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Cape Elizabeth Capers Spring Athletes of the Year

Sports

Cape Elizabeth Capers Spring Athletes of the Year

Male:

TOM FEENSTRA, Senior-Lacrosse

  • All-American

  • WMC all-star, first-team, defense

  • Senior all-star

Feenstra was willing to do what was best for his team this spring and he and the team produced an absolutely dominant campaign.

Feenstra grew up in Cape Elizabeth, where lacrosse has long been king, and started playing in the third grade. He began as a defender, but moved to attack in middle school. While also playing football (defensive end and outside linebacker) in high school, he emerged as a standout varsity lacrosse player.

As a junior, Feenstra helped pace the offense as the Capers won a state title.

Then, essentially Cape Elizabeth's complete defense graduated and the team had some holes to fill.

Enter Feenstra.

I borrowed a friend's (long) pole and asked to play defense,” Feenstra said. “Coach (Ben Raymond) told me I had to stay out of the (penalty) box.”

The Capers then went out and produced a vintage performance, going undefeated for the first time in a dozen seasons, frustrating some pretty potent lineups along the way, as the athleticism and physicality embodied by Feenstra, his senior mates Trevor Gale and Caelan Houle and several others, combined with a surprisingly strong performance from goalie Alex Narvaez, proved close to unstoppable.

Cape Elizabeth then won three more games in the postseason, holding Greely, Falmouth and Yarmouth to just 12 goals total as it managed to repeat as state champion for the first time since 2002-03.

It came down to our depth,” Feenstra said. “That was the big thing. We had a lot of it. The new players really helped out and everyone was friends with everyone.”

While Feenstra made life miserable for opposing offenses, he wasn't shy about venturing across midfield. He wound up with 112 ground balls and relied on his offensive instincts to score nine times during the course of the season.

You can see hard work pay off in athletics,” said Feenstra. “You can compete and there's a direct reward.”

Feenstra played in the offseason with the Maineiax premier team, ran indoor track as a senior (throwing the shot put and running sprints), will play his final high school football game Saturday in the Lobster Bowl and also played the trumpet in Cape Elizabeth's Jazz Band. Feenstra will attend RPI (Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute) in Troy, N.Y., where he will play football, might walk on for lacrosse and will likely study engineering.

He and his teammates sure engineered a special, championship season. Tom Feenstra, Cape Elizabeth's Spring Male Athlete of the Year, demonstrated that a willingness to play anywhere combined with an undeniable hunger to win can lead to tremendous results.

Coach Ben Raymond’s comment: "Tom could have been an All-American at attack, but he saw the need the team had this year and decided he could make more of an impact as a defender. He's a selfless player, an outstanding leader and teammate, who has 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. He has an outstanding work ethic and put in extra time with the long stick getting used to it, which surely paid off for him and the team."

Previous winners:

2013 Adam Haversat (lacrosse)

2012 Will LeBlond (baseball)

2011 Cam Brown (baseball)

2010 Ben Brewster (lacrosse)

2009 Andrew Guay (baseball)

2008 Zach Belden (lacrosse)

2007 Pat Murphy (baseball)

2006 Evan Bagley (lacrosse)

2005 Brett Brown (lacrosse)

2004 Garret Currier (tennis)

2003 Alex Weaver (lacrosse)

2002 Mike DiFusco (lacrosse)

Female:

ABBY MCINERNEY, Senior-Lacrosse

  • Senior all-star

  • Captain

McInerney rose to the occasion big-time this spring, stepping into the void as team leader and scoring some critical, hex-ending goals along the way as the Capers made history.

McInerney grew up in Cape Elizabeth and started playing lacrosse in middle school, switching over from softball. She played field hockey, soccer and skied in high school, but made her biggest impact came on the lacrosse field, especially this spring.

