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Cheverus Stags Fall Athletes of the Year

Sports

Cheverus Stags Fall Athletes of the Year

MALE:

JOE FITZPATRICK, Junior-Football

  • Eastern A all-star, first-team, running back

A gritty, bruising runner who made the most of his opportunity to shine this fall, Fitpzatrick's ability to move the chains and break long runs led the Stags to the verge of a championship.

Fitzpatrick lives in North Yarmouth and began playing football at a young age. He came to Cheverus and became the rare freshman to make the varsity, seeing some time on special teams. The learning process continued his sophomore year, as he saw spot duty.

This fall, Fitzpatrick wasn't even listed as a player to watch in the preseason, but he quickly made his mark. Fitzpatrick began the year by gaining 155 yards (and scoring a TD) on 20 carries. Next came a dazzling 192 yard, five touchdown performance (on just 12 attempts) versus Lewiston. Fitzpatrick added three TDs against Oxford Hills, four scores (on almost 250 yards) in a romp at Windham and two touchdowns against Edward Little. On Oct. 12, the Stags avenged last year's playoff loss with a 56-7 pummeling of Thornton Academy, as Fitzpatrick stuffed the stat sheet with 265 yards and six TDs. Fitzpatrick gained 150 yards (although he didn't score for the only time all season) versus Bangor and closed with three more touchdowns in a win over Deering.

For the eight-game regular season, Fitzpatrick gained 1,444 yards (second only to Portland's Justin Zukowski) on 146 carries, scoring 24 times (roughly once every six times he touched the ball). He also had a defensive touchdown, posted a nearly 41-yard per punt average and returned nine kickoffs for over 28 yards a pop.

After gaining 250 yards and scoring five times in a semifinal round win over Bangor, Fitzpatrick was held somewhat in check by Portland in the Eastern A Final, rushing for 104 yards and no scores, but he helped run out the clock to send the Stags to the state game, where Fitzpatrick put the punctuation mark on his season with 120 yards and two scores, even though Cheverus lost to Bonny Eagle in a heartbreaker.

Fitzpatrick, who also boxes at the Portland Boxing Club, something he believes helps him with his agility and endurance, credits his coaches, trainers, mentors like former standouts Spencer Cooke and Donald Goodrich, his linemen and parents for helping him reach an elite level.

Fitzpatrick, who belongs to Cheverus' Key and Homefront Clubs, hopes to win a state title as a senior and perhaps capture that well known award that goes to the state's best senior player, one which shares his last name. He then hopes to play in college at the highest level possible.

Don't underestimate this young man. Joe Fitzpatrick, Cheverus' Fall Male Athlete of the Year, has proved he has the toughness and determination to steal headlines.

Coach John Wolfgram's comment: "Joe is a skilled athlete, a very hard worker and an unselfish team player. He worked hard in the offseason to prepare for this fall, improving both his strength and speed. Through his strong work ethic and attention to detail during the season, he improved each week to become one of the top running backs in the state. Not only is Joe a skilled football player, but he is also an excellent student-athlete who works hard in the classroom."

Prior winners:

2012: Donald Goodrich (Football)

2011: Elliot Maker (Soccer)

2010: Peter Gwilym (Football)

2009: Peter Gwilym (Football)

2008: Jack Terwilliger (Cross country)

2007: Galen Munroe (Soccer)

2006: Andrew Pochebit (Football)

2005: Anthony Ardito (Golf)

2004: Max Molleo (Soccer)

FEMALE:

ELYSE CAIAZZO, Senior-Field hockey

  • All-State

  • Faith Littlefield SMAA Player of the Year
  • SMAA All-Star, first-team

  • SMAA All-Academic team

  • Captain

Caiazzo didn't pick up a field hockey stick until her sophomore year, then made everyone glad she did so, capping her high school career with an All-State level performance.

Caiazzo, who lives in Scarborough, came to Cheverus as a freshman. She played soccer as a freshman, then made the move to field hockey as a sophomore.

“Field hockey is a really fun sport,” Caiazzo said. “I like dodging and using the rules to my advantage.”

By her junior year, Caiazzo was an all-state selection, scoring 10 goals and adding six assists.

This fall, she was even better, scoring 11 times, while delivering four assists. Caiazzo had the game-winner in a season-opening win over Westbrook, scored the tying goal in an eventual overtime loss to Bonny Eagle, had a goal against Gorham, then had back-to-back hat tricks versus Noble and Portland. Through it all, she was a tenacious competitor who made her teammates better.

Even though the Stags' season ended in disappointment with a playoff loss to Marshwood, Caiazzo's excellence earned her postseason all-conference, all-state and academic honors.

“I really like to win and have fun,” Caiazzo said. “I never give up. The season was fun. The team was a family. I wish we'd gone further.”

Caiazzo also runs middle distance in indoor track, is a key cog on the defending Class A champion girls' lacrosse team, has taken part in the Key Club's Thanksgiving Drive, Cheverus' Campus Ministry and has interned for Senator Susan Collins. She hopes to play field hockey in college (Assumption College is her top choice although nothing's official) and is interested in pursuing law, philosophy or political science.

She certainly left her mark on the field hockey program. Who says you can't just pick up a stick and become a star? Elyse Caiazzo, Cheverus' Fall Female Athlete of the Year, is Exhibit A that anything is possible.

Coach Amy McMullin's comment: "I remember when Elyse picked up a stick for the first time. It's amazing how far she's come. She's a remarkable athlete who will be successful at whatever she does because of her drive and determination. Her work ethic is truly inspirational. She's the type of player who never stops practicing her skills. She was the heart and soul of our team. I relied on her and the other captains to get a young team on the same page. She's an exceptional leader and we'll miss her greatly. I loved coaching her because of her competitiveness and desire to be the best."

Prior winners:

2012: Staci Swallow (Field hockey)

2011: Sarah LaQuerre (Field hockey)

2010: Emily Sawchuck (Field hockey)

2009: Emily Durgin (Cross country)

2008: Bethany Schleh (Field hockey)

2007: Elizabeth Somma (Soccer)

2006: Elise Roux (Soccer)

2005: Meaghan Mingo (Soccer)

2004: Lauren Metevier (Soccer)

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