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Greely Winter Athletes of the Year

Sports

Greely Winter Athletes of the Year

2008-09 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:
KEVIN HART, Senior-Hockey
* Class B West first-team all-star
* Class B West Defenseman of the Year
* Class B West Co-Player of the Year
* Senior All-Star

Who cares if the last name is missing a vowel?

The heart of the first-time Class B state champion Greely hockey team dug deep to overcome injury and make a dramatic return early last month to help put the wraps on the finest season in school annals.

With the Rangers' Holy Grail finally there for the taking, Kevin Hart found himself in a most helpless position: on the bench watching. Hart fractured four bones in his back in a semifinal round win over York and could do nothing but watch and cheer as Greely faced nemesis Cape Elizabeth in the Western B Final.

The Rangers overcame a slow start, got a little luck and survived, punching their ticket for the state final against Presque Isle. There, in the first period, with Greely already ahead 1-0, the crowd came to life when No. 9 hopped over the boards. A few measly broken bones weren't going to keep Hart from being on the ice for the biggest game of his life. He played and played well as the Rangers cruised 5-1 to make history.

That's the stuff Hollywood endings are made of!

While no movies are in the works, the legend is secure. A season and career of excellence and yes, unrivaled heart, made it easy for The Forecaster to name Kevin Hart as Greely's 2008-09 Winter Male Athlete of the Year.

Hart has been no stranger to athletic success in high school. He played three years of varsity boys' soccer and was part of a Class A state champion in 2007. As a sophomore, he reveled in Greely's first baseball title of the decade.

Hockey is his No. 1 sport, however (he grew up playing anywhere and everywhere he could), and winning a championship was a burning desire. The Rangers came close his first three years (including an overtime loss in the state game his sophomore season) and it didn't take long this winter for Greely to show the world that it had a special unit.

An offensive-minded defensemen, Hart constantly frustrated opposing scorers and led the transition into the opposing end. He scored his share as well, including game-winners against York and two-time defending Class A champion Biddeford. He played the big brother role to the hilt, making freshman standout Brian Hart look good on numerous occasions, setting up the budding star with perfect passes.

Kevin Hart had two assists in the semifinals against York, but also was injured after a hit along the boards. Ultimately, he wasn't sidelined for long.

Hart, who plays hockey year-round, even while competing in the other sports, wants to play in college, but expects to play a year of preps first.

In a season of countless memories, the most inspirational came when he made his return in the state final. It didn't matter what the scoreboard read, when Kevin Hart, Greely's 2008-09 Winter Male Athlete of the Year, made his triumphant entry, the title was secured.

Coach Barry Mothes' comment: "Kevin is without a doubt the smartest, most talented and skilled hockey player to play at Greely in my 15 years here. He was a pleasure to have as a player the past four years. He was very self-motivated. I know he is hoping to play beyond high school and I think he will be successful."

2007-08 winner: Nathan Mecray (Swimming)
2006-07 winner: Nathan Mecray (Swimming)
2005-06 winner: Drew Bowden (Hockey)
2004-05 winner: Ben Knowles (Skiing)
2003-04 winner: Kerry Burke (Indoor track)
2002-03 winner: John Loren (Indoor track)
2001-02 winner: Tim Apuzzo (Basketball)

2008-09 Winter Female Athlete of the Year:
SARA SCHAD, Freshman-Swimming
* All-State, second team, 400 free relay
* All-Conference, second team, 200 free relay
* All-Conference, second team, 400 free relay
* All-Conference, third team, 100 free

Most freshmen swimmers are content to linger in the shadows and to not draw attention to themselves by doing something embarrassing.

Sara Schad is a whole different story.

A highly-touted addition to a storied program, Schad had a marvelous first season and saved her best for last. That combined with the promise of even brighter days ahead has earned Sara Schad the nod as Greely's 2008-09 Winter Female Athlete of the Year.

Schad grew up in North Yarmouth and has long stood out in the pool. She began swimming with the Seacoast team since the age of seven and stepped right in for the Rangers this winter.

During the regular season, she had the fourth-best Class B time in the state in the 200 free, was sixth-fastest in the 50 and 100 free, seventh in the backstroke, and 11th in the individual medley.

She really hit her stride in the postseason. At Southwesterns, against many of the best swimmers in the state regardless of class, Schad was second in the 200 free, sixth in the breaststroke and was part of a runner-up 400 free relay squad.

At states, Schad wasn't just second in the 200 free, but also placed runner-up in the 100 free, serving notice that she plans to dominate for awhile.

Schad, who also played soccer in the fall and plans to play lacrosse this spring, still competes for Seacoast, and spends a lot of time in the water. She plans to join Student Council next year and wants to swim in college.

Luckily for the Rangers, she still has three years to rule the pool in high school. Sara Schad, Greely's 2008-09 Winter Female Athlete of the Year, made a quite a splash as a freshman. Get used to hearing her name a lot in the years to come.

Coach Rob Hale's comment: "Sara obviously was a known commodity coming into the season. The pleasant surprise was how she became a team player for us. It took her a little time to get the swing of high school swimming and my style of coaching and philosophy. Simply put, she likes to race and is a big meet swimmer. I predict next year will be even better."

2007-08 winner: Becky O'Brien (Indoor track)
2006-07 winner: Dani Cyr (Hockey)
2005-06 winner: Becky O'Brien (Indoor track)
2004-05 winner: Rebecca Furey (Indoor track)
2003-04 winner: Steph Ginn (Basketball)
2002-03 winner: Abby Chapman (Indoor track)
2001-02 winner: Mandy Bowden (Skiing)

Photo:
Kevin Hart

Photo:
Sara Schad