Greely Rangers Fall 2010 Athletes of the Year

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FALL 2010 MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

JON HIGGINS, Senior-Football

* Campbell Conference Class B all-star, first team

Greely’s football team was one of the feel-good stories of the 2010 season. The Rangers, after a two-win campaign in 2009, weren’t expected to do anything this autumn, but the team’s players and coaches knew better.

Greely would be competitive throughout, won six games and missed the playoffs only when luck wasn’t on its side.

While the Rangers had an abundance of clutch contributors, the heart and soul of this year’s squad was senior Jon Higgins, a coach’s son who controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and helped will his team to a memorable season.

For his influence on and off the field, Jon Higgins is The Forecaster’s selection for Greely’s Fall 2010 Male Athlete of the Year.

Higgins comes from a rich football tradition. His father, David (the Greely varsity coach and our Coach of the Year this fall), played at the University of Maine. Brother David is a walk-on in Orono and brother Christopher plays for the University of New Haven. Not surprisingly, Higgins, who grew up in Cumberland, has played football for several years. Prior to his sophomore year, he was a quarterback, but after strengthening up, he moved to the line, where he would become a terror around the Campbell Conference.

Higgins was an all-star as a junior and really made his presence felt this fall.

Greely’s defense was dominant, allowing barely 10 points per game while pitching two shutouts and holding three other teams to single-digits. Higgins finished with 49 tackles and 17 assists and also recovered a pair of fumbles.

The offense let Higgins and Michael Burgess open holes and was content running the clock. Greely enjoyed a first-ever victory over York and upset defending regional champion Cape Elizabeth in overtime. The Rangers had a chance to lock up a playoff berth in the final game, but surrendered a late touchdown to rival Falmouth and lost, 15-14. That left the Rangers, Yachtsmen and Cape Elizabeth all tied at 6-3 with only two playoff spots available. An ensuing coin toss sent the Capers and Falmouth to the playoffs and Greely home, but the Rangers were as deserving as anyone of playing on.

“We didn’t like losing,” Higgins said. “We got a lot of guys in the weight room and worked hard.”

Higgins also swims in the winter (his spring points helped Greely win a Class B championship a year ago) and competes in the 100 and javelin in outdoor track in the spring. He’s the reigning Class B champ in the javelin.

Higgins plans on attending Bridgton Academy for a gap year and is hoping to be able to follow in his father’s and brothers’ footsteps and play in college. He’s uncertain about what he wants to study.

There’s no uncertainty about what he’s meant on the gridiron. Jon Higgins, Greely’s Fall 2010 Male Athlete of the Year, helped his team create plenty of memories.

Coach David Higgins’ Comment: “Jon is a great leader. He works hard and is very enthusiastic. He gets people excited to play. He brings a great work ethic to the team. He’s a strong kid. He’s a sideline to sideline kid. We were fortunate to have him. We’ll miss him.”

2009 winner: Logan Price (Cross country)

2008 winner: Steven Chase (Soccer)

2007 winner: James LePage (Cross country)

2006 winner: Oliver Blum (Soccer)

2005 winner: Greg Frost (Soccer)

2004 winner: Casey Diehl (Cross country)

2003 winner: Will Robinson (Golf)

2002 winner: Ben True (Cross country)

2001 winner: Ben True (Cross country)

FALL 2010 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

KIRSTIN SANDREUTER, Freshman-Cross country

* All-State, honorable mention

* WMC All-Star, first team

There haven’t been many runners who enjoyed a better freshman campaign than Kirstin Sandreuter did this fall.

Sandreuter was a breakout star from the get-go and despite competing against some of the best runners in the state, dazzled throughout and capped her season by making it to the New England championships.

Her devotion to the sport resulted in dominance and her future’s even brighter. With that in mind, Kirstin Sandreuter is The Forecaster’s choice for Greely’s Fall 2010 Female Athlete of the Year.

Sandreuter grew up in North Yarmouth and got into cross country to follow in the footsteps of her brother, Stefan, a junior, who was one of the boys’ team’s top runners this season. She started a summer track program at the age of six and after a successful stint in middle school, brought her show to high school and made an immediate splash.

Sandreuter’s first outing was a five-team meet at Fryeburg and she wound up posting the second-best time. She was runner-up again the next week, which was far more impressive considering she held off several members of the Cape Elizabeth juggernaut in the process. She had her first victory the next time out and would place fourth at the Southwest Classic, runner-up at the Western Maine Conference championships and turned heads at regionals (finishing second to Maranacook standout Abby Mace) and states (fifth overall, second for scoring purposes, while achieving her goal of finishing in under 20 minutes, besting it by nearly 15 seconds). Sandreuter’s state showing earned her a trip to New Englands, where she came 136th.

“I wasn’t really expecting (such a good season),” Sandreuter said. “Coming in second in my first race made me more motivated. There was a lot of good competition.”

Sandreuter plans to run distance in both indoor and outdoor track. She hopes to eventually compete at the Foot Locker nationals and has the goal of running in college.

With one season in the books, it appears as if Kirstin Sandreuter, Greely’s Fall 2010 Female Athlete of the Year, can achieve anything. Keep an eye on this young standout. Her star will only get brighter.

Coach David Dowling’s Comment: “Kirstin had a tremendous season, and although only a freshman, raced like a seasoned veteran. She prepared by running her summer miles and was in excellent shape at the start of the season. With each race, she became stronger and faster. Her determination was evident as she ran with the lead pack in the major races at the end of the season. Over the duration of the season, she dropped her 5K time by 1:15. Her dedication to the sport was inspirational to her teammates and helped them qualify for the state meet. Kirstin is a friendly, easy-going student-athlete who is humble and supportive of others, including competitors. She has smile for everyone and is a pleasure to coach.”

2009 winner: Erin Cadigan (Volleyball)

2008 winner: Hillary Cederna (Volleyball)

2007 winner: Mackenzie Ross (Field hockey)

2006 winner: Aly Robinson (Soccer)

2005 winner: Amanda Gray (Volleyball)

2004 winner: Rachelle Doucette (Soccer)

2003 winner: Hayly Ross (Field hockey)

2002 winner: Kim Alexander (Soccer)

2001 winner: Amanda Chase (Field hockey)

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