Falmouth Yachtsmen Winter Athletes of the Year

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2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:

STEFANO MANCINI, Senior-Basketball

* Gatorade Player of the Year

* Mr. Maine Basketball Award finalist

* Bob Butler Award finalist

* Pierre Harnois Trophy winner as MVP of Western B tournament

* WMC All-Conference, first team

* WMC Senior All-Star

* Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star

* Team captain

A sharpshooter never hesitates.

For the past four seasons and certainly this winter, Stefano Mancini epitomized that philosophy on the hardwood, never meeting a shot he didn’t like and making most of them in leading the Falmouth boys’ basketball team to greatness.

Every senior dreams of capping his career with a championship and Mancini got to live that dream, scoring 27 points in a stirring overtime win over Camden Hills in the Class B Final.

Mancini was much more than his team’s leading scorer. He was also a fantastic teammate, devoted tons of time to his craft and always raised his game under the brightest lights. His skills earned him plenty of postseason recognition and in that light, Stefano Mancini is The Forecaster’s choice as Falmouth’s 2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year.

Mancini grew up in Falmouth, started playing basketball at a young age and was kept humble by an athletic family. He joined the Yachtsmen varsity as a freshman, quickly earned acclaim for his ability to rise to the occasion and was a worthy heir to the long-distance shooting club, following in the footsteps of Bryant Barr.

Falmouth suffered painful playoff losses his first three years, but this winter, Mancini and his teammates, many of whom had played together forever, weren’t about to settle for anything but a title.

Mancini, who was the quarterback on the football team his first three years, gave up the sport to focus on basketball and he had many highlights this winter.

Mancini had 22 points against Freeport, 32 at Greely, 28 against Lake Region, 20 versus Poland, 22 against Fryeburg, 18 (including the 1,000th of his career) versus Wells, 26 against York, 20 in a come-from-behind win at Yarmouth (including three clutch fourth quarter 3s), a season-high 35 versus Greely, 26 against Poland and 25 versus York. In Falmouth’s lone loss, in the regular season-finale against visiting Cape Elizabeth, Mancini had 20 points.

He ended the regular season with an average of 21.7 points per game, second in the Western Maine Conference to Lake Region’s Matt Langadas. It marked the third straight year he’d led his team in scoring. Mancini also averaged 3.9 assists (fifth in the league) and 2.4 steals (fourth).

The playoffs were more of the same. In a narrow win over York in the quarterfinals, Mancini had 24 points (including four 3s). He scored 28 points (with four 3s) against Mountain Valley in the semifinals, then had 24 points, with four more 3s, as Falmouth avenged its loss to Cape Elizabeth in the regional final, locking up the Pierre Harnois award as the MVP of the regional tournament. In the state game, Mancini again came up big despite foul trouble, scoring 27 points (including five 3s) in his first game at the Bangor Auditorium.

Including the postseason, Mancini averaged 22.5 points, had 83 assists, 77 rebounds, 56 steals and 77 made 3-pointers.

For his career, Mancini had 1,281 points, 264 assists, 241 boards, 165 steals and 180 3s. Try matching a balanced stat line like that!

Mancini also plays for the MBR AAU team, works with younger kids who are learning the game and is still figuring out his future plans. He’s considering Worcester Academy as a prep option or possibly Wofford College in South Carolina.

Wherever he ends up, he’ll turn heads. Stefano Mancini, Falmouth’s 2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year, graduates as a champion in every sense of the word.

Coach Dave Halligan’s Comment: “Stefano has been an integral member of our highly successful program. A great deal of our success is directly attributable to his skills, desire and positive attitude. Every time he takes the court, he seems to take his game to a new level. He’s always been dedicated to the success of the team and is willing to sacrifice his game for the benefit of the team. Yet, when called upon, he’s also willing to take the responsibility for making the critical defensive play or important shot. He makes the players around him better and has served as an outstanding role model for our younger players and the youth of the community both on and off the court.”

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)

2009-10 Winter Female Athlete of the Year


* WMC All-Conference, first team

* Team captain

Sarah Abramson hasn’t met a challenge she can’t conquer.

Her devotion to Nordic skiing is already legendary. She’ll train anywhere at any hour. While most competitors would be content to ski with a school team and call it good, Abramson also skied with Maine Coast Nordic. While some would be discouraged by a fall, she overcame.

Abramson had plenty of triumph this season in leading the Falmouth girls’ squad to a solid campaign. Time and again, she sparkled in big races and best of all, she has another year to lead the Yachtsmen to greatness.

For all she’s accomplished, her commitment and positive outlook, Sarah Abramson is The Forecaster’s choice for Falmouth’s 2009-10 Winter Female Athlete of the Year.

Abramson is the first non-swimmer to win the award.

Abramson grew up in Falmouth and started skiing in the fifth grade. She also runs cross country and does the racewalk in outdoor track, but has found her niche on the ski trails. She trains year-round and that single-mindedness paid off this winter.

Abramson was a close second in the Sassi Memorial race. In the Western Maine Conference championships, skiing against many of the best in the state, she came in second in both the skate and the classic.

At the Class B state meet, as Falmouth was finishing third as a team, Abramson had a third-place finish in the skate and was fifth in the classic.

Through it all, Abramson impressed as a team captain. She led her teammates on courses pre-race and discussed strategy. Through it all, her modesty stood out.

Abramson raced for the Maine team at the J2 New England festival, qualified for the second time as a member of the Maine team for the Eastern High School championships (coming in first in the qualifier). At the championships, she was 11th in the classic after a fall, then bounced back to come in first in the skate and was sixth overall.

Abramson is also a member of the school’s Math team and took part in the Real World Design Challenge in Washington D.C. She hopes to ski in college and is currently considering such options as Bates, Bowdoin and Colby.

For now, she’ll get to shine one more year in high school. Sarah Abramson, Falmouth’s 2009-10 Winter Female Athlete of the Year, figures to have quite an encore in store.

Coach Jesse Bastide’s comment: “Sarah’s dedication to the sport and to her team were unwavering all season. Her discipline and dedication led her to ski with a headlamp before sunrise and school. She has a quiet, confident demeanor. She has a matter-of-fact modesty about her and a fierce competitiveness allows her to overcome adversity. We have another year of admiring her skiing ability and having her lead the team once again.”

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.