Freeport Falcons Fall Athletes of the Year

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MALE:

CHANDLER VINCENT, Junior-Cross country

  • All-state, first-team

  • Booster’s Pride and Character Award winner

  • WMC all-star, first-team

Vincent and his teammates made history this fall and his consistent performance led the way.

Vincent grew up in Pownal and followed in his father Todd’s footsteps as a runner. Vincent played football and lacrosse in middle school, but has been a cross country stalwart in high school, despite being injured his freshman season.

As a sophomore, Vincent came in 10th at the state meet and qualified for New Englands and this fall, he turned heads even more.

Vincent was third at a season-opening meet at NYA and never looked back. He was runner-up the next week at Cape Elizabeth, was first individually in a home meet versus Merriconeag, Poland and York, won a home race against Fryeburg, Greely and NYA and came in sixth at the Manchester (New Hampshire) Invitational.

Vincent continued to impress in the postseason. At the Western Maine Championship meet, he came in seventh combined and fifth in Division I. At the regional championships, Vincent placed fifth as the Falcons came in fourth as a team. The following week, Freeport won Class B for the first time, sparked by an individual runner-up performance from Vincent.

“We knew we had a chance,” Vincent said, of winning states. “Everyone pulled through. I just tried to help the team and be the best I could be.”

Vincent capped his season at New Englands, where he was 63rd for scoring purposes.

Vincent, who also runs distance in indoor and outdoor track (he was runner-up in the Class B two-mile last spring) belongs to Freeport’s Tech Team, RSVP (Reducing Sexism and Violence) and is on the verge of becoming an Eagle Scout. He hopes to run a sub-16 minute race next fall and help the Falcons repeat as state champions while winning an individual title of his own. Then, he hopes to run in college, where he plans to study physical therapy.

As well as the 2014 season went, his future is even brighter. Chandler Vincent, Freeport’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, is a champion on and off the trails.

Coach Brian Berkemeyer’s comment:Chandler deserves a lot of credit for the team being state champs. He has always had a lot of innate talent, but this season, he’s taken it beyond himself. It’s through his encouragement and effort that the team has risen to the next level. He has a very strong work ethic and is determined to be his best. I’m very proud of how he’s developing into a mature runner as well as a fine young man.”

Prior winners:

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:

ABBY SMITH, Senior-Field hockey

  • All-State

  • WMC all-star, first-team

  • Captain

Smith played a key role on a Falcons team that for a time this fall was one of the best in Western Class B.

Smith grew up in Pownal and started playing field hockey in middle school. At first, it wasn’t a great fit.

“I hated (field hockey) at first,” Smith said. “Then I went to camps and stuck with it. Now, it’s my top sport.”

Smith has been a starter on the varsity team since her freshman season.

Smith scored just one goal this fall (against Old Orchard Beach) and assisted on another, but that doesn’t remotely tell the story of her influence on a team which started the year 7-3. The center-mid made an impact from end of the field to the other, stopping the attack of the opposition and using her ability to elude defenders and pass to start a transition.

Just as important, Smith’s leadership was crucial on a squad that was coming of age. Freeport went 0-3-1 down the stretch and was eliminated by Leavitt in the quarterfinals, but the squad did accomplish a lot and Smith deserves kudos for getting the Falcons so far.

“We just peaked a little early,” Smith said. “But I’m so proud of the team. We worked hard.”

Smith was named all-conference and to the all-state team for her efforts this fall.

Smith has also played softball and tennis in high school and plans to Nordic ski this winter. She’s a member of Student Council, Mock Trial, Model UN and National Honor Society.

“I’m very self-driven,” Smith said. “Not just in athletics, but in life. I really push myself.”

While Smith said she’d like to play field hockey in college, it’s not her first priority. She hopes to go to college in California, study English and environmental studies and go on to study law and become an environmental lawyer.

While her future is certainly bright, Abby Smith, Freeport’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, had a senior season to remember.

Coach Marcia Wood’s comment: “Abby has precise stick skills and a drive that is near flawless. She’s quick on defense and gets her opponents to foul her. She helped grow a young, green team this year. She’s intense on the field and is encouraging to the underclassmen.”

Prior winners:

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.

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