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Local stars dominate lax All-American teams

Sports

Local stars dominate lax All-American teams

Forecaster Country continues to boast the very best lacrosse players in the state.

A group that is so good that it made up most of the state's All-American list.

Again.

This spring, the two girls honored and seven of the nine boys selected came from local schools.

Standouts

U.S. Lacrosse describes All-Americans as, "Players who exhibit superior skills and techniques and possess exceptional game sense and knowledge. They are among the best players in the United States while also embodying excellent sportsmanship."

Forecaster Country knows a lot about that type of player.

The boys' All-American team included Brunswick's Cam Glover, Cape Elizabeth's Tom Feenstra and Griffin Thoreck, Cheverus' Thomas Lawson, Falmouth's I.V. Stucker, Scarborough's Brendon Smith and South Portland's Duncan Preston.

Kennebunk's Nicco DeLorenzo and Maranacook's Zach Glazier also were selected.

Glover, a junior, who moved this season from attack to middie, helped lead Brunswick to the Class A Final and was one of the state's most deadly shooters. He ended up with 49 goals and 20 assists. He was named the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Glover now has 127 goals and 78 assists for his career, with one year remaining.

"Cam's work ethic and desire have enabled him to succeed at all that he has endeavored," said Brunswick coach Don Glover, who also happens to be Cam's father. "Cam's an athlete who thinks team first and self second and as a result, the Dragons have continued to do well as a program. He understands the importance of 'Dragons lacrosse family,' has an exceptional lacrosse IQ and has great leadership qualities."

Cam Glover is the Dragons first All-American since John Williams in 2010. Mike Sfirri (2003), Brad Bishop (2004), Kit Smith (2007) and Max Rosner (2008 and 2009) were also previously honored.

Feenstra, a senior defensive stalwart for the repeat Class B champion Capers, moved to that side of the ball to help this year's version be even more accomplished than last. In spite of being on defense, Feenstra, who had 112 ground balls, wasn't shy about entering the offensive zone and as a result, scored nine goals. Feenstra will play football and may walk on to the lacrosse team at RPI next year.

"Tom could have been an All-American on attack, but he saw the need the team had this year and decided he could make more of an impact as a defender," said longtime Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. "He's selfless and is an outstanding leader and teammate who earned the respect of his teammates and opposing coaches. He has outstanding stick skills and is very athletic. He easily picked up the defense and became our top takeaway defender, as well as our leader in ground balls."

Thoreck, a junior offensive standout with a blazing shot, has lived up to his reputation as one of the state's elite scoring threats. Thoreck scored 30 goals and had 25 assists this spring. He also grabbed 40 ground balls.

"Griffin has become such a successful player because he truly loves the game," Raymond said. "He plays year-round and works at getting better. I'm consistently giving him the ball bucket and opening the turf for him where he spends hours working on his game. He's played tons of lacrosse growing up and has the benefit of living with an outstanding lacrosse coach (his father, Jeff, who is also Cape Elizabeth's athletic director) and two younger brothers (freshmen Connor and Owen), who are always willing to practice with him. He takes on a lot of responsibility and expects a lot from himself. He's never satisfied and continually strives to improve."

As expected, Cape Elizabeth has a litany of previous All-Americans.

The state's most storied program's first All-American was Chris Carlisle in 1989. Since then, Ethan Sanford (1990), Troy Graham (1991), Jason McGeachey (1993), Sean Brady and Mike Mullen (1994), Ned Struzziero and Matt Williams (1995), Struzziero and Brendan Bigos (1996), Zach Herbert (1997 and 1998), Rorke Greene (1999), Andrew Braziel and Nick Krunkkala (2000), Mike DiFusco and Constantine Scontras (2001), DiFusco, Matt Ranaghan and Dean Scontras (2002), Ranaghan and Alex Weaver (2003), Matt O'Hearn (2004), Bryan Holden and Dan Rautenberg (2005), Zach Belden and Mike Holden (2008), Holden (2009), Ben Brewster and Tommy Foden (2010), Jack Roos (2011), Timmy Lavallee (2012) and Alex Bornick and Adam Haversat (2013) were all honored.

Lawson, a junior and one of the top offensive players in the Southwestern Maine Activities Association, led Cheverus to another strong season, scoring 40 goals and adding 34 assists, good for 74 points.

Tom is a multi-dimensional player," Cheverus coach Bill Bodwell said. "He can dodge, feed and shoot well with both hands. He can finish or set up a goal with his passing. His goals and assists are nearly equal. He's big and strong and also has the ability to run by a defender.”

Lawson is just the third All-American in Cheverus history, joining Eric Lindgren (2002) and Andrew Pochebit (2007).

Stucker, a senior wizard on the offensive end, scored 38 goals and added 26 assists, giving him 70 goals and 64 assists (134 points) for his two-year Falmouth career. He'll take his talents to Roanoke (Va.) College next year.

