Greely Rangers Spring Athletes of the Year

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Spring 2011 Male Athlete of the Year:

MIKE LEEMAN, Junior—Baseball

* WMC Class B All-Star, first-team

* Underclass All-Star

The 2010 season was frustrating for Mike Leeman and his teammates. Leeman was hampered by injury and Greely was ousted in the semifinals.

This spring, Leeman was healthy and the Rangers were back to their triumphant form.

Leeman was his team’s unquestioned ace from the opener right through the state final and while Greely fell a run short, it was a season to remember.

For being resilient, committed to his craft and so good in the clutch, Mike Leeman earns The Forecaster’s nod as Greely’s Spring 2011 Male Athlete of the Year.

Leeman grew up in Cumberland and started pitching in Little League. He came to the Greely varsity midway through his freshman season and was limited his sophomore year by an ankle injury.

This spring, however, Leeman was 100 percent and the rest of the league tried in futile fashion to hit him.

He threw six shutout innings (fanning 11, while allowing only two hits) in a season-opening win over Gray-New Gloucester, where he also singled, doubled, scored twice and drove in a pair of runs. He threw a two-hitter to beat York, drove in a run and earned a victory versus Falmouth, scored a run, drove in another and got the win against Yarmouth and dazzled in a one-hit, 10-strikeout victory over Falmouth.

In the playoffs, Leeman doubled and scored a run in a quarterfinal round victory over Maranacook, earned the win in relief in a come-from-behind triumph over Falmouth in the semis, then took a no-hitter into the sixth before holding off Yarmouth in the regional final (he also scored twice and drove in a run in that one). Leeman got the call in the state final versus Waterville and allowed only five hits and a single run, but Greely couldn’t score and the season ended in agonizing fashion.

“We knew we’d be good this year,” Leeman said. “Next year, we’ll be even better.”

For the year, Leeman went 7-2 with a 1.20 earned run average. He only allowed 21 hits in 44.2 innings, fanning 56 hitters while only walking 17. Offensively, Leeman had 13 hits, scored 15 times and drove in 11 runs.

Leeman has also taken part in Junior Legion ball and a showcase league and plays at Frozen Ropes in the winter. He’s the quarterback on the football team in the fall and has a burning desire to play baseball, his number one sport, in college.

That’s one dream that is very likely to become a reality. Mike Leeman, Greely’s Spring 2011 Male Athlete of the Year, has shown he can overcome any obstacle with his sheer talent and heart.

Coach Derek Soule’s comment: “”I couldn’t be more proud of Mike this year. No one worked harder in the winter, in terms of conditioning. He was fired up. He was locked in all year, hitting his spots. He’s an emotional kid. Sometimes his emotions fuel him.”

2010 winner: Mark McCauley (Track)

2009 winner: Sam Stauber (Baseball)

2008 winner: Eric Thompson (Lacrosse)

2007 winner: Caleb Jordan (Baseball)

2006 winner: Sam Green (Baseball)

2005 winner: Chris Martin (Baseball)

2004 winner: Ben True (Track)

2003 winner: Ryan Copp (Baseball)

2002 winner: Brent Lemieux (Baseball)

Spring 2011 Female Athlete of the Year:

KATHERINE HARRINGTON, Senior—Track

* Class B state champion, discus

* WMC All-Star, first-team

* WMC All-Academic team

When Katherine Harrington was a freshman, she watched in awe and admiration as senior teammate Becky O’Brien completed her nonpareil high school career by winning three individual state titles, setting records in the discus and shot put in the process.

Harrington then followed O’Brien and continued the Greely throwing legacy, learning from O’Brien’s father, throwing coach Dennis, setting out to make her own mark.

Suffice it to say, she did just that.

This past spring, Harrington capped her high school career with a state title of her own and she’ll follow in O’Brien’s footsteps and compete at the next level.

For accepting the challenge, capping her career in style and for being such a well-rounded student-athlete, Katherine Harrington is The Forecaster’s choice for Greely’s Spring 2011 Female Athlete of the Year.

Harrington started track in the eighth grade as a hurdler before trying throwing, where she found her niche. She rode her natural ability, the lessons she learned from Becky and Dennis O’Brien and hard work training at Planet Fitness and on her own into a very triumphant career.

Harrington was part of the Greely powerhouse volleyball team in the fall and in the winter and spring was devoted to track, where she worked her way up the standings. As a freshman, Harrington came in fifth in the discus and 15th in the shot put outdoors. The next year, she moved up to second in the discus and seventh in the shot. As a junior, Harrington won the discus and was sixth in the shot. This spring was more of the same and she was at her best on the biggest stage.

In the Western Maine Conference championship meet, Harrington won the discus with a throw of 107 feet, 3 inches and placed fifth in the shot put. At the Class B state meet, where Greely placed fourth, Harrington again won the discus (106-2) and moved up to fourth in the shot put. She went on to compete at New Englands, where she threw 18th in the discus.

Harrington is a member of National Honor Society, French honor society and arts alliance. She’ll matriculate at the University of Vermont in the fall and plans to compete in track and study electrical engineering.

She certainly did her best to continue the school’s throwing excellence and made her own mark in a storied program. Katherine Harrington, Greely’s Spring 2011 Female Athlete of the Year, bowed out in style.

Coach John Folan’s comment: “Katherine is a neat story. When she was a freshman, she just latched on to Becky O’Brien in so many ways. In addition to becoming friends, she watched Becky’s work ethic and emulated all the things Becky did. Katherine was committed to her work, is a fierce competitor and always seeks technical perfection. She competed against a lot of women bigger and stronger than she, but not more technically adept. As a result, she usually defeated them. As a leader, she was alternately quiet or vocal, depending on what the situation required. She’ll be missed as a role model, leader, and competitor.”

2010 winner: Marika Stayte (Softball)

2009 winner: Liza LePage (Track)

2008 winner: Kate Otley (Lacrosse)

2007 winner: Becky O’Brien (Track)

2006 winner: Lauren Kinney (Tennis)

2005 winner: Molly Hamel (Lacrosse)

2004 winner: Kate Mason (Track)

2003 winner: Sara Dimick (Lacrosse)

2002 winner: Sarah Bennis (Softball)

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