After falling in the regional final each of the past three years, the Capers were expected to come back to the pack after graduating a pair of Division I-bound standouts (Talley Perkins to Boston University and Lauren Steidl to Princeton) and when senior Hannah Newhall suffered a season-ending collarbone injury, any title hopes Cape Elizabeth might have entertained appeared to be dashed.

But McInerney thought otherwise and emerged as one of the state's clutch scorers.

She had four goals in the opener against Fryeburg, tallied three goals and also had two assists and won 11 of 17 draws in a win over Falmouth, scored four times versus York and had three goals and two assists versus Gorham.

After Newhall got hurt in a one-goal home loss to Yarmouth May 20, McInerney cranked up the offense even more, scoring four times in a win at Greely, twice more in a win over Marshwood and three more times in a loss to Waynflete in the finale, the Capers' 24th straight loss to their nemesis.

With Waynflete and Kennebunk heading the bracket, Cape Elizabeth went into the playoffs with few expectations, but McInerney hinted at dominance to come when she scored twice in the first 75 seconds of the quarterfinals versus Falmouth. She wound up with four goals, two assists and 11 draw wins in that one as Cape Elizabeth advanced with ease.

The Capers then went to Waynflete and the Flyers' unrivaled zone defense keyed on McInerney, but she and her teammates said enough is enough and finally slayed the Waynflete dragon. McInerney scored three straight first half goals to help Cape Elizabeth open a 4-1 lead, but not surprisingly, the Flyers rallied to tie. After McInerney's fourth goal put the Capers up, 6-5, Waynflete scored the next three to seemingly seize control, but McInerney pulled her team within one and freshman teammate Mariah Deschino tied the score. Then, with just 16 seconds to go, McInerney finished a feed from classmate Liz Robinson and scored her sixth goal of the game, the biggest of her career, which ended a 12-year hex and gave Cape Elizabeth a 9-8 win.

I always want the ball,” McInerney said. “I'm very competitive and aggressive.”

The Capers didn't have a letdown, as they won the regional final at Kennebunk in overtime, as McInerney had two goals, an assist and collected seven ground balls.

While Cape Elizabeth ultimately lost in the state final to Yarmouth, McInerney made sure no one forgot her name, as she erupted late to almost bring the Capers back from a nine-goal deficit before they fell, 13-10. McInerney scored a state final record eight goals, giving her 20 for the postseason alone and 56 (to go with 15 assists) for the season.

It was pretty extraordinary,” McInerney said. “We were so excited to go to practice. We worked more as a team this year. We were more balanced. I couldn't have asked for a better season. My four years were really fun.”

For her career, McInerney scored 96 times and added 30 assists.

McInerney also went to the snowboard Nationals as a sophomore, was part of Cape Elizabeth's successful Debate team and played with the Maineiax premier lacrosse team for several years, as well as taking part in showcases. That all paid off, as she will get an opportunity to play in college, at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., next year, where she'll study mechanical engineering.

Every senior dreams of going out in a blaze of glory. Abby McInerney, Cape Elizabeth's Spring Female Athlete of the Year, wrote the book on how to do so. Her final act was something to behold.

Coach Jeff Perkins' comment: "Abby has been on varsity for four years, starting her career more as a defensive player and working her way into the offensive player she is today. She meant so much to this team. Her role changed as we played a different style of offense and the ball did not pass through her stick as often, but she knew that is what we had to do for the team. It meant less scoring opportunities for her as she learned the new system. But once it all came together she exploded. In the playoffs she was able to literally put this team on her back and willed us to win.”

Previous winners:

2013 Lauren Steidl (lacrosse)

2012 Lauren Steidl (lacrosse)

2011 Elin Sonesson (lacrosse)

2010 Gabe Donahue (softball)

2009 Colleen Martin (softball)

2008 Trish Thibodeau (softball)

2007 Maureen Kertes (softball)

2006 Clare Egan (track)

2005 Elise Moody-Roberts (track)

2004 Dana Riker (track)

2003 Leslie Harrison (track)

2002 Anna Lombard (lacrosse)

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