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Waynflete Flyers Fall Athletes of the Year

Sports

Waynflete Flyers Fall Athletes of the Year

MALE:

HENRY CLEAVES, Senior-Soccer

  • Western C regional all-star

  • WMC Class C all-star, first team

  • Team co-MVP

  • Captain

Capping a solid high school career with a terrific senior season, Cleaves helped keep the Flyers near the top of the heap.

Cleaves, who lives in South Portland, came to Waynflete in the fourth grade with soccer already a big part of his life. He made the varsity team as a freshman and as a sophomore, scored a key goal in a landmark win over Cape Elizabeth, then got to celebrate when his older brother, William, scored the winning goal in the state championship game. After making the all-star team as a junior, Cleaves put together a strong season this autumn.

Cleaves, who did everything from playing shutdown defense to tickling the twine to creating a matchup nightmare on free kicks, had a goal in a season opening win over Traip, scored the go-ahead tally versus Gray-New Gloucester, struck against Freeport and scored the tying tally (on a rebound of his own PK no less) versus Sacopee Valley.

In a preliminary round romp over Lisbon, Cleaves had best game, scoring twice. Waynflete was then eliminated by rival North Yarmouth Academy in heartbreaking fashion in overtime in the quarterfinals. For the season, Cleaves had six goals and three assists.

What couldn't be quantified is the role that Cleaves played as a leader, helping the Flyers break in many new faces while remaining competitive.

Cleaves said that being a leader and role model meant a lot to him.

I like having the feeling of players looking up to me,” he said.

Cleaves mentors elementary schoolers at Reiche School, is the captain of the basketball team (which got to the regional final a year ago) and has been a standout in lacrosse in the spring.

Cleaves hopes to go to college on the west coast, where he hopes to play soccer and lacrosse. He plans to study business or economics.

His teammates and coaches got their money's worth for four seasons. Henry Cleaves, Waynflete's Fall Male Athlete of the Year, was a clutch player and great leader and is the latest in the long line of Flyers' stars.

Coach Brandon Salway's comment: "Henry was a four-year varsity contributor. He scored some key goals. He played through an injury all season. He showed great leadership in so many ways."

Prior winners:

2012: Peabo Knoth (Soccer)

2011: Daniel Weiner (Soccer)

2010: Tucker Geoffroy (Soccer)

2009: Chris Gillespie (Soccer)

2008: Josh Bloom (Soccer)

2007: Tristan Corriveau (Soccer)

2006: Tristan Corriveau (Soccer)

2005: Dan Black (Soccer)

2004: Matt Lacasse (Soccer)

FEMALE:

LEIGH FERNANDEZ, Senior-Soccer

  • WMC All-Academic team

  • Captain

All she does is win championships.

Fernandez continued her spectacular personal run this fall by making it five straight sport seasons that ended with hardware and along the way, she not only scored clutch goals and set up others, she was a poised team leader in the process.

Fernandez, a Portland resident who came to Waynflete for the sixth grade, swung up to the varsity team late in her freshman year and became a key member of the squad as a sophomore, on a team which lost to St. Dom's in overtime of the regional final.

Fernandez quickly discovered that she didn't much like losing and after basketball fell short that winter, she began her run of titles with the lacrosse team her sophomore spring.

After helping soccer win Class C as a junior, Fernandez won it all in basketball and lacrosse, then embarked on a fantastic senior soccer campaign.

Fernandez, whose impact can't be quantified, had her best offensive season, scoring nine times and adding four assists (giving her 11 and eight respectively for her career).

Fernandez opened the season with a goal and two assists versus Traip. She also had goals against Gray-New Gloucester, Old Orchard Beach and Sacopee Valley.

In the playoffs, Fernandez had a goal against Mt. Abram in the preliminary round, scored twice in a semifinal round upset of St. Dom's, then set up Cat Johnson's game winner with a highlight reel backwards flick in the regional final versus Sacopee. She was on the doorstep and had a great look as Esme Benson scored the winner in the state final and soon took part in a very familiar celebration.

Fernandez played in the regional final in each of her three full varsity seasons, won two Gold Balls and had a record of 48-14-7 in her time in a Flyers uniform.

“I didn't really think about (winning another championship) while it was happening,” Fernandez said. “The team chemistry on all the teams has been unbelievable. The teams have had great work ethics and great coaches.”

Fernandez credits her coaches for instilling a passion for playing and succeeding and said she liked repaying her mentors by helping younger players. She takes part in Operation Smile, raising money for kids with cleft palates, and works as a sports counselor at Waynflete's summer camps.

Fernandez, who says she loves all three sports equally, is weighing her college options. She's looking at NESCAC schools and wants to play a sport, she's just not sure if it will be soccer, basketball or lacrosse.

One certainty is that wherever Leigh "First Place" Fernandez, Waynflete's Fall Female Athlete of the Year, ends up, she'll make her presence felt with her athleticism, infectious smile and can-do attitude. Her dominance has been no accident.

Coach Todd Dominski's comment: “I'm not sure words can do justice for what Leigh has meant to the team as well as the soccer program the past four years. Leigh is a selfless teammate who cares less about stats and more about the team. She has played all over the field depending on what we needed and she played very well. She had a huge impact in the success our team had. She's all heart. She's a hard worker. She's a great role model for the underclassmen. She's the definition of a student-athlete and an exceptional kid. I feel very lucky to have coached her.”

Prior winners:

2012: Jo Moore (Field hockey)

2011: Becky Smith (Soccer)

2010: Lindsey Sinicki (Field hockey)

2009: Amy Allen (Cross country)

2008: Adele Espy (Cross country)

2007: Adele Espy (Cross country)

2006: Alex Woodhouse (Soccer)

2005: Tess Crain (Cross country)

2004: Anina Hewey (Soccer)

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