Portland Bulldogs Fall Athletes of the Year

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Clarke

Clarke

Silva

Silva

MALE:

QUINN CLARKE, Senior-Soccer/Football

  • Soccer All-State

  • Class A South boys’ soccer all-star, first-team

  • Class A South boys’ soccer All-Academic team

  • Class A South boys’ soccer regional all-star

  • Soccer captain

  • Class A North football all-star, first-team, kicker

  • Class A North football All-Academic team

Clarke not only starred on a state finalist boys’ soccer team, he also moonlighted as place-kicker on a football squad which made a spirited run to the regional final.

Clarke is a throwback three sport athlete, who became a four-sport athlete this year, but soccer has long been his number one. He played varsity soccer for four seasons, starting every year. As a freshman and sophomore, Clarke played soccer exclusively in the fall, but prior to his junior season, he learned that football needed a placekicker and he stepped into that role as well.

“I heard that football needed a kicker and I said sure,” Clarke said. “Kicking a football is different than kicking a soccer ball. It’s more pure leg strength than technique.”

As a junior and senior, Clarke scored nine total goals in soccer, despite playing defense, and kicked his share of extra points and field goals on the gridiron.

This fall, Clarke played an integral role on the field and as a leader as Portland’s soccer team peaked for the playoffs and won a regional title for just the third time. The Bulldogs then dropped a painful overtime decision to Lewiston in the state final. Portland’s football team started 0-5, but saved its best for last, upsetting Oxford Hills and Lewiston to reach the regional final where it lost to Windham.

“My weekends were very busy,” Clarke said. “Soccer was awesome. We were hoping to do big things. It was an amazing experience to go to states.”

Clarke also plays for the two-time defending Class AA champion boys’ basketball team and plays tennis in the spring. He also writes for the school newspaper. Clarke doesn’t plan to play sports in college.

He certainly made his mark in several sports at the high school level. Quinn Clarke, Portland’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, was in high demand the past couple of months and made the most of his opportunities.

Soccer coach Rocco Frenzilli’s comment: “Quinn’s leadership kept the team focused and on-point the entire season. Respectful to all, he’s a very calm and poised individual. He is highly competitive, consistent, technically sound and rose to the occasion whatever it may be. He is organized, composed, trustworthy and always under control. He loves the game. Simply put, Quinn is the kind of player any coach would love to have on their team.”

Prior winners:

2016 Dylan Bolduc (football)

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)

FEMALE:

SOPHIA SILVA, Senior-Volleyball

  • SMAA all-star, honorable mention

  • Class A All-Academic

  • Captain

Silva helped the Portland program evolve into a contender and left her mark thanks to her strong play and leadership.

Silva played soccer prior to high school when she took up volleyball as Portland began a varsity program.

“I tried volleyball and I liked it right away,” Silva said. “It became a big part of my life. My hand-eye coordination was a lot better than my legs. I love the adrenaline rush of volleyball. You fight for your life on every point. I’m very competitive and vocal and that’s important as a setter.”

Silva stepped into a setter’s role as a junior and this fall, playing multiple positions, she helped the Bulldogs improve and make the playoffs, by producing 271 assists, 71 digs and serving 62 aces.

Portland posted a winning record for the first time and earned its first postseason berth. The Bulldogs lost to perennial power Biddeford in the Class A quarterfinals, but the season was an unqualified success.

“I was so happy with our season,” Silva said. “Our goal was to get to the playoffs. We had such a fine time.”

Silva has also played for the Maine Juniors travel team and is a member of Portland’s Yearbook Club. She’s in the process of selecting a school and could play volleyball at the next level.

While many big things await the Buldogs volleyball program, the girls who got it off the ground won’t soon be forgotten. Sophie Silva, Portland’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, played a critical role in not only getting the program off the ground, but turning it into a contender in memorable fashion.

Coach Joe Russo’s comment: “Sophia was instrumental in helping our program progress and become competitive, not only as a great setter, but with her knowledge. She was like an assistant coach. She was one of our first girls to play club and others followed. She was a leader on and off the court. She was our everything. A great, passionate kid.”

Prior winners:

2016 Taylor Crosby (soccer)

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.

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