Freeport Falcons Fall Athletes of the Year

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Alexa Koenig

Shea Wagner

MALE:

SHEA WAGNER, Senior-Soccer

  • WMC Class B all-star, second-team

  • Team MVP

  • Captain

Wagner was a powerhouse for a Freeport team that enjoyed its best season in four decades, a season that didn’t end until the second overtime of the Class B state final.

Wagner, who started playing soccer at a young age, moved to Freeport in the eighth grade, where he quickly made a mark in soccer, basketball and baseball, his favorite sport.

As the middle brother in an athletic family, Wagner’s motivation has been clear.

“Playing with my siblings has been special,” Wagner. “I’ve tried to keep up with (older brother) Colby and stay ahead of (younger brother) Gabe.”

Wagner has made his mark, with and without his brothers, and this fall, he came up big time and again, helping the Falcons make memories under new coach, Bob Strong.

Wagner scored six goals and added five assists. Highlights included a goal in a win at Wells, a goal in a victory over Poland and a pair in a win over Fryeburg Academy. 

Wagner came up huge in the playoffs, scoring twice in a quarterfinal round victory over Leavitt and heading home a corner kick for the first goal in a Class B South Final win over Cape Elizabeth, Freeport’s first regional crown since 1978.

The Falcons took a 2-0 lead over Presque Isle in the state final and a long-awaited Gold Ball appeared to be at hand, but the Falcons lost, 3-2, bringing an agonizing end to what was a fabulous season.

“Being a part of this has been great,” said Wagner, whose dexterity and physicality allowed him to be a force on the defensive end as well against the likes of Yarmouth standout Eric LaBrie. “We knew we were a good team. We knew we had a chance. To actually experience it senior year was great. We had good chemistry and athletic ability.”

Wagner, a member of Freeport’s Latin Club, is gearing up for basketball, then will take part in baseball before graduating. He hopes to go to a bigger school somewhere out west, where he may try to walk-on to the baseball team.

A historic season of triumph wouldn’t have been possible without the effort of Shea Wagner, Freeport’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year. It’s fair to say he’s made his athletic family and the Falcons’ athletic family very proud.

Coach Bob Strong’s comment: “Shea is built like a linebacker. I feared for the opponent anytime Shea was going in to win a 50/50 opportunity because of his sheer strength and size. Yet, it was his finesse and skill that ultimately made him such a dominant midfielder. It’s rare in high school sports to find an athlete who is both physically and mentally dominant. Shea is an exception. His versatility on both sides of the ball made him so valuable to us. To top it off, he could score goals when it mattered. One of his most impressive attributes is his ability to track balls in the air. Whether in our defensive third or our offensive third, we relied on Shea to challenge and win balls in the air.”

Prior winners:

2017 Ethan Sclar (golf)

2016 Josh Burke (football)

2015 Chandler Vincent (cross country)

2014 Chandler Vincent (cross country)

2013 Ben MacMillan (football)

2012 Dan Burke (football)

2011 Jack Dawe (soccer)

2010 James Purdy (football)

2009 Miguel Beckles (football)

2008 Cody Bartlett (soccer)

2007 Jon Klages (football)

2006 Luke Charest (soccer)

2005 Elliott Townsend (soccer)

2004 Jeff Smith (soccer)

2003 Josh Zolla (cross country)

2002 Chris Vigliotta (soccer)

2001 Scott Newell (golf)

FEMALE:

ALEXA KOENIG, Senior-Field hockey

  • Miss Maine Field Hockey finalist

  • All-state

  • WMC all-star, first-team

  • WMC Class B Player of the Year

  • WMC All-Academic team

  • Captain

Koenig can stake her claim as the finest player in the history of the Freeport field hockey program after capping her stellar career with a transcendent senior season, one which helped the Falcons reach the regional final and left her on the short list for the state’s most prestigious award.

Koenig, who was also named Freeport Fall and Spring Female Athlete of the Year as a sophomore, has been a four-year varsity contributor to a Falcons’ team that got better each of her seasons. Koenig arrived with a flourish, scoring nine goals and adding four assists as a freshman. She had three goals and four assists as a sophomore, making the all-conference team in the process, then made the all-state for the first time as a junior, after scoring five goals and adding seven assists.

This fall, she literally did it all, putting on a ball-handling clinic, serving as the flyer on opposing penalty corners, setting the tone in the midfield and putting the ball in the cage, especially in clutch spots. Koenig wound up with 13 goals and seven assists, giving her 30 goals and 22 assists for her career.

Highlights included a first half hat trick in a win over Cape Elizabeth, a goal and three assists in a thrilling win over defending Class C champion St. Dom’s, a goal and an assist in a victory over Gray-New Gloucester and two goals in a regular season-ending win over Greely.

And her best was yet to come.

Freeport earned the No. 3 seed for the Class B South playoffs, but trailed sixth-ranked Poland, 2-0, at halftime. The Falcons would rally to tie it, then Koenig scored with 2:27 remaining to allow Freeport to advance to the semifinals. There, she scored a dramatic overtime goal to produce a win at Fryeburg Academy. That proved to be Koenig’s final high school goal as the Falcons dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to York in the regional final.

“It was really amazing,” Koenig said. “The amount of respect we earned was inspiring. It was cool to be a part of it. I’m really grateful. Field hockey is so much fun. I’ve played with the other seniors for six years. The program was super-supportive.”

Koenig, who has played with the Maine Styx travel program for six years, also plays third base on the softball team and is a member of National Honor Society. She’ll next play at the University of New England, where she plans to study biology.

Alexa Koenig, Freeport’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, was a unique talent who got better the bigger the stakes. She’ll long be hailed for her contributions to the Falcons’ program.

Coach Marcia Wood’s comment: “Alexa had a breakout season. At times, the other coaches and I would just be in awe watching her move down the field with the ball. Some of the moves we’ve seen out of her are some I haven’t seen in my coaching career. Her defensive skills are amazing too. She’d steal the ball cleanly away. On top of it all, Alexa is humble and is a great sport. She’s always complimenting players from the other team. It’s been a pure joy watching her grow and take charge in field hockey. She’s an all-around fantastic kid.”

Prior winners:

2017 Lily Horne (cross country)

2016 Alexa Koenig (field hockey)

2015 Morgan Karnes (field hockey)

2014 Abby Smith (field hockey)

2013 Livvy Dimick (soccer)

2012 Jocelyn Davee (soccer)

2011 Kayla Thurlow (field hockey)

2010 Lauren Easler (cross country)

2009 Hannah Schuchert (field hockey)

2008 Molly Susla (cross country)

2007 Hannah Schuchert (field hockey)

2006 Molly Susla (cross country)

2005 Kelsey Nichols (cross country)

2004 Lucy Garrec (cross country)

2003 Dani O’Rourke-Suchoff (cross country)

2002 Michelle Peters (field hockey)

2001 Amy Morejon (soccer)

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

Wagner

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