North Yarmouth Academy Panthers Spring Athletes of the Year

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D.J. NICHOLAS, Senior—Lacrosse

  • WMC all-star, first-team

  • Senior All-Star

  • Captain

Nicholas never planned to become a lacrosse goalie, but once he did, there were few better. Thanks to his ability between the pipes, the Panthers embarked on a longer than expected playoff run this spring.

Nicholas, who was also named NYA’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year due to his soccer excellence, lives in Portland and came to NYA for middle school. While also playing soccer, hockey and basketball in high school, Nicholas really turned heads on the lacrosse field. He was a midfielder as a freshman, but when Weston Nolan left the school, leaving a void in goal, Nicholas offered to give it a shot.

“There was a lot of pressure, but I liked it,” Nicholas said.

The Panthers liked having him in goal and Nicholas became an all-star as a sophomore and earned honorable mention as a junior after saving 58 percent of the shots he saw (up from 55 percent his sophomore campaign). 

This spring, Nicholas made a mind-boggling 208 saves. He stopped 61 percent of the shots he saw. NYA upset top-ranked Maranacook/Winthrop and got to the regional final before losing to rival Yarmouth. If you include playoff games, Nicholas stopped 65 percent of the shots he faced.

“We did better than I expected,” Nicholas said. “I thought it would be a rough year, but we had a lot of team chemistry.”

Nicholas will attend Thomas College in Waterville in the fall. He plans on playing soccer (lacrosse might be in the discussion as well) and studying business.

He kept his team in business the past three years, especially this one. D.J. Nicholas, North Yarmouth Academy’s Spring Male Athlete of the Year, carried the Panthers farther than most imagined possible.

Coach Peter Gerrity’s comment: I could not have been more impressed with DJ’s leadership this season. We all knew we’d lean on him heavily to keep us in games and perhaps win games with outstanding performances and he handled that pressure very well. He had a direct impact on every game he played. He expects a lot out of himself and is able to get his teammates to do the same. His shoes will be hard to fill in goal, but even more difficult will be replacing his intensity, effort and athleticism. He increased the entire team’s level of play and we’ll certainly miss him.”

Previous winners:

2014 Bryce Tetrault (tennis)

2013 Jacob Scammon (lacrosse)

2012 Jake Burns (track)

2011 Ryan Salerno (baseball)

2010 Henry Sterling (track)

2009 Sam Fear (track)

2008 Henry Gleason (lacrosse)

2007 Than Wellin (lacrosse)

2006 Michael Moody (track)

2005 Peter Gerrity (lacrosse)

2004 Brian Chin (track)

2003 Matt Curran (baseball)

2002 Matt Fortin (track)


MURIEL ADAMS, Senior—Track

  • Class C State champion, discus

  • State record-holder, discus

  • All-State

  • WMC all-star, Division II first-team, discus

  • WMC All-Academic team

  • Team MVP

  • Captain

Adams became an accidental record-setter this spring, capping a triumphant high school career in storybook fashion.

Adams grew up in Freeport and came to NYA for middle school. She started track at the age of nine and it quickly became her sport. She began throwing the discus in middle school. In high school, Adams placed fourth outdoors in the discus as a freshman. As a sophomore, she shot up the ranks and with a top throw of 107 feet, 6 inches, took the Class C title in somewhat surprising fashion. As a junior, Adams was runner-up at states, but this spring, no one was going to stand in her way.

Adams was determined to bow out as a champion as a senior and after failing to win the discus just once all year, was at her best on the biggest stage. At the Western Maine Conference meet, she was the top discus thrower in Division II with a throw of 118-10. Then, at states, she not only returned to the top spot, she had the best discus throw in the state and set a new record with her personal best of 128 feet, 7 inches. That throw was 15 feet better than Class A champion Maddie Stella of Noble and nine inches farther than Class B champion Alyssa Coyne of Greely and broke a record which was set in 1989.

“I had no idea of the record,” said Adams, who credited her throwing coach, Matthew Brown also known as ‘Coach T’ for much of her success. “My goal was to break 120 feet. I did it three times that day. I was very excited. I achieved everything I wanted and more this year.”

At New Englands, Adams was eighth in the discus (116-10). She then took part in the Junior Olympics in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Adams, who belonged to NYA’s Robotics Club and volunteered for Safe Passage in high school, will attend the University of Vermont where she plans to study engineering and throw the discus, as well as try the hammer.

We haven’t heard the last of this standout. Muriel Adams, North Yarmouth Academy’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year, truly saved her best for last, at least at the high school level. Her name will live on in school lore.

Coach Chris Mazzurco’s comment: “Muriel has worked hard for her accomplishments, starting before she even came to NYA. She put in extra time at practice. She needed to, as she also put in extra time trying to help others who were learning to throw. On top of this, even though she didn’t train for it, she would reliably run an ever-improving time on our girls’ 4×400 relay. Sprinting a quarter of a mile as someone who generally only needs to work her way across a small circle for her event was brave and to do it so well was amazing. She always had the team’s best interest in her mind. She set an example for the younger athletes to follow that incorporated all the aspects you need to succeed at her level.

Previous winners:

2014 Olivia Madore (lacrosse)

2013 Muriel Adams (track)

2012 Sarah Jordan (tennis)

2011 Katie Cawley (lacrosse)

2010 Courtney Dumont (lacrosse)

2009 Thu-Trang Ho (tennis)

2008 Kayte Demont (track)

2007 Erin Lachance (lacrosse)

2006 Meghan Meintel (lacrosse)

2005 Molly Moss (lacrosse)

2004: Kristen Lothes (tennis)

2003 Jenny Kendall (tennis)

2002 Emma Harper (track)

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

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