Portland area athletes honored as All-Americans
If the 2009 season wasn't special enough for the Portland boys' and Waynflete girls' lacrosse teams, the news only gets better.
Fresh off winning state championships, The Bulldogs and Flyers both learned that three of their players have received the highest honor, being named All-Americans.
Impressive batch of Bulldogs
Portland placed seniors Dylan Kenney, K.R. Jurgelevich and Igor Radosavljevic on the squad.
For Jurgelevich, it was the second straight season he was selected. Arguably the finest player in the state, Jurgelevich had 47 goals, 22 assists and won 92 ground balls. He was also dominant in the faceoff circle. He will attend the University of Massachusetts next year.
"K.R. has never missed a game and started since his freshman year," said Bulldogs coach Eric Begonia. "He's as durable as they come and works tirelessly on his craft to perfect it. He plays great defense, takes faceoffs, is on our man-down and man-up units, not to mention his offensive prowess. What most people don't know about K.R. is that he's an even better son, friend and person to everyone around him."
Kenney was part of a four-headed defensive unit (seniors Erik Casparius, Radosavljevic and Jason Smith) that stymied almost every foe this spring. Kenney not only had 101 ground balls, but also scored 10 goals and added 13 assists. He's bound for Siena (N.Y) College in the fall.
"Dylan never settles for anything but the best of himself," Begonia said. "He's a true leader and a difference-maker on the field. He's so big, strong, smart and skilled that opposing coaches have to make adjustments to account for the fact that he always seems to be near the ball. He has an absolute desire to get the ball and make things happen."
Radosavljevic was honored as an Academic All-American. He graduated with a grade point average of 95.26.
"Igor is not only intelligent in the classroom, but also on the field," Begonia said. "As good as our defense is, he's often overshadowed, but he's a fantastic defender in his own right. He's as solid as they come, fast, and has a great stick."
Portland has now produced All-Americans in five straight seasons. Matt Morneau (2005), Garrett McAdam (2006), Sam McAdam (2007) and Jurgelevich (2008) were the prior selections.
The boys' All-American team also included Brunswick senior defender Max Rosner, Cape Elizabeth senior attack Mike Holden, Gould Academy senior attack Max Littlefield, Kennebunk senior goalie Cullen Finn, Scarborough senior midfielder Danny Clark, Yarmouth senior midfielder Rob Highland and Yarmouth junior attack Steven Petrovek.
Other members of the Academic All-American team included Messalonskee's Eric Caron, Mt. Ararat's Chris Lalond and Yarmouth's Casey Jones.
Brunswick's Dan Glover was named Coach of the Year. Falmouth's Chris Richards was honored as Assistant Coach of the Year. Longtime Cape Elizabeth and Kennebunk coach Charlie Burch was named Man of the Year.
Eight girls made the All-American team and three hailed from Waynflete.
Seniors Anna Libby and Mariah Monks made the first team, while junior Morgan Woodhouse was an honorable mention selection.
Libby, a midfielder, was solid on offense and defense this year and scored several clutch goals. She will attend Boston College next year.
"Anna is the silent, but deadly type player," said Flyers coach Cathie Connors. "She's plays a beautiful finesse game and is very strong on defense. Nothing budges her. She gets the ball and always gives a perfect pass. She's fun to watch. She's also so sweet. She plays lacrosse because she loves it."
Monks had a breakout performance as a freshman, scoring in the state game, and has been a fixture all over the field for four years. She was join former teammate Ashley Allen at Hamilton College next year.
"Mariah is the whole package," Connors said. "She's a really strong defender who helps run the zone. She's crucial in the midfield. She never misses a pass. She's our driving force on attack. She's so intense and so competitive, but she can be really funny in practice."
Woodhouse is an elite three-sport athlete, who helped Waynflete win a Class C state title in soccer and almost led the Flyers to the Western C Final in basketball. On the lacrosse field, her speed, height and skill make her almost impossible to stop. The best news about Woodhouse from a Waynflete perspective is that she's coming back in the fall.
"Morgan is a great end-to-end player," Connors said. "Her height is a huge advantage for her. She knows how to us it. She's very athletic. Very intuitive. She can take it right down and score. She has a beautiful shot. She's very into the team. I like to think lacrosse is her best sport."
All-American honors are nothing new for Waynflete. This is the 10th successive season the Flyers have been honored. In the past decade, Waynflete now has produced 19 All-American players.
Kennebunk senior Jamie Spang and Yarmouth senior Lanier Bolmer also made the first team. Brunswick's Cecilia Kjellman, Scarborough's Ellie Morin and Yarmouth's Danielle Torres were the other honorable mentions.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.