North Yarmouth Academy Panthers Fall Athletes of the Year

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  • WMC Class C all-star, first-team

Thelven was an unsung hero for a Panthers team that had to fill holes and play without a beloved coach. He did whatever was necessary, including moving to a new position and playing through injury, and his contributions led NYA back to the playoffs.

Thelven is from Sweden originally, where he started playing soccer. Thelven came to NYA for his freshman year and he planned to play golf, but soccer coach Martyn Keen convinced him to play and he became an integral member of the program.

While other players got credit for scoring the goals, Thelven helped prevent them as one of the conference’s premier defenders.

“I love playing defense and stopping the other team,” Thelven said. “It feels great to get a ‘Great job!’ from the coach.”

This fall, the Panthers had to play without their coach, as Keen took the year off to battle esophageal cancer. Under new coach Stuart Thorley, Thelven moved to the back and anchored a defense which allowed just 16 goals in 16 games and pitched eight shutouts. NYA edged Hall-Dale in the Class C South quarterfinals as Thelven played through a meniscus injury he’d suffered in practice. The Panthers were then ousted by Monmouth Academy in the semifinals.

“I love how a group of kids can become a family and see how hard work pays off,” Thelven said. “I love the sheer competition and want the team to win.”

Thelven calls ice hockey his top sport and he also plays lacrosse. He’s a member of NYA’s Environmental and Leadership Clubs and is weighing his college options.

He’ll certainly be remembered for his effort on the pitch. Jeremy Thelven, NYA’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, led the Panthers to another terrific season.

Coach Stuart Thorley’s comment: “I called Jeremy our ‘Viking Warrior.’ He was such a leader in the back. He had the boys’ respect. He won headers and made tackles and really carried us on defense. It was a new position for him, but he was willing to play there for the sake of the team and with him back there, we didn’t concede many goals. He was the bridge between the coaches and players when I needed to get a point across. He’s quick and strong and he loves the game. He’s very enthusiastic.”

Prior winners:

2015 Thomas Pitts (soccer)

2014 D.J. Nicholas (soccer)

2013 Jackson Cohan-Smith (soccer)

2012 Matt Malcom (cross country)

2011 Cam Regan (cross country)

2010 Cam Regan (cross country)

2009 Tim Millett (golf)

2008 Henry Sterling (soccer)

2007 Taylor Gorman (soccer)

2006 James Sterling (golf)

2005 Sean Lynch (soccer)

2004 Nathaniel Bishop (soccer)

2003 Luke Welch (soccer)

2002 Sam Crocker (cross Country)

2001 Colin Minte (soccer)


SAVANNAH SHAW, Senior-Field hockey

  • All-State

  • All-State, All-Academic

  • WMC Class C Player of the Year

  • WMC Division II all-star, first-team

  • Team MVP

  • Captain

An injury forced Shaw to give up soccer in favor of field hockey and she became a quick study, so much so that she was named the best player in the conference this fall after leading the Panthers on another run to the playoffs.

Shaw decided to switch from soccer to field hockey as a sophomore and took to it quickly, making the varsity team at Edward Little. She came to NYA as a junior and made the all-conference team. This fall, Shaw played midfield and was a key cog on special teams, inserting the ball on penalty corners and playing flier on defensive corners. Shaw had three goals and added seven assists, but her impact couldn’t be quantified by mere statistics. He biggest goal was a tying tally against St. Dom’s off a corner as time expired in regulation. Shaw also had two assists in a win over the Maine Girls’ Academy/Waynflete co-op team.

NYA got to the playoffs, but lost at Lisbon in the quarterfinals.

After the season, Shaw won just about every award and recognition available.

“We surprised people a little bit this year,” Shaw said. “We had a lot of success. We fought through adversity. I love the girls I play with. We’re like a family. I’m very competitive. Sports is my escape and my passion.”

Shaw also belongs to a bluegrass ensemble, plays with the steel band and sings with an a capella group at NYA. She’s the goalie on the hockey team and has played lacrosse in the past, but may compete in track this spring. She hopes to play ice hockey in college (she plans to study biology) and could play field hockey as well if she goes to a Division III school.

Many big things await, but Savannah Shaw, NYA’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, won’t soon forget her senior campaign.

Coach Wendy Polstein’s comment: “Savannah was a pleasure to coach, a natural athlete with a keen understanding of the game. She could see the field and anticipate the game dynamics. Every day she came to play hard for practice or games and in games she carried the burden of being the leader and go-to player for free hits and taking the ball up the field to the forward line. She also was key in getting back to defend. She was very helpful and a great leader with the younger players.”

Prior winners:

2015 Linnea Hull (field hockey)

2014 Elizabeth Coughlin (field hockey)

2013 Kayla Rose (field hockey)

2012 Jen Brown (field hockey)

2011 Katherine Millett (field hockey)

2010 Katherine Millett (field hockey)

2009 Courtney Dumont (soccer)

2008 Nicole Fuller (field hockey)

2007 Allie Tocci (field hockey)

2006 Alex Mack (soccer)

2005 Zoe Filliter (cross country)

2004 Elizabeth Werley-Prieto (field hockey)

2003 Abby Hamilton (field hockey)

2002 Rachael Blanchard (cross country)

2001 Kelsey Wilcox (soccer)

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

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.