Scarborough Red Storm Winter Athletes of the Year
JAKE GROSS, Senior-Hockey
All-state, first-team, forward
Gross led both on the ice and by example this winter for a Red Storm squad which once again was among the best in the state.
Gross moved to Scarborough in middle school, but had long before fallen in love with hockey. He started skating at the age of five after his father built a rink and was participating in organized skating by the age of six. He's also played football, golf and lacrosse in high school, but hockey is where he's enjoyed the most success, being an integral member of the team throughout (even though he was sidelined by a torn rotator cuff as a sophomore).
This winter, Gross, a forward, scored many big goals and helped the Red Storm produce another gaudy record.
Gross scored twice in a season-opening loss to eventual state runner-up St. Dom's and wound up scoring 19 times and adding 18 assists. He had the first goal in a 4-2 victory over Portland/Deering in the Western A quarterfinals, then scored again in a 7-1 win over Thornton Academy in the semifinals. Scarborough's season ended with a 5-2 loss to Falmouth in the regional final, but Gross scored one final time.
"I've always had the support of my parents, teammates and coaches," Gross said.
Gross also plays for the Biddeford Wave U-18 travel team (along with Scarborough teammates Cam Brochu, Matt Henderson and Cameron Loiselle), which just won a state title and advanced to nationals. He's volunteered with Scarborough Community Service and is weighing his college options.
He may take a post-graduate season next year to help his likelihood of playing in college. Wenworth College is a possible destination. Gross wants to study chemical engineering.
He sure helped engineer many victories during his high school career. Jake Gross, Scarborough's Winter Male Athlete of the Year, simply couldn't be stopped.
Coach Norm Gagne’s comment: “Jake anchored our first line, but more than that, he was a leader on our team and he was a big part of preaching the system to younger players and setting the example on how we had to play in order to be successful. Jake built up the confidence of our younger players and he showed a never-give-up attitude in each and every game. Jake is a true competitor. He sets the example for others to follow. When he takes the ice, it's to win. He understands and sees what must be done in order to achieve it and he's willing to pay the price.”
2012-13: Jerry Gravel (Swimming)
2011-12: Alec James (Track)
2010-11: Mike Cyr (Wrestling)
2009-10: Robby Gravel (Swimming)
2008-09: Brad Nakanishi (Track)
2007-08: Chris Hughes (Basketball)
2006-07: Brent Mayo (Hockey)
2005-06: Doug Endrizzi (Swimming)
2004-05: Andrew Rogers (Swimming)
2003-04: Mike Walker (Basketball)
2002-03: Ryan Colpitts (Basketball)
2001-02: Sean Flaherty (Swimming)
ASHLEY BRIGGS, Junior-Basketball
SMAA All-Star, first-team
SMAA All-Defensive team
Briggs rose to the occasion time and again this winter, leading a young team with yet another new coach to a competitive season, which ended with a trip to the playoffs.
Briggs grew up in Scarborough and became a basketball aficionado at a young age. She comes naturally to the sport as her father, Don, played at U. Maine-Farmington and coaches with the highly successful Firecrackers AAU program.
Briggs came to the varsity team as a freshman and exploded on to the scene by averaging 10.7 points, being named the SMAA Rookie of the Year and an all-conference honorable mention. As a sophomore, she was a second-team all-star.
This season, there were few players her equal.
With the Red Storm hitting its stride under Mike Giordano, the program's fourth coach in as many seasons, Briggs didn't have many experienced teammates to work with, but her leadership got the most out of several newcomers and as a result, Scarborough was very competitive, winning seven games and qualifying for the tournament.
“We meshed really well,” Briggs said. “We had great support for each other. We reached our goal of making the playoffs.”
Briggs finished eighth in the SMAA with 13.4 points per game, tied for second with 3.9 assists, had 2.8 steals per contest, finished fourth in the league by making 76.1 percent of her foul shots and tied for 10th in 3-pointers made.
Unfortunately, an injury sidelined Briggs for the Red Storm's preliminary round playoff game at Deering and Scarborough wasn't able to overcome her absence.
Briggs, who also plays soccer, is now playing AAU ball, which she credits for much of her growth.
“Playing with players like (McAuley standouts) Allie Clement and Olivia Smith took my game to a new level,” Briggs said.
Briggs is a member of Scarborough's Key Club and the National Honor Society. She plans to play basketball in college, with Saint Anselm and Stonehill as her top choices at this juncture. She plans to study biology or psychology.
Looking ahead to her senior year, her goals are lofty, including being league Player of the Year, Miss Maine Basketball and Maine's Gatorade Player of the Year.
Don't bet against her. Ashley Briggs, Scarborough's Winter Female Athlete of the Year, certainly put on a leadership and skills clinic this past season. She's not finished yet.
Coach Mike Giordano's comment: “Ashley does everything. She's one of the most competitive players I've ever coached. She's extremely versatile. She can play anywhere on the floor. She defends as well as anyone. Her basketball IQ is very high. She's like having another coach on the floor. We put a very young team on the floor this year and she was a great leader. I look forward to her senior season.“
2012-13: Devan Kane (Hockey)
2011-12: Emily Tolman (Track)
2010-11: Emilia Scheemaker (Track)
2009-10: Laura Flewelling (Swimming)
2008-09: Reegan Brackett (Basketball)
2007-08: Nicole Harmon (Swimming)
2006-07: Kaitlynn Saldanha (Track)
2005-06: Erica Jesseman (Track)
2004-05: Jenn Flaherty (Swimming)
2003-04: Sarah Mills (Hockey)
2002-03: Jenn Flaherty (Swimming)
2001-02: Mandi Rapisardi (Basketball)