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South Portland Red Riots Spring Athletes of the Year

Sports

South Portland Red Riots Spring Athletes of the Year

Male:

DUNCAN PRESTON, Senior-Lacrosse

  • All-American

  • SMAA all-star, first-team, midfield

  • Senior All-Star

Preston was a superstar, miracle maker and champion this spring.

And for that, he's receiving this award for the third time (last spring for lacrosse and in the fall for football were the others).

Preston has been a standout in football and indoor track, but has really turned heads on the lacrosse field.

He joined the varsity team as a freshman and progressively played a bigger role.

This spring, South Portland was projected to be the team to beat and as a senior, Preston made sure it happened.

He scored 38 goals, added 24 assists and had 127 ground balls, giving him 88, 47 and 279 respectively for his career.

Preston wasn't usually the team's leading scorer, but he excelled in the faceoff circle, didn't hesitate to set up his teammates and finished when the opportunity presented.

Five goals against Portland was a regular season high, but Preston truly dazzled in the postseason, scoring four goals in a semifinal round win over Gorham, then delivering the goal of his life in an improbable regional final win against Thornton Academy.

The Red Riots trailed most of the way, but drew even with 6.9 seconds left, when Preston set up prolific teammate Thomas Leddy. With the game apparently heading to overtime, Preston instead put on an individual show, winning the ensuing faceoff, then racing in and scoring to sent South Portland to its first state final in absolutely impossible fashion.

In the state game, a victory over Brunswick, Preston capped his high school career with four goals and an assist.

"This team was just so great,” Preston said. “It felt like a big family."

Preston belonged to the American Sign Language club and volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club. He was named a league all-star and an All-American. He will attend Springfield College next year, where he plans to play football and might just go out for lacrosse as well.

Duncan Preston, South Portland's Spring Male Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row, did everything it took to cement his legend and lead the Red Riots to a level they'd never before achieved. His name will forever live in program legend.

Coach Tom Fiorini's comment: “Duncan is by far one of the most unselfish players I've ever had the privilege to coach. He leads by example and works hard. It's fun to watch when middle school and elementary school kids meet him. You can see that they look up to him, but he's unfazed and is the biggest kid in the room at heart. For me, that makes him pretty special. He and the team have brought the program to a whole new level. I really think that from midway through the fourth quarter against TA into the Brunswick state final, he decided he wasn't going to let his team fail. He put us on his shoulders and carried us to the championship.

Previous winners:

2013 Duncan Preston (lacrosse)

2012 Brendan Horton (baseball)

2011 Adrian Reid (track)

2010 Adam Burpee (lacrosse)

2009 Ben Linscott (lacrosse)

2008 Will Furbush (baseball)

2007 Eugene Arsenault (lacrosse)

2006 Thomas McCoubrey (track)

2005 Justin Collett (baseball)

2004 Scott Guillerault (baseball)

2003 Anthony Dambrie (track)

2002 Greg Norton (baseball)

Female:

SHANNON CONLEY, Senior-Track

  • All-state, first-team

  • SMAA Oustanding Runner-Regular Season

  • SMAA first-team, 3,200 relay

  • SMAA second-team, 800

  • SMAA second-team, mile

  • SMAA second-team, two-mile

  • SMAA champion, mile

  • SMAA All-Academic team

  • New Englands qualifier

  • Team MVP

  • Captain Award

Conley was one of the top distance runners around this season and cemented her status as an all-time South Portland great despite spending only a year-and-a-half at the school.

Conley grew up in South Portland and started running in the sixth grade. She soon grew to love running more than her previous sports of soccer, basketball and softball. She spent her freshman and sophomore years at Cheverus and part of her junior year there before returning to South Portland for what proved to be a very strong outdoor track campaign.

Last year, Conley was fifth in the 800 and was a part of a state champion 3,200 relay squad at the state meet.

After being named South Portland's Fall Female Athlete of the Year for a strong cross country season (she was second in Class A and qualified for New Englands) and a very good indoor track campaign (she placed third in the mile and fourth in the 800 in Class A), Conley committed to Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (where she'll study nursing), then went out and said farewell to South Portland in style.

Conley excelled during the season in everything from the 400 to the two-mile, while also leading the 1,600 and 3,200 relays to high finishes.

In the postseason, Conley turned heads, winning the mile at Southwesterns, then coming in second in both the mile and two-mile at states before posting her best time in the mile (5 minutes, 13.95 seconds) at New Englands, where she came in 19th.

I was really happy with outdoor track,” Conley said. “I even ran the 400 once. I've never really sprinted before.”

Conley, who belongs to National Honor Society, Interact Club and World Language Honors Society, plans to run the Beach to Beacon next month (and hopes to go under 39 minutes) and is training for the start of her first college cross country season, which begins Aug. 21.

With her poise, confidence and talent, she figures to excel at the next level as well. Shannon Conley, South Portland's Spring Female Athlete of the Year, has consistently met every challenge and is still getting better.

Coach Karen Rearden's comment: “Shannon capped her South Portland career with a great season. She was huge for us at the state meet and contributed to the team scoring as highly as we did. Shannon really came up big that day. I think that day kind of epitomized her season, in that she got the job done for the team and was a solid performer every time she stepped on the track. Her work ethic is outstanding and she has a lot of ability. It was nice to see her represent the school and the team so well all season. We wish her the best and she will be missed.”

Previous winners:

2013 Danica Gleason (softball)

2012 Erin Bogdanovich (softball)

2011 Alexis Bogdanovich (softball)

2010 Katlin Norton (softball)

2009 Danielle DiBiase (softball)

2008 Julie DiMatteo (softball)

2007 Christina Aceto (softball)

2006 Kristin Kill (softball)

2005 Krystal Shannon (softball)

2004 Lindsay Coit (lacrosse)

2003 Nichole Cousins (softball)

2002 Morgan O'Donnell (softball)

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