A winter for stars to shine
Local all-stars honored in several sports
By Michael Hoffer
While it's finally starting to feel like spring, we can't let go of winter just yet.
So here comes a final tribute to the all-stars from local schools who have been recognized for all they brought to the court, ice, track, pool, slopes, trails and mats beginning way back in November and extending until the end of February.
Here's a look at who earned all-star mention this winter.
Basketball produced another state champion this year when the Deering girls won their second title in succession. Several other teams sparkled and all local schools had players selected to all-star teams.
For the boys, in the Southern Maine Activities Association, the first-team included Cheverus senior Mick DiStasio (second in the league in scoring and first in steals and 3-pointers made), Stags junior Indiana Faithfull (first in assists, fourth in steals) and Portland senior Ed Bogdanovich (tops in rebounding, sixth in scoring).
Second teamers included Cheverus senior Peter Foley (15th in rebounds) and Deering senior Ronald Abwoch (fifth in steals, 10th in assists and 13th in scoring).
Deering senior Khadar Abbas (third in 3-pointers made) and Portland junior Koang Thok (10th in 3-pointers) made the third team.
Cheverus junior Lenny Cummings was an honorable mention selection.
Portland sophomore James Ek and freshman Will DeFanti were named to the All-Rookie team.
DiStasio (along with South Portland's Keegan Hyland) was named SMAA Co-Most Valuable Player, earned the Gary Randall Award and was a Mr. Maine Basketball finalist (the award was given to Dirigo's Thomas Knight). DiStasio was also an Academic All-Star, along with Portland's Joe Violette.
Cheverus' Bob Brown was named SMAA Coach of the Year.
Cheverus' DiStasio and Foley, along with teammate Dan Foster, Deering's Abbas and Abwoch and Portland's Bogdanovich and Violette were named SMAA Senior All-Stars. Bogdanovich had 24 points and led the "Away" team to a 131-113 win over the "Home" squad.
Cheverus' Bob Brown helped coach the team to victory. DiStasio added 22 points, Foster had 10, Violette nine and Foley two. Abbas led all scorers with 42 points in a losing effort. He had seven 3-pointers.
DiStasio, Foley and Bogdanovich earned a berth on the Class A/B West team for the Maine McDonald's Senior All-Star Game. The West won 112-81. Bogdanovich had a game-high 21 points. Foley added six points and DiStasio had three. Brown and Cape Elizabeth's Jim Ray coached the team to victory.
Cheverus' Kyle Randall was the Southern Region foul shooting champion.
Violette was named to the state All-Academic team.
In the Western Maine Conference, Waynflete junior John Malia made the all-conference Class C first team. Flyers senior Hassan Jeylani was chosen for the second team.
Jeylani took part in the WMC All-Star Game.
On the girls' side, in the SMAA, Deering senior Diana Manduca, sophomore Kayla Burchill, McAuley sophomore Rebecca Knight and Portland senior Nyachuol Biliew were first team selections.
Cheverus senior Jamie Lowery, Deering senior Jess Ruhlin and Rams junior Claire Ramonas made honorable mention.
Cheverus freshman Alexandra Palazzi-Leahy, Deering sophomore Britni Mikulanecz and McAuley freshman Alexa Coulombe were selected for the All-Rookie team.
Manduca and Mikulanecz also made the All-Defensive team.
Cheverus' Kristy Baum, Lowery, Victoria Schuyler, Molly Skog, Elizabeth Somma and Cathy Wise, and Deering's Jordan Cuddy, Casey Everest, Manduca and Ruhlin made the All-Academic squad.
In the SMAA Senior All-Star Game, Ruhlin's "Home" team won 80-73. Biliew (seven points), Manduca (11 points) and McAuley's Gina Johnson took part on the "Away" squad.
In the WMC, Waynflete senior Mariam Qazi and and junior Morgan Woodhouse made the Class C first team. Senior Annie Cutler was a second team selection.
Cutler and Qazi played in the Senior All-Star Game. Waynflete's Brandon Salway served as a coach in that contest.
At the Maine McDonald's Senior All-Star Games, Biliew (12 points) and Manduca (six points) helped the A/B West squad (which was coached by Deering's Mike Murphy and Lake Region's Paul True) to a 66-51 win over the East.
Cutler and Qazi played for the C/D West team which fell 73-54 to the East. Qazi had nine points and Cutler seven in a losing effort.
Qazi was the southern region foul shooting champion.
