Portland Bulldogs Fall Athletes of the Year

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MALE:

JEREMIAH COPELAND, Senior-Football

Copeland was a calming presence during a tumultuous season and led a strong defense as Portland was once again one of the top teams in Eastern Class A.

Copeland, a Portland native, started playing football in the third grade, played sub-varsity as a freshman and a sophomore, then joined the varsity team as a junior. This fall, he was in the middle of the Bulldogs’ triumph.

Copeland, a defensive tackle, center and guard, finished with 35 tackles, five sacks and a fumble recovery. He was the player in the center of the field who made it so difficult for the opposition. Portland gave up just 25 total points in its final four regular season games and surrendered just seven in a quarterfinal round playoff win over rival Deering. A disappointing semifinal round loss to eventual regional champion Windham ended the season sooner than hoped, but Copeland’s play certainly made the Bulldogs a force on the defensive end.

“I’m competitive,” Copeland said. “I like working hard and I like to win. My highlights this year were avoiding a block and chasing down a runner in the first Windham game (a 12-6 Portland upset victory) and crushing a Windham running back in the backfield in the Windham playoff game.”

Copeland also wrestles at 220 pounds and throws the javelin and runs the 100 in outdoor track. He hopes to play football at the next level and is looking at several schools in the area.

His passion to compete and win have made him standout. Jeremiah Copeland, Portland’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, was the glue of a potent defensive unit.

Coach Jim Hartman’s comment: “Jeremiah was our mainstay on defense this season. Everything we did revolved around him. He’s a good kid and he was a hard worker.”

Prior winners:

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:

MADISON BOLDUC, Senior-Soccer

  • Bulldog Award winner

Bolduc had a flair for the dramatic, was always in the right place at the right time and helped the Bulldogs steal the headlines and make a memorable postseason run this fall.

Bolduc grew up loving soccer and her passion for the sport paid big dividends. She came up to the varsity team midway through her freshman season (when Portland failed to win a single game) and became a stalwart on a program which got better each year.

Bolduc saved her best for her senior season, scoring nine goals and adding six assists.

Portland posted its best record since 2009, then went to rival Deering, where it won an epic preliminary round game. Bolduc’s early goal put the Bulldogs on top, but the Rams tied the contest and it would go to penalty kicks before Portland prevailed. Then, in the quarterfinals at top-ranked, defending and eventual champion Windham, Bolduc’s early goal helped the Bulldogs open up a stunning 2-0 lead, but the Eagles scored three late goals to rally and end Portland’s season in heartbreak.

“We set a goal every year and every year we met our goal,” Bolduc said. “This year, the goal was to win a playoff game and we did. It was nice to see how far we came. The players knew how to play. It just clicked on and off the field.”

Bolduc received the Bulldog Award following the season, given to the player who showed all the qualities of a true teammate throughout the season: compassion, commitment and the desire to play for something more than themselves.

Bolduc, a top student, Key Club officer and a member of the Portland High yearbook, is very self-driven.

“I’m really competitive with myself and with others,” Bolduc said. “I always want to do better than in the past.”

Bolduc, who also plays with the Portland Phoenix Premier soccer team, competes in the triple jump in both indoor and outdoor track. Last year, she was Class A runner-up outdoors. She may play soccer in college, but is undecided. She’s considering becoming an eye doctor.

Madison Bolduc, Portland’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, capped a strong career in style, saved her best for last and got some long overdue recognition as a result.

Coach Arthur Mosen‘s comment: “Madison’s the one you want the ball to fall to if you need to score. She’s got such an accurate shot with left foot, can score with her head and has the speed to get around the last defender and whip in a cross or take a shot. She’s a quiet kid who never seeks any kind of spotlight, but she’s deserving of praise due to her character and willingness to lead by example.”

Prior winners:

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.