Thu, Dec 18, 2014 ●
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Greely Rangers Spring Athletes of the Year

Sports

Greely Rangers Spring Athletes of the Year

Male

CONNOR RUSSELL, Senior-Baseball

  • WMC All-Conference, first-team, pitcher

  • Senior All-Star

On a team rich with powerful arms, Russell delivered a magical ending to his high school career, putting up impressive numbers and being on the mound for the Rangers' championship clincher.

Russell started playing baseball in T-ball and began pitching at the age of nine. He swung up to the varsity team as a sophomore and as a junior, was 6-0 with a 0.82 earned run average, striking out 60 batters in just 34 innings.

His senior campaign was spectacular as well.

Russell threw four shutout innings in the opener, a win over Fryeburg, then allowed just two earned runs and struck out eight batters against Poland, but suffered the only loss of his high school career. From there, he was lights out, allowing just one hit while fanning six in a 25-2 romp over York, throwing three shutout innings (with six Ks) in a second win over Fryeburg and beating York again behind seven Ks.

He was superb in the playoffs.

Against Poland in the semifinals, Russell avenged his lone loss by blanking the Knights on four hits, fanning nine. He next took the mound on the big stage of the Class B state final and had to be close to be perfect as Caribou and Greely were scoreless into the seventh inning.

After the Rangers pushed across a run in the top half, Russell delivered the punctuation mark, slamming the door on a five-hit, five-K effort.

I knew it was my last year and I had to perform and be a role model,” Russell said. “I worked on a change-up in the offseason. I needed that third pitch. I was excited to be the guy. Poland in the semis was my best game. The defense helped me a lot in the state game.”

Russell went 6-1 in 2014 with a 1.27 ERA, 50 strikeouts and just 10 walks. He finished his high school career with a 12-1 record, a 1.09 ERA and 121 Ks to just 22 walks.

Russell, who also swam for four years at Greely, is playing American Legion and travel baseball this summer. He'll take his show to Bates College next year, where he projects to become a strong pitcher at the next level.

In the biggest spots, he never wavered. Connor Russell, Greely's Spring Male Athlete of the Year, delivered big-time from start to finish and his team ultimately benefited most.

Coach Derek Soule's comment: “It was so great that in the end, Connor was the guy who brought it home for us. He has incredible composure, great location and stuff. His fastball tails away from righthanded hitters and in on lefthanders. He has a sharp breaking ball and change-up. He has a lot of intangibles. He's very tough to beat.”

Previous winners:

2013 Bailey Train (baseball)

2012 Jonah Normandeau (baseball)

2011 Mike Leeman (baseball)

2010 Mark McCauley (track)

2009 Sam Stauber (baseball)

2008 Eric Thompson (lacrosse)

2007 Caleb Jordan (baseball)

2006 Sam Green (baseball)

2005 Chris Martin (baseball)

2004 Ben True (track)

2003 Ryan Copp (baseball)

2002 Brent Lemieux (baseball)

Female:

KIRSTIN SANDREUTER, Senior-Track

  • All-state, first-team

  • Class B state champion, mile

  • Class B state champion, two-mile

  • WMC all-star, first-team, 800

  • WMC all-star, first-team, mile

  • WMC all-star, first-team, two-mile

  • WMC All-Academic team

Sandreuter will go down in Maine running lore as one of the special talents we've seen and she bowed out in style.

Sandreuter, who has been an avid runner since she was young, made an immediate mark in high school, being named Greely's Fall Female Athlete of the Year after a strong freshman cross country campaign. She was honored again as a senior and also has been a distance standout in indoor and outdoor track.

Sandreuter won the two-mile and was second in the mile indoors, but that was just a warmup. This spring, she wasn't just one of the best runners in the conference, but was among the best in the state and in all of New England.

Sandreuter dazzled at the biggest meets. At the Western Maine Conference championship, Sandreuter won the 800 in 2 minutes, 26.79 seconds, the mile in 5:16.15 and the two-mile in 11:20.62.

At the Class B state meet, Sandreuter won two individual titles, the mile (5:03.82) and the two-mile (11:31.71). Then, in her first high school race, Sandreuter was 13th in the 5,000 (17:27.65) at Nationals.

Sandreuter has also been a top student and will matriculate at Cornell University in the fall, where she will run and figures to continue to excel as a student-athlete.

That's because Kirstin Sandreuter, Greely's Spring Female Athlete of the Year, is never fazed. She saves her best for the biggest moments and simply put, is a natural champion.

Coach John Folan's comment: Kirstin has been the face of our program for the last few years. She represents what we would hope every Greely track athlete would aspire to. She's tenacious and competitive, she respects her body, trains religiously and practices a routine of superior nutrition. She's respected by her teammates, her coaches, her classmates and most tellingly, by every fellow competitor from other schools. She has meant the world to us. If all athletes would take the time to watch a person such as Kirstin strive for excellence in every endeavor, then they would all be better athletes and people.

Previous winners:

2013 Danielle Cimino (softball)

2012 Audrey Parolin (lacrosse)

2011 Katherine Harrington (track)

2010 Marika Stayte (softball)

2009 Liza LePage (track)

2008 Kate Otley (lacrosse)

2007 Becky O'Brien (track)

2006 Lauren Kinney (tennis)

2005 Molly Hamel (lacrosse)

2004 Kate Mason (track)

2003 Sara Dimick (lacrosse)

2002 Sarah Bennis (softball)

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