Salway was named Class C girls' Coach of the Year.
Last, but certainly not least, Deering's Manduca was a Miss Maine Basketball finalist (the award went to Waterville's Morgan Frame).
The news on the ice was positive as well, for both boys' and girls' teams.
On the boys' side, Cheverus' Ryan McQuaid (goalie) and Portland's Sam Guimond (forward) represented the West in the Senior All-Star Game.
Portland's Guimond was a semifinalist for the Travis Roy Award.
For the girls, Cheverus' Alyssa Audet (forward), Grace Fitzpatrick (defense), Maggie Grindatti (forward), Saundrine Lanouette (goalie) and Caitlin Pleau (defense), along with Portland's Raechel Allen (forward), made the first team All-West region all-star team.
Cheverus' Emily Sawchuck (forward) and Waynflete's Sasha Timpson (who played with Cape Elizabeth) were second teamers.
Cheverus' Sage Witham, Deering's Julie Pallozzi and Portland's Ally Dolan were honorable mentions. Cheverus' Alexandra Paradis and Melissa Slater were selected to play in the Senior All-Star Game.
Several local runners, throwers and jumpers excelled this winter. In the SMAA, Cheverus' Jack Terwilliger (600) and Deering's Renaldo Lowry (40) and Tilman Stenger (45 hurdles) were named all-stars in the boys' junior division. Portland's Imadhi Zagon (high jump) qualified in the open division. Deering's junior (Tom Hart, Tony Sen, Jamiel Kidd and Lowry) and open (David Hart, Sam Balzano, Carleton Allen and Anthony Villarreal) relay teams also qualified.
On the girls' side, Cheverus' Fiona Hendry (mile) and Caroline Summa (high jump), Deering's Angela Balzano (high jump) and Veronica Mitchell (junior hurdles), and McAuley's Lauren Fecteau (mile and two-mile) and Allina Verrillo (senior shot put) were honored.
Swimmers from Portland had a solid year. Several qualified for the Southern Maine Swim League All-Star team.
Cheverus' Cal Rohde (200 freestyle), Cameron Lindsley (200 free relay) and Joe Moreshead (200 individual medley, 100 butterfly, and 200 free and medley relays), Deering's E.J. Googins (200 and 400 free relays) and Brian McRae (diving) made the boys' Southwesterns All-Conference first team.
Lindsley (200 medley and 400 free relays), Googins (50 free) and Rohde (500 free) qualified for the second team.
Googins (100 free) was on the third team.
Familiar names also showed up on the All-State squad.
Googins (200 free relay), Moreshead (200 medley relay) and Rohde (400 free relay) made the first team.
Googins (50 free and 400 free relay), Moreshead (100 butterfly) and Rohde (200 free) qualified for the second team.
McRae (diving), Moreshead (IM) and Rohde (500 free) were third teamers.
Moreshead and teammate Chris Gervais qualified for the All-State All-Academic team.
For the girls, McAuley's Kristen Desrosiers (200 free and 500 free) and Gaby Cloutier (200 free relay) made the Southwesterns first team.
Cloutier (200 medley relay), Desrosiers (400 free relay) and Deering's Kristen Grandonico (200 free relay) were second teamers.
Cloutier (50 free) made the third team.
Kristen Desrosiers also appeared on the All-State second team in the 200 and 500 free and the 400 free relay. Cloutier was All-State second team in the 200 free relay.
Portland's Hannah Ciechomski made the All-State All-Academic team.
In Alpine skiing, Cheverus' Zander Markellos and Ian Connors made the SMAA All-Conference boys' team.
Cheverus' Maggie Corrigan, Emily Machesney and Katie Drake were named to the girls' squad.
In Nordic, Waynflete's Nate Niles made the Western Maine Conference boys' team.
Waynflete's Joey Shapell and Otis Wortley qualified for the WMC All-Academic squad.
Deering's wrestling program continued its run as one of the top in the state. The Rams had two grapplers named to the SMAA all-conference team: Ryan Toussaint (the state champion at 125-pounds) and Tyler Debardino (285). They were joined by Portland's Glody Kayumba (215).
Portland's Jules Szanton qualified for the All-Academic team.
Three local girls were named to the SMAA all-star cheering team. Deering's Morgan Bryan, Maria Villarreal and Portland's Jessica Falcone were all chosen for the first team.
Congratulations to all our top athletes for giving us another season to remember!
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com.