Greely Rangers Winter Athletes of the Year

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Brown

Sullivan

Male:

ZACH BROWN, Junior—Basketball

* WMC All-Star, first-team

* Captain

Brown took his game to the next level and stepped into a leadership role this winter and he willed the Rangers to another undefeated season and a repeat state title.

Brown’s top sport was baseball for much of his life, but in middle school, he got into basketball.

“Basketball uses natural athleticism,” Brown said.

Brown saw minutes on the Greely boys’ basketball varsity as a freshman, then as a sophomore, played a key role on a 22-0 team which won the program’s first state title in nearly two decades.

After several top players graduated, the Rangers were expected to come back to the pack this season, but Brown and his teammates ensured that wouldn’t happen, thanks to a spirited effort which ultimately produced another Gold Ball.

Brown, a captain who started every game this winter, led Greely by scoring 14.6 points per game (good for seventh in the league) and producing 2.4 steals per contest (also seventh in the conference) and he was second on the squad in rebounds (5 per game), assists (3.7) and 3-point shooting (40 percent).

Highlights included 17 points and six steals in a season-opening win over Cape Elizabeth, 22 points in a victory over Wells, 27 in a narrow win over two-time defending Class AA South champion South Portland, 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in a victory over Falmouth and 19 points in a win over Brunswick and that was just in the 2017 portion of the schedule.

Once the calendar flipped, Brown had 12 points against Gray-New Gloucester, 13 against Gorham, 25 against York, 16 against Freeport, a season-high 31 points (including 16 straight in one stretch), as well as seven rebounds and five steals, at Yarmouth, 15 points against Fryeburg Academy, 16 in a win over Westbrook, which gave Greely a program-record 35th straight win and 17 points against Cape Elizabeth.

The Rangers would go on to win the title, but they had to navigate a few hurdles. In the quarterfinals, Greely pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Fryeburg Academy, as Brown had 17 points and five steals. In the semifinals, the Rangers held off rival Falmouth by two points, as Brown had six points. In a regional final win over Westbrook, Brown had 13 points and six assists. In the state game, a narrow victory over Hampden Academy, Brown finished with a team-high 16 points and added six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

“It was a good feeling to go back-to-back,” said Brown. “In the fall, a lot of us talked about going 22-0 again. We had the team to do it. People on the outside didn’t see that we were still talented, even if it was in different ways. We had a strong bond.”

As much as Brown accomplished on the floor, his leadership was equally paramount to Greely’s success.

“I’m not that vocal, but I tried to be a leader on the court,” Brown said. 

Brown, who also plays AAU basketball with the Next Level team, wants to win another championship as a senior, then he hopes to play collegiately.

Wherever he ends up, expect success to follow. Zach Brown, Greely’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year, simply knows how to win.

Coach Travis Seaver’s comment: “Zach was an instrumental part of our success this year. Zach emerged as our leader on the floor from the first game and became our most consistent player through the year. We relied on Zach to be our consistent scoring threat with the ability to score at the rim, make shots from the perimeter and to distribute the ball when needed. Zach led us in scoring and in total assists. We also asked Zach to be our defensive stopper on and off the ball. He also led us in steals and deflections and was second in total rebounds. Zach is a tremendous athlete who didn’t disappoint in a new enlarged role this year. Zach was named captain for the 2017-2018 season because of his solid play and the respect he has from his teammates. Zach had the ability to make a big offensive play or get a big defensive stop when we needed it.”

Previous winners:

2016-17 Matt McDevitt (basketball)

2015-16 Axel Lindsay (Alpine skiing)

2014-15 Kyle Kramlich (hockey)

2013-14 Jonathan Dunnett (swimming)

2012-13 Nick Vogel (wrestling)

2011-12 Dan Spencer (swimming)

2010-11 Dan Spencer (swimming)

2009-10 Mark McCauley (track)

2008-09 Kevin Hart (hockey)

2007-08 Nathan Mecray (swimming)

2006-07 Nathan Mecray (swimming)

2005-06 Drew Bowden (hockey)

2004-05 Ben Knowles (skiing)

2003-04 Kerry Burke (track)

2002-03 John Loren (track)

2001-02 Tim Apuzzo (basketball)

Female:

COURTNEY SULLIVAN, Senior—Hockey

* Becky Schaffer Award winner

* All-State

* Captain

Sullivan wasn’t just the state’s premier girls’ hockey player, she was also the most clutch, capping her transcendent career with a hat trick to cap a memorable playoff run and take Greely to the Promised Land. 

