Portland Bulldogs Fall Athletes of the Year

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DYLAN BOLDUC, Senior-Football

  • Fitzpatrick Trophy semifinalist

  • Class A North Player of the Year

  • Team MVP
  • Class A North all-star, first-team

  • Class A North All-Academic

  • Class A North leading rusher

  • Class A North leading tackler

  • Jack Duffy Award winner

  • Bruce Glasier Memorial Scholarship recipient

  • Vinnie Allen Trophy winner

  • Captain

Bolduc became the Bulldogs’ workhorse and excelled on both sides of the ball, leading Portland back to the state final and earning great acclaim in the process.

Bolduc started playing football in the second grade.

“Watching the (National Football League) made me want to try it,” said Bolduc, who previously played soccer.

His speed and athleticism stood out from a young age and Bolduc first made his presence felt on the Bulldogs varsity as a sophomore, when he tied for the league lead in interceptions with five and registered 42 tackles from his defensive back position. As a junior, Bolduc made the all-conference team with 71 tackles, three interceptions and a fumble recovery. That season was highlighted by two memorable touchdowns, a kickoff return for a score to ice a key victory at Scarborough and a 97-yard interception runback for a score to help beat Windham. He also saw some time on offense as Portland got to the state final, only to lose to Thornton Academy. That defeat and a costly fumble he gave away which led to the Golden Trojans’ first score haunted and drove Bolduc in the offseason and he went on to produce a sensational senior campaign.

Bolduc won the Class A North regular season rushing title by nearly 200 yards, gaining 976 on 144 carries with 12 touchdowns. He wasn’t supposed to be the lead back, but in week three, classmate Nick Archambault suffered a season-ending knee injury and Bolduc made the transition seamless by rushing for 109 yards with a TD on 26 carries in a 42-21 victory.

“I’d played running back my whole life, so I knew what I was doing,” said Bolduc, who featured a unique shiftiness in traffic to elude defenders and an uncanny ability to gain yards after the initial hit. “Windham was a good team, so I knew after that game that I could do it. I just had to execute. It meant a lot to me that the coaches trusted me with the ball. I didn’t want to let my teammates down or myself down, since I have high expectations.”

Other highlights included 222 yards and four touchdowns on 33 carries and the Jack Duffy Award as Portland’s MVP in a come-from-behind win against Cheverus, 121 yards and a score on 13 rushes in a semifinal round victory over Oxford Hills, 135 yards and two TDs on 26 carries in a come-from-behind win over Windham in the regional final and 66 yards on 15 rushes in the state final loss to Bonny Eagle. He also had over 100 yards and four TDs in a Thanksgiving Day win over Deering, earning the Vinnie Allen Trophy as his team’s MVP.

Defensively, Bolduc set the tone as well, replacing Archambault at middle linebacker and leading Class A North with 82 tackles. He added a sack and an interception.

For his efforts, Bolduc was named Class A North Player of the Year and one of 11 semifinalists for the state’s most storied award, the Fitzpatrick Trophy.

“I didn’t see it coming,” Bolduc said, of the Fitzy nomination. “It says a lot about our program in general and it’s a reflection of how good my line was.”

Bolduc doesn’t expect to play in college, but is getting interest from coaches at the next level.

On thing is for sure, you wouldn’t be wise to bet against him. Dylan Bolduc, Portland’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, played a myriad of roles in his team’s success and he bowed out with a senior season that will live on in program lore.

Coach Jim Hartman’s comment: “Dylan’s a sensational football player. He’s not very big, but he’s a tough kid. Once Dylan gained confidence, he became a hell of a running back. He just kept getting better and better. He’s a great athlete and leader.”

Prior winners:

2015 Joe Esposito (football)

2014 Jeremiah Copeland (football)

2013 Justin Zukowski (football)

2012 Tate Gale (football)

2011 Tim Rovnak (soccer)

2010 Fazal Nabi (soccer)

2009 Fazal Nabi (soccer)

2008 Fazal Nabi (soccer)

2007 Matt Methot (cross country)

2006 Chris Treister (football)

2005 Josh Wang (cross country)

2004 Ayalew Taye (cross country)


TAYLOR CROSBY, Senior-Soccer

  • SMAA all-star, second-team

Crosby was a defensive wall, making the highlight reel save look routine, in leading Portland back to the playoffs, capping her memorable career in high style.

Crosby played goalie from a young age, but in her freshman season at Portland, she played up top until keeper Zoe Rivera got injured and she stepped in between the pipes.

And never left.

As a sophomore, Crosby produced her finest moment, making a crucial save in a shootout victory over rival Deering in a preliminary round playoff match for the ages.

She was solid as a junior as well, but didn’t receive the acclaim she deserved.

This fall, Crosby left no doubt that she was one of the finest goalkeepers around, shutting out seven foes and coming up with an abundance of timely and acrobatic saves.

Highlights included six saves (including two highlight reel stops with the game in the balance) in a season-opening win over Cheverus, 12 saves in a tie versus Noble, seven saves in the Bulldogs’ first victory over Thornton Academy in a dozen years, six saves in a narrow win over South Portland, 10 stops in a loss to Scarborough, four saves in a shutout victory over Sanford and five saves in a season-ending tie at Deering.

“I was impressed with how we did this season,” Crosby said. “We came together.”

Crosby wasn’t the only one who was impressed.

“Taylor had the ability to bring a sense of confidence and calm to our defense because she could erase the biggest of mistakes,” said Portland’s first-year coach Curtis Chapin. “When a team was able to break through, she almost always stepped up and made a huge save to keep us in games. That is the mark of a truly great player, one that always shines brightest in the biggest moments. From keeping shutouts to holding onto one goal leads, she left it all out on the field. She has created moments we will not forget.”

Being a successful goalkeeper is largely a mental effort and Crosby mastered that aspect of the game during her high school career.

“I just reacted and tried not to let goals get into my head,” Crosby said. “I like the intensity and the competition and energy on the field.”

Crosby is also the second baseman on the softball team in the spring (she had a clutch triple and scored the winning run in a dramatic playoff victory last year). She hopes to play soccer at the next level (and study international business) and is considering several schools.

Any team would be lucky to have her in goal. Taylor Crosby, Portland’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, has risen to the occasion too many times to count and leaves a legacy of big-game performances in her wake.

Coach Curtis Chapin’s comment: “Taylor was the heart and soul of our team this season. She was our vocal leader and always kept us focused and organized. Beyond her on-field accomplishments, Taylor is a person who always wanted what was best for the team and players gravitated to her and followed her anywhere. For a player that began her Portland soccer career as a forward, she certainly has grown into one of the best goalies I have ever seen and it was because she realized early on that this was the best way to help her team be successful. The only downside to all of this is that I don’t have her in goal for another year and she will be missed.”

Prior winners:

2015 Chessa Hoekstra (soccer)

2014 Madison Bolduc (soccer)

2013 Emma Stehli (soccer)

2012 Leanne Reichert (field hockey)

2011 Raechel Allen (field hockey)

2010 Effie Drew (field hockey)

2009 Sophia Nappi (soccer)

2008 Casey Monaghan (soccer)

2007 Nicole Place (soccer)

2006 Cilla Knox (soccer)

2005 Molly Radis (soccer)

2004 Brianna Shepard (field hockey)

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

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