the playoffs, Fortier’s onslaught continued as she lit up Portland for four goals in the semifinals and had three more in a regional final victory over York. The run finally ended for Fortier and her teammates with a 7-1 loss to Greely in the state final, but she did have her team’s lone tally, her 56th of the season (she also had 13 assists).

Throughout, Fortier’s speed, crafty moves and finishing touch proved unstoppable.

Fortier has played for the Portland Junior Pirates and is also a standout in field hockey and lacrosse (she’d love to lead Falmouth to its first state title in that sport this spring before she departs). She’ll attend Colby College and will play field hockey and ice hockey. She plans to major in psychology and minor in education.

She taught the rest of the state how to dominate on the ice this winter. Her dominance was breathtaking.

Coach Rob Carrier’s comment: “Megan has been a pleasure to coach. She has a deep understanding of the game. She understands how manipulating the opponents’ defensive positioning will allow her to create her own scoring chances or leave a teammate open for a pass. She has a great drive to become better. She’s quick. Probably quicker than anyone in the league. She’s also a terrific role model for young girls playing sports. She combines excellence in athletics with excellence in the classroom..”

2010-11 winner: Nicola Mancini (Diving)

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)

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

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