Wed, Oct 22, 2014 ●
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Portland Bulldogs Spring Athletes of the Year

Sports

Portland Bulldogs Spring Athletes of the Year

Male:

JONATHAN BOBE, Junior-Track

Bobe has established himself as one of the best local runners, is only getting better and certainly enjoyed a strong junior campaign as he continues to impress everyone who crosses his path with his character and drive.

Bobe has literally come a long, long way to emerge as a track star. He's from the Congo originally and moved with his family to Portland in time for his freshman year of high school. Bobe used track (and soccer) as an introduction to his new environment.

I adapted well,” Bobe said. “Soccer and track really helped with my assimilation. I liked track right away, although I like outdoor better because I like to be outside. Track is like a family.”

Bobe, whose competitive, yet easy-going nature has made him very popular on campus and beyond, showed potential right away on the track and as a sophomore, came in seventh in the 400 at the outdoor Class A state meet.

This spring, Bobe came in second in both the 200 and 400 at the opening meet and never looked back. He consistently scored high in those races, as well as the 100, and even threw the javelin at one meet this season. Bobe was also joined this spring by his younger brother, Pavel. Bobe closed the regular season by placing second in the 200 and third in the 400 at the Cumberland County meet, which included perennial powerhouse Scarborough and eventual state champion Cheverus.

At Southwesterns, Bobe was fourth in the 200 and fifth in the 400. He then helped Portland score at states by placing fourth in the 400 and sixth in the 200.

Bobe, who trains year-round and wants to win a state title as a senior, is the president of Portland High's French Club and also takes part in the school's Science Club. He wants to run in college and wants to be a doctor.

He's what the American dream is all about. Get an opportunity and run with it and few run better or faster than Jonathan Bobe, Portland's Spring Male Athlete of the Year.

Coach Carroll Nappi's comment: “Jonathan's a great kid. Very quiet, polite and respectful. He listens well. He has hard work and dedication. He does everything I ask and beyond. He's still getting better. He doesn't realize his potential. He has a future in front of him. Schools want him. He's an exceptional student-athlete.”

Previous winners:

2013 Caleb Fraser (baseball)

2012 Ryan Jurgelevich (lacrosse)

2011 Ryan Jurgelevich (lacrosse)

2010 Caleb Kenney (lacrosse)

2009 K.R. Jurgelevich (lacrosse)

2008 Brian Furey (baseball)

2007 Sam McAdam (lacrosse)

2006 Joe Fessenden (baseball)

2005 Peter Sengelmann (lacrosse)

2004 Jake Schuit (lacrosse)

Female:

ANNETTE DENEKAS, Senior-Tennis

  • SMAA All-Conference, first-team, singles

  • SMAA All-Academic team

  • Captain

  • PHS top scholar-athlete

  • Class valedictorian

Denekas rose to the occasion time and again this spring, both on and off the court, as her unique blend of intelligence, grace and determination led to her being recognized for her all-around excellence and helped Portland to a nearly perfect season.

Denekas, who was Portland's 2013 Spring Female Athlete of the Year as well, started playing tennis at a young age and after making her mark at doubles as a freshman and sophomore, moved into the top singles spot as a junior and led the Bulldogs to the brink of a state title.

The team might have been even stronger this season, as Denekas excelled again.

Her biggest challenge actually came from within, as junior and good friend Margot Andreasen pushed Denekas for the top singles spot, but Denekas stayed in that position and went 11-1 against the best that the SMAA had to offer in the regular season.

Denekas won her matches against Gorham in the quarterfinals and versus Thornton Academy in the semifinals as well, but she and her team met their match against perennial champion Falmouth in a regional final loss.

I was very happy with the season,” Denekas said. “I improved over the years and boosted my confidence. (Coach) Bonnie (Moran) and me and my teammates were so close.”

While Denekas' performance on the court was impressive, it was only the beginning of her story. She was a member of Portland High's Executive Board and Students Against Destructive Decisions, was the president of Key Club, was the editor of the school yearbook, works at a tennis camp, plays the piano and volunteers at a nursing home. If that wasn't enough, she was named Portland High's top scholar-athlete and was the senior class' valedictorian. She'll matriculate at Dartmouth College (her first choice) in the fall, where she hopes to play tennis at the club level.

The future is very bright indeed for Annette Denekas, Portland's Spring Female Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row. She truly was the ideal student-athlete.

Coach Bonnie Moran's comment: Annette has been a huge asset to the team and it's been a delight having her for four years. I have watched her mature into a remarkable player and a wonderful young woman. Her technical game has improved tremendously, as well as her confidence and composure on the court. As a captain, I'm certain few could surpass her. She's organized and competent, will do anything she's asked and is extremely supportive of all her teammates, varsity and JV alike. We're all going to miss her. Our loss is Dartmouth's gain.

Previous winners:

2013 Annette Denekas (tennis)

2012 Drew Barry (lacrosse)

2011 Drew Barry (lacrosse)

2010 Mary Moran (tennis)

2009 Maggie Swann (tennis)

2008 Liz Mosley (lacrosse)

2007 Jasmine Powell (track)

2006 Katie Hutchins (softball)

2005 Kelly Flaherty (lacrosse)

2004 Lily Anderson (lacrosse)

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