Freeport Falcons Fall 2010 Athletes of the Year

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FALL 2010 MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

JAMES PURDY, Sophomore-Football

Freeport’s football program made great strides in its second year at the varsity level. The Falcons tripled their win total from 2009 and more importantly, were competitive against just about everyone.

Freeport was able to hang tough despite an inordinate number of younger players and one of them, sophomore James Purdy, exemplified that spirit. His longtime love of football, ability and willingness to do whatever it took for his team to succeed and his eagerness to lead despite his young age has led to great results. If that’s not enough, his future is very bright.

In light of those attributes, The Forecaster is naming James Purdy as Freeport’s Fall 2010 Male Athlete of the Year.

Purdy grew up in Freeport and started playing in the third grade. He’s come of age with a Freeport program that’s faced low numbers, necessitating players to man several different positions. Purdy has seen time at quarterback, fullback, linebacker and punter. He’s a throwing quarterback in a double-wing offense, meaning he doesn’t sling the ball much, but he has been in the middle of the action on both sides of the ball during his two varsity seasons.

His finest game of the season came in a 35-0 victory over Old Orchard Beach, when he threw for 152 yards and a TD and ran for two additional scores. In the season’s penultimate game, a stirring 26-24 win over Boothbay, Purdy hooked up with Jake Deppmeyer for a 92-yard TD with just 40 seconds to play to tie the score (the Falcons added a two-point conversion to win).

“We stepped up huge,” said Purdy, whose mother, Jane, is the team coordinator for the program. “We were competitive with just about everyone. We had more team chemistry and more fun. Our numbers keep getting better. Next year, I think we can be a playoff team.”

Purdy is part of Freeport’s Reduce Sexism and Violence program, umpires Little League baseball, skis for fun in the winter and devotes a lot of time to the weight room. He’s attended quarterback and punting camps and wants to play in college.

First, he has some unfinished business in high school, looking to help his program cap its rise to playoff contender. With James Purdy, Freeport’s Fall 2010 Male Athlete of the Year, on board, the Falcons have to like their chances.

Coach Rob Grover’s Comment: “James’ leadership is impeccable. He speaks up first. In the weight room, he’s tremendous. He did a little of everything for us. He’s the quarterback in the shotgun, he made blocks at fullback all year long, was a great punter and was the second leading tackler on the team. Hands down, he’ll only get better. I think he’ll truly stand out next year.”

2009 winner: Miguel Beckles (Football)

2008 winner: Cody Bartlett (Soccer)

2007 winner: Jon Klages (Football)

2006 winner: Luke Charest (Soccer)

2005 winner: Elliott Townsend (Soccer)

2004 winner: Jeff Smith (Soccer)

2003 winner: Josh Zolla (Cross Country)

2002 winner: Chris Vigliotta (Soccer)

2001 winner: Scott Newell (Golf)

FALL 2010 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

LAUREN EASLER, Senior-Cross country

* Winged Shoe Award winner

Freeport senior Lauren Easler has a passion for art, which is fitting, seeing how she turned running into an art form this fall.

Easler, who didn’t even become a runner until high school, capped her Freeport career this fall with a series of superb efforts and was at her best in the postseason. She welcomed the challenge of being the Falcons’ top scorer and inspired her teammates with her devotion.

In light of her season-long dominance, as well as her terrific approach to the sport and the fact that she’s a very well-rounded young lady, The Forecaster is selecting Lauren Easler as Freeport’s Fall 2010 Female Athlete of the Year.

Easler grew up in Freeport and played soccer until she entered high school. She wanted to try something else and the social aspect of cross country is what drew her initially. By sophomore year, Easler was 54th at the state meet and she came in 33rd as a junior. This season, the show was hers and she had many stellar showings.

In the season opener, Easler had her team’s top finish and was sixth overall at a meet which included Merriconeag, Wells and York. She was in the top 10 throughout and continued to impress in the postseason, coming in 26th at the Western Maine Conference meet, ninth at regionals (where Freeport placed fourth) and sixth at states (where the Falcons once again finished fourth).

A girl who had started to run mostly to socialize had capped her high school career as one of the top talents in Maine.

Easler skis for fun in the winter and plays defense on the lacrosse team in the spring. She’s a member of Freeport’s Math Team, National Honor Society, is the president of the Earth Club and has a pair of mentorships. There’s also her love of art, which she might pursue in college. She isn’t committing to running in college, but said she might at some point. She’s considering schools in New England and is undecided on a major.

Whatever path she follows, she figures to make the most of. Lauren Easler, Freeport’s Fall 2010 Female Athlete of the Year, has a knack for dazzling with her commitment and her talents.

Coach Brian Berkemeyer’s Comment: “.Lauren has been a top-seven runner all four years. This year, she was our number one for the entire season. It’s been an honor watching her mature into a top athlete, as well as a remarkable young woman. She’s learned how to overcome adversity. All of her teammates respect her not only for her ability, but also for her fun-loving attitude towards running. She’s been an excellent role model for our young team.”

2009 winner: Hannah Schuchert (Field hockey)

2008 winner: Molly Susla (Cross country)

2007 winner: Hannah Schuchert (Field hockey)

2006 winner: Molly Susla (Cross country)

2005 winner: Kelsey Nichols (Cross country)

2004 winner: Lucy Garrec (Cross country)

2003 winner: Dani O’Rourke-Suchoff (Cross country)

2002 winner: Michelle Peters (Field Hockey)

2001 winner: Amy Morejon (Soccer)

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