Falmouth Yachtsmen Winter Athletes of the Year

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JAKE PERRON, Senior—Swimming

  • Class A state champion, 200 freestyle

  • Class A state champion, 500 freestyle

  • All-State first-team, 200 freestyle

  • All-State, first-team, 500 freestyle

  • All-State, first-team, 400 free relay

  • All-State, second-team, 200 free relay

  • All-Conference, first-team, 200 freestyle

  • All-Conference, first-team, 500 freestyle

  • All-Conference, first-team, 200 free relay

  • All-Conference, first-team, 400 free relay

  •  Captain

In a winter which saw Falmouth High bursting at the seams with standout male athletes, Perron’s historic excellence stood out, as he lifted the boys’ swimming program to heights it hadn’t enjoyed in decades.

Perron started swimming at a young age and has long been devoted to the sport, spending by his estimation up to six hours a day in the pool, much of that with the Westbrook Seals club team.

As a freshman, Perron made an immediate splash by winning a Class B state championship in the 500 freestyle. He did it again as a sophomore. As a junior, Perron upped the ante as the Yachtsmen moved up to Class A where he won the 500 free and also managed to capture the 50 free title, showing rare dexterity in winning a sprint and a distance event.

That set the bar pretty high coming into the 2014-15 campaign and Perron continued to excel, although he didn’t meet his own lofty standards when he won the 200 free, but came in second in the 500 free at the North Division Southwesterns. He then returned to the pinnacle in his final state meet, winning the 200 free and the 500 free, taking part in two scoring relay teams and leading Falmouth to its best state meet finish (fourth) since 1986-87.

“I was happy with the season,” Perron said. “I was disappointed not to win the 500 at Southwesterns, but I was happy to do well at states.”

Perron credited many for helping him reach his level of excellence.

“My coordination isn’t great for other sports and when I started (swimming), I wasn’t very good, but practice made me better and the motivation of fellow Maine swimmers and coaches helped me develop,” Perron said.

Perron, who has also enjoyed success in open water swims like the Sebago Challenge, coaches budding swimmers during the summer and has a younger brother, Connor, who is a strong swimmer in his own right.

Perron will next surface at Davidson College in North Carolina (he was also considering the likes of Georgetown, William and Mary and Williams College), where he plans to swim distance events (he dreamed of swimming at the Division I level in the South as far back as middle school) and study pre-med.

He leaves quite a mark here in Maine. Jake Perron, Falmouth’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year, had an amazing high school career and he saved his best for last.

Coach Dave Cox’scomment:“In addition to the statewide awards and accolades he received, Jake now has six of Falmouth’s eight individual team records and was also part of two team record-setting relays. Jake’s goals were clear this year, he wanted to see the entire team improve on the prior year, to achieve personal records, to work and support each other as a group, to bring new swimmers into the fold and to have everything come together with great performances at Southwesterns and states. He backed up his goals with time and effort and it worked. His enthusiasm, work ethic and interest in the success of every teammate inspired the group to push each other to a new level of success. He was willing to swim whatever the team needed.”

Previous winners:

2013-14: Joe Lesniak (Alpine skiing)

2012-13: Tom Wilberg (basketball)

2011-12: Jack Cooleen (basketball)

2010-11Reid Pryzant (track)

2009-10Stefano Mancini (basketball)

2008-09Mike Chase (hockey)

2007-08Tom Winger (track)

2006-07James Tolan (hockey)

2005-06Bryant Barr (basketball)

2004-05Peter Gustavson (hockey)

2003-04Brandon Bonsey (track)

2002-03Jon Hutchins (hockey)

2001-02Garrett Weliever (basketball)


ALLY HICKEY, Senior—Basketball

  • WMC All-Conference, second-team

  • WMC Senior All-Star

  • Maine McDonald’s Class A/B West Senior All-Star

  • Captain

The Yachtsmen had one of their best seasons in years and Hickey led the way by being willing to play anywhere and to do anything to help her team succeed.

Hickey started playing basketball at a young age and it soon became her top sport. She also enjoyed a terrific volleyball career at Falmouth, but basketball was where she truly excelled.

Hickey made the varsity team as a freshman and made the Western Maine Conference all-star second-team. She repeated the feat as a sophomore and made the third-team as a junior. Throughout, Hickey played all over the floor, showing an ability to hit from long range, while also doing battle down low when necessary.

This winter, she and her team enjoyed a terrific season. Highlights included 22 points in a season-opening loss to York, 12 points, six rebounds and five steals in a decisive home win over Cape Elizabeth, 18 points in a home victory over York,  16 points and 10 boards in a home win over Yarmouth, 13 points in a victory over Freeport and 27 points, including five 3-pointers, in a win at Cape Elizabeth.

For the regular season, Hickey was seventh in the Western Maine Conference in scoring with 12 points per game. She also tied for fifth in made 3-pointers (25), tied for eighth in steals (3.4 per contest) and ranked 10th in rebounding (6.8). She also averaged 2.8 assists per game.

Falmouth won a dozen games, its best mark in seven seasons, but the Yachtsmen’s dreams of reaching the Expo were dashed thanks to an agonizing preliminary round loss to Windham. Hickey bowed out with 11 points, which left her with 695 for her career, 29 shy of Haley Jordan’s program record. Hickey also had nine rebounds, five assists, five steals and four blocked shots in her final game in a Yachtsmen uniform.

“Coach (Mari Warner) put it in my head to excel when I was a freshman,” Hickey said. “She didn’t care how old or what position I was. I prefer shooting outside, but I’ll play anywhere. Getting recognized for my hard work motivated me to get better. I like that people looked up to me.”

Hickey, who has also played several years of AAU basketball, belongs to Falmouth’s Key Club and does volunteer work. She plans to attend and play basketball at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island next year.

What a terrific team player she was in high school. Ally Hickey, Falmouth’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, will go down in program lore as one of its finest players and certainly its most versatile.

Coach Mari Warner’s comment: “Ally had such a wonderful senior year. She has the ability to play all five positions on the court and that’s what makes her such a special player. She says, ‘I’ll play wherever you need me.’ This year in particular, she had the confidence to do whatever it took to win. Because of her versatility, she led the team in scoring, rebounding and steals and was second in assists. What most people don’t recognize is how quick she is defensively. She was always assigned the most difficult player to defend. Her length and quickness were problematic and more often than not, the opposing player would struggle against her. Ally’s abilities helped raise the bar of what our team was capable of doing and set a new standard for players to come.”

Previous winners:

2013-14: Anna Morin (skiing)

2012-13: Charlotte Janelle (diving)

2011-12Megan Fortier (hockey)

2010-11Nicola Mancini (diving)

2009-10Sarah Abramson (skiing)

2008-09Kristin Jackson (swimming)

2007-08Kristin Jackson (swimming)

2006-07Alicia Hahn (swimming)

2005-06Gina Mancini (swimming)

2004-05Emily Sheldon (swimming)

2003-04Alison Tozier (swimming)

2002-03Gina Mancini (swimming)

2001-02Megan 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.