Wed, Nov 26, 2014 ●
BathHarpswellTopshamBrunswickCumberlandNorth YarmouthFalmouthFreeportPortlandCape ElizabethScarboroughSouth PortlandChebeague IslandYarmouth

Falmouth Yachtsmen Spring Athletes of the Year

Sports

Falmouth Yachtsmen Spring Athletes of the Year

MALE

THOMAS FORTIER, Senior-Baseball

    • WMC Class B Player of the Year

    • WMC all-star, first-team, pitcher

    • Winkin Award (Maine Mr. Baseball) finalist

    • Hood Sportsmanship Award finalist

    • Western Maine Umpire Association Award (top player in Class B/C)

    • Senior All-Star

    • Maine vs. New Hampshire Senior All-Star

One no-hitter in a season is an impressive feat. Two is jawdropping, but three? Simply unbelievable. Fortier was unhittable in three of his starts and pretty amazing in his others as he led the Yachtsmen to the brink of another title.

Fortier grew up in Falmouth and has long been a fixture on the diamond. Fortier started pitching in Little League, but stopped in middle school. He returned to the mound in high school and as a junior, enjoyed a breakout season as his powerful left arm led the Yachtsmen to their first Class B state championship, which earned him 2012 Spring Male Athlete of the Year honors.

That was a mere appetizer to the events of 2013, but Fortier's senior campaign did not begin fortuitously.

"I struggled my first game (in a preseason trip to Florida) and I overheard coach (Kevin) Winship saying to (pitching) coach (Craig) Pendleton he wasn't sure I was going to be able to keep the No. 1 spot," Fortier recalled.

Needless to say, that served as a wakeup call and Fortier threw a one-hitter his final apperance on the trip.

Then, he came home and simply dominated.

In his first start, at Cape Elizabeth, in a rematch of last year's regional final, Fortier surrendered four walks, but didn't allow a single hit or run in a 3-0 victory.

A week later, in his second start, Fortier walked four, struck out 11 and once again did not allow a single hit in a 10-0 win over Gray-New Gloucester.

The third no-hitter came May 13 at home against Yarmouth, as Fortier fanned nine and walked three.

"I had confidence in my pitches and the other guys on the field picked me up," said Fortier. "I was just kind of on a roll."

While he wouldn't throw another no-no, Fortier was superb throughout, also beating Lake Region, Cape Elizabeth again (on a three-hitter), York and Poland (in the quarterfinals). Fortier gave up three runs in the first inning against York in the regional final and finally suffered a loss as the Wildcats went on to replace the Yachtsmen as Class B champions.

Fortier wound up 7-1 with a 1.36 ERA in 56.1 innings. He struck out 67 batters and walked 36. For his career, he won 15 games, while losing only three.

Fortier entered the season with the reputation of being a pitcher, but not a hitter, however, this spring, after working on his hitting in the offseason, his bat came alive.

Fortier, who played centerfield when not pitching, had a double, single and a pair of RBI in a win over Freeport, three hits and three RBI versus Fryeburg, two hits and two RBI in the no-hitter against Gray-New Gloucester, a triple, an RBI and a run scored in the no-hitter against Yarmouth, two hits and two RBI versus Traip, two hits and two RBI in a second win over Freeport, two hits, a run scored and an RBI against Cape Elizabeth and doubled and scored the winning run in an extra inning victory at Gray-New Gloucester.

For the year, Fortier hit .404, had an on-base percentage of .507 and slugged .526. He scored 16 runs, drove in 17, doubled five times and tripled once.

"I was the smallest kid on the team as a freshman, so I didn't have many at-bats until this year," Fortier said.

Fortier was showered with postseason accolades and was even a finalist for the Winkin Award, given to the state's finest senior player. He's playing American Legion ball this summer with the Falmouth Post team, also sprinted in indoor track and with his family, brings kids from New York City to Maine as part of the Fresh Air Fund.

Fortier plans to attend and pitch at longtime power St. Joseph's College, where he'll study business management.

He certainly managed to make the most of his senior season. Thomas Fortier, Falmouth's Spring Male Athlete of the Year, was close to perfect and was a lot of fun to watch.

Coach Kevin Winship’s comment: “Thomas was unbelievable this year. I have no explanation. He really worked hard to become what I think is one of the best pitchers around. Through hard work and determination, he became our No. 1 pitcher. He had some big wins for us.

Previous winners:

2012: Thomas Fortier (baseball)

2011: Matt MacDowell (baseball)

2010: Dan Hanley (lacrosse)

2009: Tommy Winger (track)

2008: Ethan Shaw (track)

2007: Ethan Shaw (track)

2006: Chris Morrison (tennis)

2005: Antonio Floridino (track)

2004: Aaron Paradis (baseball)

2003: Antonio Floridino (track)

2002: Matt Dissell (track)

FEMALE

OLIVIA LEAVITT- Sophomore-Tennis

  • State singles champion

  • WMC all-star, singles first team

A key member of the best team in the state (again), Leavitt also proved she had no peer as an individual this spring, overcoming injury to make history.

Leavitt started playing tennis at the age of eight and quickly developed into one of the best players around.

As a freshman, Leavitt was in the shadow of senior standouts Annie Criscione and Analise Kump, but still managed to star in the third singles role and reach the semifinal round of the state tournament, where she lost to eventual champion Maisie Silverman of Brunswick.

It wouldn't happen again.

This spring, Leavitt set the tone, creating a fun team environment by making luggage tags and hats and bringing a boom box to practice.

On the court, Leavitt had no peer, helping Falmouth go 16-0 for the fifth year in a row, extend its match win streak to a jawdropping 93 and win the Class B team championship for the sixth consecutive season.

Not that it came easily.

Prior to the singles tournament, Leavitt strained her bicep, but thanks to physical therapy, icing/heating and as she described, "a lot of Advil," she charged through the field, got another crack at Silverman and dispatched her in straight sets to become Falmouth's first girls' singles champion since 1985.

"I had trained a lot and I felt like I wanted it more," Leavitt said. "I had a feeling I'd prevail."

Leavitt is ranked 25th in New England in the 16-and-under age group, is playing in several tournaments this summer and hopes to play at the Division I level in college.

First, she figures to continue to be the star of stars on the state's premier powerhouse. Olivia Leavitt, Falmouth's Spring Female Athlete of the Year, will continue to pen a dazzling legacy.

Coach Sandra Stone's comment: “Olivia's a competitor. She's focused, determined and hungry. Tennis is her life. She can dominate. I never saw her play as well as she did in the singles final. She was going on adrenaline. She learned how to be a team player in an individual sport. The team was more confident with her in the lineup. She did the little things to make it fun for the girls. She's one of the best players I've ever had.”

Previous winners:

2012: Jenna Serunian (track)

2011: Kelsey Freedman (softball)

2010: Analise Kump (tennis)

2009: Annie Criscione (tennis)

2008: Hallsey Leighton (tennis)

2007: Carly Applebaum (track)

2006: Kristen Meahl (tennis)

2005: Eileen Brandes (softball)

2004: Kristen Meahl (tennis)

2003: Beth Rubenstein (track)

2002: Beth Rubenstein (track)

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