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Scarborough Red Storm Spring Athletes of the Year

Sports

Scarborough Red Storm Spring Athletes of the Year

MALE

JOHN WHEELER, Senior-Lacrosse

  • All-American

  • Bob Scott Award winner
  • Scarborough High School Male Athlete of the Year
  • SMAA all-star, first-team, attack
  • Senior all-star
  • Captain

A goal scorer without peer, Wheeler was also the consummate teammate and team leader and he graduates as the rare player to have won championships in each of his four seasons.

Wheeler was born in the lacrosse hotbed of Maryland and grew up in Scarborough, rapidly becoming a star. He joined the varsity team as a freshman, emerged as a top scoring threat and helped the Red Storm win the Class A state title. He did it again as a sophomore and as a junior.

This season, Wheeler, who also played football, soccer and basketball at Scarborough, put on a show from start to finish.

He scored twice and had five assists in a season-opening victory over Westbrook, scored three times versus Bonny Eagle, had three goals and assisted on two others (including the winner late in regulation) against South Portland, had three goals in Scarborough's lone loss (vs. NYA), scored five times apiece against Deering and Portland, had six goals and five assists against Gorham, two goals versus Kennebunk, six in a first-ever win over Class B power Yarmouth, five against Marshwood and six more versus Thornton Academy.

In the playoffs, Wheeler scored two goals and added five assists in a semifinal round win over Marshwood, added five (with two assists) in a regional final victory over Kennebunk, then capped his high school career with four goals and three assists in a surprisingly easy win over Cheverus in the state game.

"I'm very competitive," Wheeler said. "To end every year with a win was great. I've had great coaches."

Wheeler finished with 57 goals, 30 assists and 58 ground balls this spring. He wound up with a dazzling 191 goals and 119 assists for his career.

Wheeler was a two-time All-American selection, a three-time SMAA first-team all-star, the winner of the US Lacrosse Bob Scott Award as a person who shows tremendous passion for the game and was also named his school's premier male athlete this school year.

Wheeler is playing in a men's league and for the Maineiax premier team this summer. He also took part in mock trial.

Wheeler will take his act to Bentley (Mass.) University, a Division II school, next year. He plans to study business.

His business in high school was dominance on the lacrosse field. John Wheeler, Scarborough's Spring Male Athlete of the Year, set a standard that might never be equaled and he did it with class and style.

Coach Joe Hezlep's comment: "John is the kind of kid every coach wants to have on his team. Before and after practice, he's a great friend to his teammates, treats his elders with respect and does extremely well in the classroom. He's a fierce competitor who hates losing. He's worked extremely hard to make sure he shows up to practice every day better than he was the day before. We strive to not only be good lacrosse players, but also good people and John's set a tremendous example on how to do both at the highest level. The legacy he leaves on the lacrosse field and to this school was, 'Through hard work and commitment, try to be a better person today than you were yesterday.' That is what will echo the longest."

Previous winners:

2012: Ben Wessel (baseball)

2011: Ben Wessel (baseball)

2010: Nick Neugebauer (lacrosse)

2009: Chris Bernard (baseball)

2008: Ryan Hunt (lacrosse)

2007: Phil Lambert (lacrosse)

2006: Bryan Macphie (lacrosse)

2005: David Hamilton (lacrosse)

2004: David Hamilton (lacrosse)

2003: Adam Mumm (track)

2002: Keith Corey (track)

FEMALE

MARISA O'TOOLE, Senior-Softball

  • SMAA all-star, second-team

  • SMAA All-Academic team

  • Senior All-Star

  • Maine vs. New Hampshire Senior All-Star

  • Captain

When Scarborough needed a spark this championship season, O'Toole delivered. Whether it was a bunt hit to start a rally, a booming home run to turn around a regional final, or another blast to set the tone in the state game, this standout was always at her best in the biggest moments.

O'Toole grew up in Scarborough and first took to the diamond in T-ball. By high school, she was good enough to make the varsity as a freshman (playing second base). O'Toole played second base and shortstop as a sophomore and second base exclusively as a junior and senior.

While also competing in cross country and basketball, O'Toole did her best work in the spring and the 2013 campaign was her crown jewel.

O'Toole, who hit second in the order as a junior, was moved to the leadoff spot and did she ever provide a ton of sparks.

Scarborough opened with a decisive victory at rival South Portland, avenging a playoff loss, as O'Toole singled, tripled, scored three runs, had three RBI and stole a base. She homered, singled twice and drove in five runs versus Gorham, had a pair of hits and scored a run in a come-from-behind victory over Thornton Academy, had three hits versus Noble, two hits against Massabesic, a two-run triple versus Kennebunk, three hits, including a pair of home runs, while driving in three runs against Marshwood, doubled in a pair in a win over Windham and had four hits, four RBI and scored twice in a regular season-ending triumph over Westbrook.

As impressive as she was in April and May, her June performance was the stuff of legend.

In the quarterfinals, Scarborough was six outs from elimination at the hands of unheralded No. 9 Marshwood, but O'Toole led off the sixth with a bunt single and came around to score and that spearheaded a five-run rally that allowed the Red Storm to advance. After helping Scarborough dominate Thornton Academy in the semifinals with her defense, O'Toole returned to the hero role at the plate in the regional final versus surprising Sanford, tying the game with a two-run fifth inning home run (Scarborough went on to prevail, 5-2). In the state final versus Skowhegan, O'Toole led off with a home run, added a two-run triple to the opposite field and the Red Storm never looked back, taking the championship, 9-3.

Through it all, O'Toole was just as crucial in her role as team leader as she was on the field.

"I'm ecstatic about the season," O'Toole said. "I saw our potential manifest itself into a championship. We had our ups and downs, but we pushed through."

For the season, O'Toole hit .426, scored 31 runs, drove in 31 more, homered five times and was superb with the glove as well.

O'Toole also plays ASA softball for the Southern Maine Smashers, took part in mock trial, is a member of the Alzheimer's Awareness Club and enjoys coaching younger players. She plans to attend and play at Bowdoin College next year. She hopes to study something in fields of government, politics and/or law.

She certainly laid down the law on the diamond during a championship run. Marisa O'Toole, Scarborough's Spring Female Athlete of the Year, had some of the biggest swings in a proud program's storied history and ensured she won't soon be forgotten.

Coach Tom Griffin's comment: “Marisa has been a clutch player all her life. She rises to the occasion. She knows how to play at big times. She's so confident. She always makes contact. It was nice to see her get to showcase her abilities in the playoffs. She was the catalyst for our success. She came up big offensively and defensively as well.“

Previous winners:

2012: Nicole Kirk (track)

2011: Nicole Kirk (track)

2010: Heather Carrier (softball)

2009: Ellie Morin (lacrosse)

2008: Melissa Dellatorre (softball)

2007: Kelsey Griffin (softball)

2006: Lauren Hagerman (lacrosse)

2005: Camille Jania (tennis)

2004: Sarah Marchilli (softball)

2003: Chelsey Ledue (track)

2002: Jen Williams (softball)

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