Greely Rangers Winter Athletes of the Year

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2012-13 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:

NICK VOGEL, Senior-Wrestling


· Class A state champion, 160 pounds

· Team captain

Greely High School is synonymous with excellence in a lot of sports, but until this winter, wrestling wasn’t one of them. That all changed as Vogel made his classmates and others sit up and take notice as he eclipsed the 100 career victory plateau and even better, went on to win a state championship.

Vogel started wrestling in seventh grade and since Greely didn’t offer the sport, he joined the Windham team, showing his commitment by commuting every day. He qualified for states and placed fourth as both a freshman and a sophomore and was second at regionals at 145 pounds as a junior.

This winter, Vogel moved up to 160 pounds and quickly made an impact when he won his 100th career match in late December. He went on to win a regional championship, then beat Marshwood’s Terrence O’Brien, 4-2, to take the Class A crown, becoming the first Greely wrestler to win a state title since Chris Lockman (who trained with Portland) back in 2000.

“Wrestling teaches you pain you can withstand,” said Vogel, who won 36 matches as a senior and 124 during his high school career. “How to bring up your intensity and overcome fatigue.”

Vogel, who also played football at Greely, credits his internal drive and support from his parents for his success.

He helps coach the Windham Middle School squad, plans to take a PG year, then hopes to wrestle in college.

He might even have a team on which he can officially compete, but it won’t matter. Whatever the circumstances, Nick Vogel is tremendous on the mat.

Windham coach Kurt Pelletier’s comment: “Nick is a very dedicated and a driven wrestler. He puts in the extra time to become a champion. The wrestling season just fine tunes your moves and gets you into shape. Champions are made outside the wrestling season and Nick is true champion. Being a committed, motivated and respected wrestler earned him a captain’s spot on the team. Nick is a coach’s dream. His Windham teammates really looked up to him as a great leader and role model. We never saw Nick as ‘the kid from Greely.’ The only difference was when Nick stepped on the mat he was wearing a different uniform. He was and always will be a big part of the Windham wrestling program.”

2011-12 winner: Dan Spencer (Swimming)

2010-11 winner: Dan Spencer (Swimming)

2009-10 winner: Mark McCauley (Indoor track)

2008-09 winner: Kevin Hart (Hockey)

2007-08 winner: Nathan Mecray (Swimming)

2006-07 winner: Nathan Mecray (Swimming)

2005-06 winner: Drew Bowden (Hockey)

2004-05 winner: Ben Knowles (Skiing)

2003-04 winner: Kerry Burke (Indoor track)

2002-03 winner: John Loren (Indoor track)

2001-02 winner: Tim Apuzzo (Basketball)

2012-13 Winter Female Athlete of the Year:



· Female Swimmer of the Class B state meet

· Class B state champion, 200 IM

· Class B state champion, 100 backstroke

· Class B state champion, 200 medley relay

· All-State team, IM

· All-State team, backstroke

· All-State team, medley relay

· All-State team, 400 freestyle relay

· All-Conference team, IM

· All-Conference team, backstroke

· All-Conference team, medley relay

· All-Conference team, 400 free relay

Easterling will graduate as one of the finest swimmers the state of Maine has ever produced. Period. As expected, she had an absolutely dazzling senior season and earned Winter Female Athlete of the Year honors for the third time in four years.

Easterling was born in New Orleans and came to Cumberland in grade school. She started swimming at eight and by the time she entered high school was primed to steal headlines. As a freshman, she won the 100 backstroke and the 200 individual medley, setting new state records in the process, as Greely won the Class B title. The next winter, Easterling repeated as state champ in both events, helped the 400 relay squad to a title and wound up winning the New England championship in the IM and backstroke. Last year, Easterling again won the IM and backstroke, re-set school records in the process and helped Greely take the team championship.

Prior to this year, she committed to the University of Arkansas, then finished her high school career in style, winning two more Class B titles (IM and backstroke) and being named female Performer of the Meet one final time.

Easterling will graduate holding six of eight individual school records and was a member of all three relay school record setting teams. She has six pool records, two state records and two state meet records. Her dominance was unquestionable.

Easterling, who also swims with the Westbrook Seals club team, downplayed her ability and gave credit to everyone else for her success.

“I had great coaches, teammates and parents,” said Easterling.

Easterling will be a force in Division I college swimming, but it’s fair to say her legend at Greely will never be forgotten, regardless of what wonderful things she does in the future. She was a champion, a true sportsman and was simply exceptional in every way.

Coach Rob Hale’s comment: “Sarah isn’t successful because she has a big ego. She doesn’t go to the starting block thinking no one can beat her. Just the opposite, she has a little bit of doubt and gets nervous. Just because her last 100 races went very well doesn’t guarantee this race will go well. She races scared. A few minutes before the race, she gets an ‘eye of the tiger’ look and then she’s money. She only lost one race in four years and that was in a regular season dual meet asked her to swim her weakest event. I know that’s an oxymoron, ‘Sarah and weakest event’ in the same sentence. She leaves as the best female swimmer in Greely history and it could be argued the best swimmer, male or female. We won’t replace her anytime soon as a swimmer and we’ll never replace her as a teammate or person. They don’t come any better. She made me a better coach. She was the face of our program.”

2011-12 winner: Emma Seymour (Hockey)

2010-11 winner: Sarah Easterling (Swimming)

2009-10 winner: Sarah Easterling (Swimming)

2008-09 winner: Sara Schad (Swimming)

2007-08 winner: Becky O’Brien (Indoor track)

2006-07 winner: Dani Cyr (Hockey)

2005-06 winner: Becky O’Brien (Indoor track)

2004-05 winner: Rebecca Furey (Indoor track)

2003-04 winner: Steph Ginn (Basketball)

2002-03 winner: Abby Chapman (Indoor track)

2001-02 winner: Mandy Bowden (Skiing)

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

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