"I.V. always makes everyone feel equal," said Yachtsmen coach Mike LeBel. "He treats everyone with the same amount of respect. He realizes that every member of the team contributes in some way. His knowledge of the game allowed him to provide feedback to me and the other coaches that we could use while making adjustments during the game. I.V. always believed he should have done more. If he does more, we win. His talent and approach toward the game is extraordinary and very difficult to find. He's a special player that we may not see the likes of in years to come."

Prior Falmouth All-Americans include Kyle Jordan  in 2007, Dan Hanley and Michael Kane in 2010, Mike Ryan, Mitch Tapley and Nick Bachman in 2011, Ryan, Tapley and Willy Sipperly in 2012 and Stucker and Charlie Fay in 2013.

Smith, an elite senior defenseman, was part of Scarborough championship teams as a freshman, sophomore and junior,. He had 96 ground balls this spring and scored five goals, while assisting on two others. He'll follow in the footsteps of former teammate and All-American John Wheeler and attend and play at Bentley (Mass.) College next year.

In addition to being named All-American, Smith was also named the winner of the Bob Scott Award, named for the longtime legendary coach of the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse program. The award recognizes a senior who is an exceptional player, who develops the game in his community, who is an exemplary member of his team, embodies the spirit of the game on and off the field and is a valued academic role model, who honors the game.

"Brendon is the type of player who changes the way you play team defense," said Red Storm coach Joe Hezlep. "There was rarely a time when we would ever consider sliding (helping) him in a 1-on-1 matchup. He's a physically imposing defender relying on footwork and position to keep his man from getting to the cage and while he throws a lot of checks, he rarely relied on them. He is a force on ground balls and this year made a huge difference in transition for us often times leading to goals."

Prior Scarborough All-Americans include David Hamilton (2005), Danny Clark (2009) and Wheeler (2012 and 2013).

Preston, a senior midfielder, had 38 goals and 24 assists, good for 62 points this spring. He also collected 127 ground balls and was steady in the faceoff circle. For his career, Preston had 88 goals, 47 assists and 279 ground balls. Preston is attending Springfield College next year. He plans to play football, but might go out for lacrosse as well.

"Duncan is by far one of the most unselfish players I've ever had the privilege to coach," said South Portland coach Tom Fiorini. "He leads by example and works  hard. He and the team have brought the program to a whole new level. He decided he wasn't going to let his team lose and put us on his shoulders and carried us to the championship."

Eugene Arsenault (2007) was the only prior Red Riots All-American.

Two of the best

No Maine girls made the All-American team this season, but two players, South Portland's Lily SanGiovanni and Yarmouth's Grace O'Donnell, were honorable mention selections.

O'Donnell, a senior midfielder, did it all for the champion Clippers, winning draws and ground balls, forcing turnovers and most of all, putting the ball in the net to pace a prolific offense. O'Donnell  scored 49 goals in the regular season, then scored 13 more in the postseason.  O'Donnell capped her stellar high school career by scoring a franchise record-tying six goals in a state game in Yarmouth's 13-10 victory over Cape Elizabeth. O'Donnell also had 17 assists this season. She ended her career with 106 goals and 47 assists.

O'Donnell will attend and play at Trinity College in Connecticut next year.

"Grace really exemplifies what an unselfish, team player is all about," Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt said. "Grace brings a sense of calm I've never seen before. She can calm each individual player. It takes a special person to realize they need that kind of attention from her. If she gets flustered, it's with herself. She's the most dedicated student-athlete. She carries herself in a way that you can't coach."

O'Donnell is the latest in a long line of Clippers All-Americans and the program's first in three years.

Yarmouth's first All-American was Jenny Wing in 2000. Emily Erickson (2002), Sara Hagstrom (2004), Chrissie Attura (2005, honorable mention), Emily Johnson (2005 and 2006), Molly Dilworth (2006), Laurie Baker (2007), Jess Martineau (2007), Abby Saucier (2007, honorable mention), Anna Van Slyke (2007, honorable mention), Nicole Grover (2008, honorable mention) Lanier Bolmer (2009), Danielle Torres (2010, as well as 2009 and 2011 as an honorable mention) and Becca Bell (2011) were also chosen.

SanGiovanni, a junior goalie, held her own in the cage against some of the top teams in the state, leading the Red Riots to a playoff berth. SanGiovanni, a starter since her freshman year and a captain this spring, had a .635 save percentage and stopped a whopping 87 percent of the free positions she faced.

"Lily is clearly an elite goalie," said South Portland coach Bill Fenton. "We won games because she made saves. She's a leader, she's dedicated and she works hard. She wants to improve. She's come a long way since freshman year, but even then, she was great. She's an athlete. She has a positive attitude. She's going to be a very successful lady."

South Portland's only previous All-Americans were Kali Austin (2002, honorable mention) and Katie Curran (2003, honorable mention).

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