Fall Athletes of the Year: Cape Elizabeth Capers
2009 FALL MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
EZRA WOLFINGER, Senior-Football
*Campbell Conference Class B all-star, first team
An odyssey that began unexpectedly as a freshman culminated in glory for Ezra Wolfinger and his teammates this fall.
Wolfinger, who first faced the mighty Mountain Valley Falcons as a freshman, but never could beat them with a state final birth on the line, finally got over the hump this fall.
Two weeks after the Capers pummeled Mountain Valley 34-0 in the regular season finale, the Falcons appeared primed to break Cape Elizabeth's heart anew in the Western B Final, leading 13-9 with time winding down, but this time would be different.
Wolfinger led his team on an inspirational scoring drive to sweep away the demons of the past and the Capers earned a state final berth for the very first time.
In truth, he's been a winner for a long time. Undaunted by the big stage even as a freshman, Wolfinger proved to be the ideal leader for a team that was dominant from start to finish.
For coming up big time and again, especially when his teammates needed him most, for being a tremendous leader and for displaying such poise in the clutch, Ezra Wolfinger is The Forecaster's choice for Cape Elizabeth's 2009 Fall Male Athlete of the Year.
Wolfinger grew up in Cape Elizabeth and started playing football in middle school (as a wide receiver). He moved over to the quarterback position as a freshman and received trial by fire in the final regular season game when starter Jim Bump was hurt at Mountain Valley and Wolfinger had to go in and try and keep his team's undefeated record intact. The Capers fell short that day and lost two weeks later in the regional final, but a rivalry was born (and would soon be immortalized by Ezra's father, Kirk, in the documentary, "The Rivals").
After serving as a backup as a sophomore, Wolfinger took over behind center as a junior and again led Cape Elizabeth to the regional final, where for the third year in a row, the Capers lost to Mountain Valley.
This season, however, Cape Elizabeth would have no peer in Western B. Wolfinger threw for a pair of scores in a season-opening 32-0 win at Poland and three more the next week in a decisive victory at York and the Capers were on their way.
While opposing defenses paid plenty of attention to Cape Elizabeth's multi-talented senior Tommy Foden, Wolfinger and receivers Finn Melanson and Kyle Danielson (along with Foden) were having a field day through the air. Wolfinger had two TD passes versus Fryeburg, three apiece against Falmouth, Gray-New Gloucester and Greely and finally three more in the one-sided win over Mountain Valley that gave the Capers their second 9-0 regular season in three years and the top seed for the playoffs.
In the Western B semis, Wolfinger threw for a score in a 35-14 win over Wells. Then, the next week, playing with a sore wrist and contending with heavy rain, he engineered the winning drive, hooking up with senior Kyle Piscopo for the go-ahead score. Cape Elizabeth's championship dreams ended with a 35-21 Class B state game loss to Leavitt, as Wolfinger underwent a frustrating night, throwing for just 66 yards with two interceptions.
Wolfinger, who is also the catcher on the Cape Elizabeth baseball team, has honed his skills at a quarterback/receiving camp in New Jersey with teammates Melanson and Max Pulsifer. He's much more than just an athlete, travelling extensively and even working in an orphanage in Tanzania last summer (with girlfriend Amy Allen, who coincidentally is Waynflete's Fall Female Athlete of the Year). He wants to play football at the next level and is currently entertaining his college options.
Rest assured, he'll be ready to step right in and make a splash. Ezra Wolfinger, Cape Elizabeth's 2009 Fall Male Athlete of the Year, has shown he can rise to any challenge.
Coach Aaron Filieo's Comment: "Ezra is a tremendous leader. He leads by doing his job and never wavering. He's smart, poised and mature. He carries himself with class and dignity in every capacity he serves. Everyone can see his obvious talents, yet it wasn't until the Western Maine championship that he showed the depth of his leadership. He was like a steady, experienced sea captain successfully guiding his ship through a turbulent squall. He is one of the most talented players I've every worked with."
2008 winner: Nate Lavallee (Football)
2007 winner: Jim Bump (Football)
2006 winner: Graham Egan (Cross country)
2005 winner: Mike Kertes (Football)
2004 winner: Ron Kelton (Golf)
2003 winner: Elliot Cohen (Football)
2002 winner: David Croft (Soccer)
2001 winner: Jeff Hodge (Soccer)
2009 FALL FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
KARYN BARRETT, Junior-Soccer
* WMC all-star, first team
* Golden Boot winner (most goals on team)
* Silver Boot winner (most assists on team)
The Cape Elizabeth girls' soccer team wasn't able to make it to the postseason this fall, but the Capers were still one of the most dangerous teams around, due largely to the powerful left foot of Karyn Barrett.
Cape Elizabeth was always in a game as long as Barrett had some breathing room and more often than not, she was able to shake off the defenders covering her and deliver.
Barrett is a prolific scorer, but also excels at some of the more subtle aspects of the game. She's one of the best players around, who is committed to getting even better, and best of all, still has a year left in a Capers' uniform.
Those attributes and accomplishments were enough to convince The Forecaster to name Karyn Barrett as Cape Elizabeth's 2009 Fall Female Athlete of the Year.
Barrett, a Cape Elizabeth native, starting playing soccer at age 3 and has been a fixture on the Capers' varsity since her freshman year. She's been a force throughout her high school career and had several highlights this fall.
Her first half goal was the difference in a season-opening win over Gray-New Gloucester. Barrett scored a goal in a tie with defending Class B state champion Falmouth, had a goal in a loss at eventual state champ York, set up the winner against Poland, scored two dazzling goals in a loss at Greely, had one more in a rematch with Falmouth and scored in a season-ending win over Freeport.
She led the Capers with eight goals and six assists. She was also tops with shots, shots on goal and minutes played.
Barrett, who also plays for the Maine Coast United U-17 team, runs track in the winter and plays lacrosse in the spring. She's a member of Student Council and the School Leadership Program. She hopes to play soccer in college and figures to get plenty of interest.
Local soccer fans are lucky. Karyn Barrett, Cape Elizabeth's 2009 Fall Female Athlete of the Year, still has one more season to dazzle them. Expect plenty of thrills to come.
Coach Gary Newell's Comment: "Karyn impressed me this season with her dedication for development. She's worked to improve her technical skills. Her work ethic on and off the field has been instrumental for our program. It's no secret she has a tremendous left foot and is deadly on set pieces. She impacted every game we played. Her runs off the ball create for us offensively. I really enjoyed coaching her this season. She's a wonderful role model and ambassador for our program. She's a very special player who I'm very fortunate to have coming back next season."
2008 winner: Emily Attwood (Cross country)
2007 winner: Emily Attwood (Cross country)
2006 winner: Marla Houghton (Soccer)
2005 winner: Dana Riker (Soccer)
2004 winner: Elise Moody-Roberts (Cross country)
2003 winner: Elise Moody-Roberts (Cross country)
2002 winner: Clare Egan (Cross country)
2001 winner: Addie Rintel (Field hockey)