Portland Bulldogs Spring Athletes of the Year

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(Ed. Note: This story will be in the July 11 Portland print edition)

2012 Spring Male Athlete of the Year:



* All-American

* SMAA All-Conference, second-team

* Senior All-Star

* Captain

The young Portland boys’ lacrosse program took its time hitting its stride this spring, but the Bulldogs were fortunate to have Jurgelevich as a backbone, one who served as a link to the program’s championship season and one who was always at his best, capable of consistently picking up his teammates.

Jurgelevich, who also won this award last spring, learned his craft through trial by fire considering who he grew up around. His father, Kirk, played in college and has coached the sport. His older brother, K.R. (Portland’s 2009 Spring Athlete of the Year), was one of the most prolific scorers in Maine high school history before playing at the University of Massachusetts.

“My family drives me,” Ryan Jurgelevich said. “I learned from my brother and Dad.”

Jurgelevich was in goal when Portland won the 2009 state title and backstopped the state runners-up in 2010. After stopping 68 percent of the shots he faced as a junior, Jurgelevich put forth another tremendous effort this spring, boasting a 71 percent save percentage. He also collected 24 ground balls. For his career, Jurgelevich made a whopping 487 saves, stopped 71 percent of the shots he faced and he also grabbed 92 ground balls.

This spring, Jurgelevich made eight saves in a season-opening loss to Thornton Academy, stopped 13 shots against Deering, 17 against two-time Class B champion Falmouth, 18 versus Yarmouth and 15 in a loss to Cheverus. Jurgelevich capped his high school career with 15 saves in an overtime loss to Deering in the Eastern A quarterfinals.

Jurgelevich, who also played hockey at Portland, will attend the University of Southern Maine next year. He plans to play lacrosse and will study art.

This natural talent will leave behind an enormous hole in the Bulldogs’ cage.

Coach Eric Begonia’s comment: “”Ryan has been successful and has meant a lot to this team as a goalie and captain because he puts more time and effort into his skill development than any other goalie I’ve coached. He’s a more vocal goalie than ever, and in the biggest games, he makes save after save, which provides the spark and motivation that the players around him thrive on. He’s a true inspiration to the players and coaching staff because for four years, we all felt comfortable knowing that if he’s in goal, we have a very good chance to win. He has had the luxury of coming from a very prominent and accomplished lacrosse family as well as playing alongside some of the best players in the state. He hasn’t taken that for granted. He took it as a privilege and used all of those experiences to mold him into the player that he is today. He has been the heart and soul of this team.”

2011 winner: Ryan Jurgelevich (lacrosse)

2010 winner: Caleb Kenney (lacrosse)

2009 winner: K.R. Jurgelevich (lacrosse)

2008 winner; Brian Furey (baseball)

2007 winner: Sam McAdam (lacrosse)

2006 winner: Joe Fessenden (baseball)

2005 winner: Peter Sengelmann (lacrosse)

2004 winner: Jake Schuit (lacrosse)

2012 Spring Female Athlete of the Year:

DREW BARRY, Junior-Lacrosse


* SMAA All-Conference, honorable mention

Barry already had made a name for herself on the lacrosse field, but this spring, she elevated her game even further, taking on a key position and continuing to excel, playing a huge role in the Bulldogs’ best season in program history.

Barry, who also won this award last year, grew up in Portland and started playing lacrosse in the third grade. After helping the ice hockey team to its best-ever season in the winter, Barry, who scored 42 goals as a sophomore, produced a spring season to remember.

Instead of being just a scorer, she took on the role of playing center and handling draw controls. After an initial period of adjustment, she became one of the best at her position in the entire league and her offense didn’t skip a beat.

Barry made her presence felt in the opener, a 15-2 win over Biddeford, where she won 12 of 19 draws, grabbed 16 ground balls, scored three times and had an assist. She scored six goals in a win over Sanford, had three against Windham, four versus Bonny Eagle, four goals each against McAuley, Thornton Academy and Deering and five in a win over Westbrook.

“I’m determined to work hard,” Barry said. “I’m hard on myself. I need to play my best.”

Barry had a team-high 47 goals, added nine assists, 26 ground balls and won 67 draws. If that wasn’t enough, she also forced 18 turnovers as the Bulldogs posted a 10-2 record. Portland was upset in overtime of the Eastern A quarterfinals by Messalonskee (Barry’s five goals weren’t enough), but that result didn’t put a damper on a stellar campaign.

Barry will be the treasurer of Portland’s Executive Board next year. She’s a peer mediator, volunteers at Maine Medical Center and plays the piano. She’s competing in lacrosse showcases over the summer and has begun the college selection process.

Whichever school earns her services will be quite fortunate, but first, Barry will have one final spring in a Bulldogs’ uniform, displaying her greatness for all to see.

Coach Kait Johnson’s comment: “What sets Drew apart from the rest is her natural athleticism and work ethic. If you have ever seen Drew play you can understand why she has been so successful. She goes 110 percent all of the time. No matter the score, team, whether it is practice or game, Drew works her hardest from start to finish. I put Drew in a brand new position this year. She had never taken draws before, a pretty big change from her previous position of an attacking midfielder, but she responded well, to say the least. Drew ended up leading the league in draw controls, and was a force on both ends of the field. She is an irreplaceable part of the lacrosse program and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Drew rocks! ”

2011 winner: Drew Barry (lacrosse)

2010 winner: Mary Moran (tennis)

2009 winner: Maggie Swann (tennis)

2008 winner: Liz Mosley (lacrosse)

2007 winner: Jasmine Powell (track)

2006 winner: Katie Hutchins (softball)

2005 winner: Kelly Flaherty (lacrosse)

2004 winner: Lily Anderson (lacrosse)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. 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.