Deering Rams Fall Athletes of the Year
KENNY SWEET, Senior-Football
* SMAA first-team defense, back
Sweet put the Rams on his shoulders this fall and led them from the depths of an 0-4 start to a strong finish.
Sweet grew up in Portland and started playing football in grade school. After a growth spurt his freshman year, he spent three years with the varsity. As a junior, Sweet made the league all-star team after registering over 100 tackles. This fall, he made his presence felt on offense.
Sweet rushed for 91 yards (and also had an interception) in a season opening loss at Thornton Academy. Unfortunately for Deering, the losses continued as it started the year 0-4. Late in the third setback, Sweet moved under center, replacing the injured Mike Marzilli. That set the stage for him to become the absolute focal point of the offense and put up some impressive numbers.
Sweet had a kickoff return for a touchdown and scored twice more on runs in a painful loss to Scarborough, but then, the Rams' fortunes turned as Sweet threw for two TDs, ran for over 130 yards and had two interceptions in a win over Biddeford and scored five touchdowns (four rushing and one on a kickoff return) in a 57-12 romp over South Portland that ensured a playoff spot. In the regular season finale, a hard-fought 21-0 loss at two-time defending state champion Cheverus, Sweet gained 110 yards on 18 carries.
Deering's playoff run ended quickly with a 49-0 loss to Cheverus in the quarterfinals, but Sweet had 129 rushing yards and forced a fumble.
Sweet capped his high school career with an epic performance in the Thanksgiving Day game versus rival Portland, rushing for 248 yards and three TDs and passing for another (earning Deering's Outstanding Player honor) as the Rams managed to wrap up an up-and-down season on a high note.
“I wanted us to dig out of a hole,” Sweet said. “I don't like losing at all. I just tried to be the leader and get everyone into it.”
Sweet is also a top bowler, having bowled a 300 game, and is a member of Deering's baseball team (pitcher and outfield), another sport in which he's been named an all-star. Sweet wants to play football in college and is in the selection process. He might pursue business management.
He managed to lead his team through a minefield this year and close the season in style. Kenny Sweet, Deering's Fall Male Athlete of the Year, was determined, driven and unstoppable.
Coach Jon Gallant's comment: “Kenny's a great leader. He has a great work ethic. He's just a tough kid. I don't know if he's the most gifted athlete, but he never gives up. He won't wow anybody with cuts or moves, but he can do some things that are very special.”
2011: Joe Walp (Golf)
2010: Jamie Ross (Football)
2009: Charlie Dupee (Soccer)
2008: Jack Heary (Football)
2007: Tony Yeboah (Soccer)
2006: John Misener (Cross country)
2005: Sean Meehan (Soccer/Football)
2004: Ryan Flaherty (Football)
ALEXIS ELOWITCH Junior-Soccer
Western A All-Regional team
SMAA All-Star, first team
The Deering girls' soccer team didn't panic when it faced a deficit this fall. That's because the Rams featured one of the state's best finishers in Elowitch, a player with a flair for the dramatic.
Elowitch started playing at a young age and joined the varsity as a freshman. She was a league all-star her first year and an all-state selection as a sophomore. This fall, Elowitch was again one of the finest players around. One who scored clutch goal after clutch goal.
Highlights included the tying goal and two assists in a come-from-behind win over Portland, two goals against Kennebunk, a season-high four goals in a win over Marshwood and her finest performance, in another come-from-behind win, 3-2, at Cheverus in overtime. In that one, Elowitch had the tying goal late in regulation, then pounced a rebound for the winner in OT.
Elowitch finished with 14 goals and six assists.
“My motto is pressure makes a player,” Elowitch said. “I'm very determined and willing to improve. I love soccer. Playing is so much fun.”
Elowitch has played Premier soccer since the fifth grade, has served as a youth coach and official and is also a track standout, sprinting and throwing in the winter and spring. She wants to play soccer in college and figures to have no shortage of suitors.
Her talent is undeniable, but what has made Alexis Elowitch, Deering's Fall Female Athlete of the Year, so dynamic has been her ability to shine even when everyone's trying to stop her. That isn't likely to change.
Coach Kevin Olson's comment: "Alexis is a very talented player. She is a determined and focused athlete. She works extremely hard during our training sessions. Alexis has a great understanding of the game and her position. She has great field awareness and vision out on the pitch. Alexis is very strong, fast and explosive. Her foot skills and first touch are incredible. Alexis also has the mental toughness one needs to be successful."
2011: Alexis Sivovlos (Soccer)
2010: Amanda Masse (Soccer)
2009: Jami LeRoy (Field hockey)
2008: Jess Ruhlin (Field hockey)
2007: Jess Ruhlin (Field hockey)
2006: Chelsea Johnson (Soccer)
2005: Ashley Morgan (Cross country)
2004: Bronwyn Potthoff (Field hockey)