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Cape Elizabeth Fall Athletes of the Year

Sports

Cape Elizabeth Fall Athletes of the Year

MALE:

LIAM SIMPSON, Senior—Cross country

  • Western B regional champion

  • All-State

  • WMC all-star, first-team
  • WMC All-Academic

Simpson's commitment to his craft and his teammates helped spell another memorable season for him as one of the finest individual runners around and for the Capers, who repeated as Class B state champions.

Simpson came to Cape Elizabeth from Colorado at a young age and began running in middle school. He took a serious shine to the sport entering high school and joined the varsity team as a freshman. That first year, he was 55th at the Class B state meet, but did not score. As a sophomore, Simpson came in 20th. By his junior season, the Capers were the best team in Class B and Simpson came in sixth and qualified for New Englands (where he was 17th with the 33rd best time).

This fall, Simpson proved to be one of the very best runners anywhere and he was truly at his best in the postseason. At the Western Maine Conference championship meet, Simpson came in second (16 minutes, 34 seconds) to Will Shafer of Gray-New Gloucester. At the Western B regional meet, he finished first in 16:15.92, beating Shafer in the process, running what Capers coach Derek Veilleux called, “one of the best races I've seen from an execution standpoint.”

At the state meet, Simpson came in second to Dan Curts of Ellsworth, but Cape Elizabeth took the championship.

“We knew we were the favorites, but Ellsworth was strong,” Simpson said.

Simpson capped his season at New Englands, where he came in eighth (sixth for scoring purposes), rallying back from a slow first mile.

Simpson had worked countless hours to reach the pinnacle and was rewarded.

“Running is less about talent than people think,” he said. “It's more a commitment to consistency and training.”

Simpson will now turn his attention to indoor and outdoor track. He's hoping to lower his mile and two-mile times and qualify for Nationals.

Simpson, who belongs to Model U.N., Math team, Science team and Debate, likes to hike and is hoping to run in college, where he plans to study engineering. He's looking at schools like Columbia, Cornell, MIT and Tufts.

Whichever college lands him will be very fortunate. Liam Simpson, Cape Elizabeth's Fall Male Athlete of the Year, worked at becoming elite and wound up something truly special.

Coach Derek Veilleux's comment: "Liam has been a big part of our success. He's led by example, has always been willing to do whatever it took to get to the next level. No one works as hard as Liam. He had the success he did this fall because he put in the work for the entire year. He had the mental toughness and confidence to push himself to a new level. He motivated his teammates to be better every day. When he stepped to the line, it was full confidence and that rubbed off. Some college is getting a special athlete. He has all the tools to succeed at the next level. He'll only get faster."

Prior winners:

2012: Reese McFarlane (Golf)

2011: Tim Lavallee (Soccer)

2010: Jack Queeney (Soccer)

2009; Ezra Wolfinger (Football)

2008: Nate Lavallee (Football)

2007: Jim Bump (Football)

2006: Graham Egan (Cross country)

2005: Mike Kertes (Football)

2004: Ron Kelton (Golf)

2003: Elliot Cohen (Football)

2002: David Croft (Soccer)

2001: Jeff Hodge (Soccer)

FEMALE:

KATE BREED, Sophomore-Soccer

There aren't many athletes who willingly embrace the pressure with a championship on the line, but Breed wasn't just any player during the Capers' title run. She scored a series of clutch goals, then brought the curtain down on the program's first crown this century by burying a penalty kick with all eyes on her. On a team with an abundance of special players, she stood the tallest on the biggest stage.

Breed is a Cape Elizabeth native who started playing soccer on Saturday mornings when she was in second grade. While basketball was long soccer's equal in her heart, soccer has become her top sport, as she also plays for the MCU Phoenix U-16 premier team. After a promising freshman campaign, Breed had a memorable autumn as Cape Elizabeth lived up to the hype.

Breed had a goal in a season-opening win at Freeport, scored the only goal in a win over York, had an assist in a win over Greely and scored twice versus Lake Region.

But it was the playoffs where Breed showed just how clutch she was. She had a goal and an assist in a quarterfinal round win over Poland, headed home a corner kick to help beat Freeport in the semifinals, then scored two goals in a win over Greely in the regional final. Then, versus Waterville in the state final, Breed scored in the first half, but the Capers couldn't hold the lead and the game went to overtime and eventually to penalty kicks. When Breed took her turn, her team simply needed her to convert to clinch the championship and Breed obliged, firing a shot into the net to put a memorable punctuation mark on a fabulous season.

“(Winning the championship) was all I ever wanted,” Breed said. “I wanted to be part of a huge win. When it really mattered, that's when I wanted to make an impact. I have a drive to play well. I'm very competitive. Sometimes too much.”

Breed also plays basketball for the Capers and dances for fun (and not just after scoring championship winning goals). She hopes to play in college, but first has many big goals to score at the high school level.

It will be tough to match what she accomplished this season. Kate Breed, Cape Elizabeth's Fall Female Athlete of the Year, came up big time and time again and got to live out every athlete's biggest fantasy, delivering a title with her right foot, in the process.

Coach Craig Fannan's comment: “Kate's a special character. She's the funniest kid. She doesn't get nervous. You can tell that soccer means a lot to her. Time after time in the playoffs she came through. As the games got bigger, she got better. She's a great talent. She naturally knows where to be. Her decision making really improved this year.”

Prior winners:

2012: Kathryn Clark (Soccer)

2011: Melanie Vangel (Soccer)

2010: Karyn Barrett (Soccer)

2009; Karyn Barrett (Soccer)

2008: Emily Attwood (Cross country)

2007: Emily Attwood (Cross country)

2006: Marla Houghton (Soccer)

2005: Dana Riker (Soccer)

2004: Elise Moody-Roberts (Cross country)

2003: Elise Moody-Roberts (Cross country)

2002: Clare Egan (Cross country)

2001: Addie Rintel (Field hockey)

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