Greely Rangers Spring Athletes of the Year

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Currier

Will Neleski

Male:

WILL NELESKI, Junior-Baseball

  • WMC all-star, Class B, first-team

  • Underclass All-Star

Neleski came up big with the bat and on the mound as he led the Rangers on a spirited run to the regional final.

Neleski started playing baseball at a very young age and began pitching at the age of seven.

“Baseball has always been my top sport,” Neleski said. “My Dad likes it a lot and taught me how to play ‘Home Run Derby’ in the backyard.

Neleski, who also plays football and basketball at Greely, joined the varsity baseball team at the end of his freshman year (going 1-0 in two starts, striking out 10 in 11.2 innings) and as a sophomore, he made his mark with his bat, driving in 15 runs.

This spring, Neleski did a little of everything, hitting .458 with a .541 on-base percentage, producing 27 hits, 12 RBI, 12 runs and never striking out. On the mound, he went a misleading 3-3 (suffering some tough-luck losses and no-decisions) with a 2.80 earned run average.

Neleski started the year allowing just one hit in eight innings against Cape Elizabeth, but the Capers won in 13 innings. Neleski also had two singles and a double in that game. Neleski had a single and double in a win over Wells, two hits in an extra inning victory over Lake Region, doubled twice in a loss to Yarmouth, threw a three-hit shutout with nine strikeouts against Lincoln Academy, went the distance in a win over Cape Elizabeth and doubled in a victory over Lake Region.

Greely then made a surprising run to the regional final, as Neleski went the distance, fanning seven, in a quarterfinal round win over Gray-New Gloucester and had two hits, two RBI and scored three times in a semifinal round victory at Cape Elizabeth. The Rangers lost to Wells in the regional final, but went further than most expected.

“It was a fun season,” said Neleski. “We had good leaders and our coaches were into it. We believed and we almost reached our goal. I liked being the ace. We’re a good hitting team and I know if we score runs, we’ll win. I’m competitive and I like to give my all.”

Neleski, who volunteers and coaches Little Leaguers, is spending the summer playing American Legion ball and in the Wooden Bat league. He wants to win a state title as a senior and hopes to play in college.

Will Neleski, Greely’s Spring Male Athlete of the Year, used his myriad skills to help the Rangers go on a deep playoff run. His best is still to come.

Coach Derek Soule’s comment: “Will made hitting a baseball look easy this year. He dominated in the batter’s box. He gave a young lineup a little swagger. He has a big personality and his energy is contagious. Our team fed off his energy and all the hard-hit balls off his bat got the team excited.”

Previous winners:

2017 Ryan Twitchell (baseball)

2016 Ryan Twitchell (baseball)

2015 Will Bryant (baseball)

2014 Connor Russell (baseball)

2013 Bailey Train (baseball)

2012 Jonah Normandeau (baseball)

2011 Mike Leeman (baseball)

2010 Mark McCauley (track)

2009 Sam Stauber (baseball)

2008 Eric Thompson (lacrosse)

2007 Caleb Jordan (baseball)

2006 Sam Green (baseball)

2005 Chris Martin (baseball)

2004 Ben True (track)

2003 Ryan Copp (baseball)

2002 Brent Lemieux (baseball)

Female:

KELSEY CURRIER, Senior-Softball

  • WMC all-star, Class B, first-team

  • WMC All-Academic

  • Senior All-Star

Currier long ago proved she was capable of carrying her team, but this spring, she demonstrated broad shoulders and nerves of steel as she led the Rangers further than anyone dreamed was possible.

Currier was drawn to softball at a young age and after going 5-1 as a freshman, won 15 games as a sophomore with a 1.2 earned run average, as she was named Greely Spring Female Athlete of the Year. Currier made the all-star team as a junior as well and throughout, boasted a potent bat as well as a dominant right arm.

This spring, in her final season, Currier put Greely on her back and incredible things resulted. Currier won 13 games, fanning 181 batters while walking just 33 in 145.1 innings. At the plate, she hit .508 with 31 hits, including 10 doubles and two home runs. She also drove in 10 runs and scored 22.

Currier threw a two-hitter and homered in a win over Cape Elizabeth, had two hits in a victory over Gray-New Gloucester, had two hits and struck out a dozen in a win over Yarmouth, threw a one-hitter and doubled twice in a victory over Freeport, doubled and singled in a win over Lake Region and fanned 10 in a loss to Poland.

That setback was the second of five straight which dropped the Rangers to 5-7, but they embarked on an eight-game win streak with Currier producing a dominant stretch.

Currier struck out seven in a win over Lincoln Academy, doubled, scored the winning run and fanned 10 in a victory over Wells, singled, homered and earned the win against Cape Elizabeth and singled, doubled and earned the win in the regular season finale against Lake Region.

The playoffs were more of the same, as Currier struck out seven in a preliminary round win over Spruce Mountain, struck out nine and had three hits and three RBI in a quarterfinal round upset victory at Fryeburg Academy, threw a two-hitter in a 1-0 win over Gray-New Gloucester in the semifinals, then sparkled in a 1-0 victory over Morse in the regional final, throwing a one-hitter, fanning nine. Greely finally found itself on the wrong end of a 1-0 decision, to Brewer, in the state final, but Currier nearly led the Rangers to another triumph.

“It was a thrill to play in a state game,” Currier said. “We had our opportunities. It was amazing to make it that far. We started to jell more toward the end. I’ve been in big situations so many times. The crowd fueled our energy.”

Currier also played volleyball, soccer and basketball at Greely and was a member of French Honor Society. She’ll attend Thomas College in Waterville next year, where she’ll continue turning heads on the diamond.

Kelsey Currier, Greely’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year, will be remembered as one of the finest players in program history and she absolutely saved her best for last.

Coach Rob Hale’s comment: “Kelsey was our lighthouse. She was always there for us. We knew there were going to be growing pains this season. There were innings where we looked like the ‘Bad News Bears,’ but when the infield dust and fog cleared, there was Kelsey standing on the mound ready to pitch us out of a jam. She was patient and calming to a young inexperienced team. Never showing frustration or anger towards her teammates when they would make miscues. She encouraged and shared her passion and knowledge with them. She leaves our program as one of the all-time greats, but I will remember her as an amazing teammate. She is a humble, wonderful young lady that I was lucky enough to coach.”

Previous winners:

2017 Kathryn Paré (tennis)

2016 Kelsey Currier (softball)

2015 Alyssa Coyne (track)

2014 Kirstin Sandreuter (track)

2013 Danielle Cimino (softball)

2012 Audrey Parolin (lacrosse)

2011 Katherine Harrington (track)

2010 Marika Stayte (softball)

2009 Liza LePage (track)

2008 Kate Otley (lacrosse)

2007 Becky O’Brien (track)

2006 Lauren Kinney (tennis)

2005 Molly Hamel (lacrosse)

2004 Kate Mason (track)

2003 Sara Dimick (lacrosse)

2002 Sarah Bennis (softball)

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

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Kelsey Currier

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