Sullivan has skated since she was old enough to walk and began playing hockey in the third grade. She’s also played soccer and lacrosse at Greely, but hockey is her favorite.

“I’m very competitive and I’ve always loved (hockey),” Sullivan said. “No other sport is like it. It’s so fast. The shifts are short. It comes down to whoever works the hardest.”

Sullivan burst on to the scene as a freshman, scoring 20 goals and earning second-team all-star mention. As a sophomore, Sullivan scored 28 goals, added 18 assists and was named All-State. Her prolific production continued as a junior, as she scored 29 times and assisted on 10 other goals. 

Sullivan came into the 2017-18 campaign eyeing 100 career goals and she would blow past that milestone en route to a fantastic campaign which ended with 45 goals (one-third of the team’s total), 24 assists and 69 total points.

Highlights included a goal and two assists in a season-opening win over Scarborough, three goals and two assists in a victory over Portland/Deering, two goals in a win over Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland, two goals and three assists in a victory over Mt. Ararat/Morse, two goals in a win over Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete, a hat trick in a victory over Winslow/Gardiner and three goals in a second win over Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland. On New Year’s Day, Sullivan rang in the new year by scoring four times, including her 100th career tally, in a win over Falmouth. She then had hat tricks in a second win over Winslow/Gardiner, a victory over Yarmouth/Freeport and a loss to St. Dom’s.

Greely was ranked third in the North Region for the playoffs, but Sullivan and her teammates embarked a stirring championship run. In a quarterfinal round victory over Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland, Sullivan scored five goals. She erupted for four goals and three assists as the Rangers ended St. Dom’s’ two-year title run in the semifinals. In the regional final against Lewiston, Sullivan had two assists in an overtime win. Then, in the state game, Sullivan had all three goals as Greely defeated Cheverus/Kennebunk, 3-1.

“It was a great way to end,” Sullivan said. “I thought we could do it. We worked so hard. The hardest working team deserves it, no matter their skill.”

Following the season, Sullivan received many honors, including the inaugural Becky Schaffer Award, as the state’s premier senior girls’ hockey player.

“It was really nice to get that award,” Sullivan said. 

Sullivan also belongs to Greely’s Student Council, Global Awareness Club and Community Service Club. She will next take her talents to Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, where she’ll play hockey and study business.

Her business on the ice was goal-scoring and winning and no one scored goals or won games quite like Courtney Sullivan, Greely’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year.

Coach Nate Guerin’s comment: “’Sully’ is a special player in a lot of ways. The first thing you notice is her size, she’s the tallest player in the state. Her reach and ability to use her body to protect the puck really stand out. She’s faster, stronger and more intense than everyone she faced off against. That combination of skills with the desire to compete, put her on a different level. She stands out as one of the best teammates any girl could ask for. When our team needed her, she was there every step of the way. Courtney is a great example of the success that can come from staying at the high school level in Maine for four years. Girls that are interested in playing hockey at the next level should realize that they do not need to go to a prep school in order to get noticed. That grass is not always greener and Courtney is a great example of the experience and success that players can have by staying at their high school. She’s one of the best all-around players I’ve seen in Maine high school girls’ hockey. We’re very proud of what’s she’s been able to do and we wish her the best at Endicott College.”

Previous winners:

2016-17 Nettie Cunningham (Alpine skiing)

2015-16 Danita Storey (hockey)

2014-15 Ashley Storey (basketball)

2013-14 Elyse Dinan (skiing)

2012-13 Sarah Easterling (swimming)

2011-12 Emma Seymour (hockey)

2010-11 Sarah Easterling (swimming)

2009-10 Sarah Easterling (swimming)

2008-09 Sara Schad (swimming)

2007-08 Becky O’Brien (track)

2006-07 Dani Cyr (hockey)

2005-06 Becky O’Brien (track)

2004-05 Rebecca Furey (track)

2003-04 Steph Ginn (basketball)

2002-03 Abby Chapman (track)

2001-02 Mandy Bowden (skiing)

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

Brown

Sullivan

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