North Yarmouth Academy Panthers Winter Athletes of the Year

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2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:


* Class B state champion, two-mile

* WMC All-Conference, first team, mile

* WMC All-Conference, first team, two-mile

* WMC All-Academic team

Henry Sterling’s legacy was secure long before this season. He’d won state titles and awards and could have used the indoor campaign as a springboard for spring track, but instead, Sterling did what he does best, raise the bar.

He was the model of consistency this winter, made teammates and foes marvel at his skills and once again was one of the premier runners in the state, one who has a bright future.

With all that in mind, The Forecaster is selecting Henry Sterling as North Yarmouth Academy’s 2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year, marking the second year in a row he’s been honored.

Sterling, a Freeport resident, came to NYA in the sixth grade. He’s been a fixture in soccer in the fall and track in the spring, but spent his first two years playing basketball in the winter. As a junior, Sterling came to indoor track and won Class B state titles in the mile and two-mile.

This year, Sterling, along with coach Chris Mazzurco, set several goals and met them one after the other. He wanted to set a new personal record in the mile and did so in the very first meet. He wanted to set the conference record in the mile and momentarily held it until it was broken by rival Mark McCauley of Greely. Sterling also wanted to PR in the two-mile and did so at New Englands.

At the conference championships, Sterling won both the mile and two-mile. He was runner-up to McCauley in the mile at states, but took the two-mile championship. At New Englands, he came in ninth in the two-mile.

Sterling also sings in the Varsity Singers Group and is a member of the NYA Steel Band. He’ll attend Dartmouth next year, his first choice, and run all three seasons. He plans to study Education, with a focus on English.

If you enjoy track excellence, you’d be wise to keep an eye on this standout in his final high school season, this spring. Henry Sterling, NYA’s 2009-10 Winter Male Athlete of the Year, just keeps getting better.

Coach Chris Mazzurco’s comment: “Henry came into the season an entirely new kid. He was a confident runner, but he’s not cocky. He was a training machine. Every time he stepped on the track he would PR. He took it up a notch. Having a kid who’s that much of a rock is great. He’s a happy-go-lucky kid. He steadily improved every season he ran. He’ll be sorely missed.”

2008-09 winner: Henry Sterling (Track)

2007-08 winner: Ian Nichols (Swimming)

2006-07 winner: Chris Engel (Swimming)

2005-06 winner: Rob Carpenter (Indoor track)

2004-05 winner: Tim DeLuca (Basketball)

2003-04 winner: Dan Bartlett (Hockey)

2002-03 winner: Steve Lawrence (Hockey)

2001-02 winner: Matt Smith (Hockey)

2009-10 Winter Female Athlete of the Year:

EMILY MCKINNON, Freshman-Swimming

* Class B state champion, 500 free

* All-Conference, third team, 200 free

* All-Conference, third team, 500 free

When you meet Emily McKinnon, one of your first thoughts is that there’s no way this impressive young lady is a mere freshman.

Not only does she compete and excel in the water like a much more experienced swimmer, but she is clearly confident, comfortable with herself and wise beyond her years.

In the pool, McKinnon enjoyed a freshman season to treasure, winning a Class B state championship. She’s only going to get better and is already highly thought of by those she competes with and against.

For making such an immediate splash, in the pool and out, Emily McKinnon gets The Forecaster’s nod as North Yarmouth Academy’s 2009-10 Winter Female Athlete of the Year.

McKinnon lives in Yarmouth and started swimming in the second grade. She came to NYA in the sixth grade and made the most of her first varsity season.

McKinnon started out as a sprinter and breaststroker and initially rejected swimming longer races. Once she gave in, she quickly emerged as a top distance threat and was solid throughout. This winter, in addition to swimming the 200 and 500 free, she also made a mark in the individual medley and the 100 butterfly.

The postseason is where she really made her mark. At Southwesterns, McKinnon won the 200 free, was runner-up in the 500 free and was part of a first-place 200 free relay squad.

That was an appetizer for her performance at states, where she took top honors in the 500 free and was fourth in the 200 free.

She went on to place second in the 500 free and third in the 1,650 free at the Maine USA States.

McKinnon rewrote the school record book in the 200 and 500 free, as well as the 200 medley and 200 free relays.

McKinnon also plays field hockey at NYA and swims with the Westbrook Seals, training almost year-round (up to 23 hours a week in her estimation), is interested in photography and hopes to swim in college. She has a 3.4 GPA.

It’s safe to say that many schools will be very interested in her when the time comes. Emily McKinnon, NYA’s 2009-10 Winter Female Athlete of the Year, is only getting started, but is already something special.

Coach Dan Edwards’ Comment: “Emily’s an extraordinary swimmer, a smart competitor, an eager learner, a natural leader and a terrific kid. Despite her age, she’s one of the most intelligent competitors I’ve ever known. She’s very mature and demonstrates an enormous level of mental toughness. She’s a wonderful swimmer to watch, with excellent technique that never falls apart. She’s also a great teammate and it wasn’t unusual to see her helping others. She was a critical part of our team this year. When she raced, everyone was fired up to see it. I know it sounds like hyperbole, but she’s the real deal.”

2008-09 winner: Courtney Dumont (Hockey)

2007-08 winner: Courtney Dumont (Hockey)

2006-07 winner: Ingrid Knowles (Nordic skiing)

2005-06 winner: Ingrid Knowles (Nordic skiing)

2004-05 winner: Kathryn Engel (Swimming)

2003-04 winner: Teddy Fortin (Hockey)

2002-03 winner: Bobbi Dennison (Basketball)

2001-02 winner: Ashley Spicer (Basketball)

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