Scarborough Red Storm Fall Athletes of the Year

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FALL 2011 MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

NICK MORRIS, Senior-Cross country

* Class A individual state champion

* All-State

* SMAA All-Conference, first-team

* SMAA All-Academic

Nick Morris’ legacy as one of the state’s great cross country runners was secure before he traveled to Cumberland’s Twin Brook Recreation Center on Oct. 29.

There, he entered into the realm of legend.

Morris appeared headed for a runner-up individual finish far behind Messalonskee’s Harlow Ladd, but somehow he willed himself to soar toward the finish line and at the last second, eclipsed Ladd to win the race and give Scarborough another state title.

A runner who’s committed to training and making his teammates better, he enjoyed a truly magical senior year and is worthy of great praise, something The Forecaster is happy to bestow as we name him Scarborough’s Fall 2011 Male Athlete of the Year.

Morris is from Scarborough and started running at the youth level, seriously getting into the sport in middle school. He was 10th in the state as a sophomore. By his junior season, Morris was first at the state meet, as was Scarborough.

This fall, Morris was superb throughout and he won the regional meet with a time of 17 minutes, 3.30 seconds and with the individual and team titles on the line at states, he hit the tape in 16:46.81, a mere .02 of a second better than Ladd. Had Morris wound up second, the Red Storm would have been second as a team to Bangor. Instead, he had a finish for the ages.

“Nick’s winning finish this year was the closest finish in Maine history,” said Scarborough coach Jim Harmon. “Nick had to give 100 percent throughout the whole race and then still believe in himself enough to overcome about 20 meters in the last 60 meters of the race to out-kick Harlow Ladd.”

Morris runs distance in indoor and outdoor track and coach Derek Veilleux wants him to make a run at winning the 800, mile and two-mile, the “triple crown,” outdoors.

Morris plays the saxophone in the band and is in the process of choosing a college. He will likely stay in New England and study business or engineering while making his mark as a runner.

What a legacy he leaves in his wake. Nick Morris, Scarborough’s Fall 2011 Male Athlete of the Year, truly saved his best for last and will long be hailed for his excellence.

Coach Jim Harmon’s comment: “Nick was a pretty good runner as a freshman, but he really started developing as he trained with our high school team. He showed great improvement as a freshman and then really took off as a sophomore. In his high school career, he’s been a big part of three state championship teams and the year we didn’t win, we still came in second in the state meet. We’ve had some pretty good leaders in recent years and I think Nick learned from all of them and added his own twist. Nick is an exemplary leader on the team. He never misses practice, he always gives 100 percent and he always has a positive attitude, but he also has a great sense of humor. Then you have his performance in meets. He’s patient and always does what you’ve planned with him. He knows his strengths and trusts his coaches, so it’s a perfect situation. I can’t say enough good about Nick. He’s an exceptional student-athlete and we’ll truly miss him next year.”

2010 winner: Mike Cyr (Football)

2009 winner: Trevor Hoxsie (Soccer)

2008 winner: Ian Philbrick (Soccer)

2007 winner: Nate Gove (Soccer)

2006 winner: Jack Snyder (Golf)

2005 winner: Derek Poulin (Soccer)

2004 winner: Brad Carlson (Soccer)

2003 winner: Tim Waterhouse (Cross country)

2002 winner: Travis Hitchcock (Football)

2001 winner: Nial DeMena (Football)

FALL 2011 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

BRITTANY BONA, Senior -Volleyball

* All-State

The Scarborough volleyball team produced its best season in memory this autumn and it wasn’t hard to figure out who played the biggest role.

Standing at over 6-feet and featuring a non-stop supply of athleticism and tenacity, Brittany Bona made sure the Red Storm not only had a good regular season, but reached the state championship match for the first time.

While her stats were dazzling, her all around game and commitment to her teammates were also worthy of praise and The Forecaster will do just that by naming Brittany Bona Scarborough’s Fall 2011 Female Athlete of the Year.

Bona grew up in Scarborough and started playing volleyball in the eighth grade. She joined the varsity team as a sophomore and soon became a standout. Honing her game in summer playing beach volleyball with Greely standout Maggie Bradley, Bona was hungry for a big senior year and produced time and again.

The Red Storm won 12 of 14 regular season matches and Bona regularly demoralized the opposition. She had eight kills and four aces in a season-opening win over Cape Elizabeth, eight and six against Lake Region, 13 kills versus Kennebunk, 13 kills and 13 digs in a loss to Greely, 17 kills and eight digs in a five-set win over Falmouth, 12 and 11 against Gorham, 15 kills in a second loss to Greely, 15 kills and seven digs in a win over eventual Class B champion Yarmouth and 15 kills, 14 digs and five aces against defending Class A champion Biddeford in the regular season finale.

Scarborough then ousted Ellsworth (Bona had 11 kills, five aces and four digs) and Gorham (13 aces, 14 kills and three digs) in the playoffs to meet Greely again for the Class A crown. Despite another superb effort from Bona (14 kills, eight digs, four aces), the Red Storm fell in four tough sets.

Bona finished the year with 186 kills, 48 aces, 98 serve receptions, 10 blocks and 104 digs and was chosen as one of the state’s best players.

Bona also plays with the 18-Gold Maine Juniors volleyball squad and is now involved with basketball. She was a role player in that sport when Scarborough won the 2010 Class A title. She belongs to the Pink Ribbon Club for Breast Cancer Awareness.

Bona is being recruited by several Division III schools, but is also entertaining the possibility of playing volleyball at the Division I level. She plans to study architecture.

She certainly helped build a winner this autumn. Brittany Bona, Scarborough’s Fall 2011 Female Athlete of the Year, was a special player on a memorable team.

Coach Jon Roberts’ comment: “Brittany was a huge part of what we were able to do. She doesn’t get as much credit as she deserves for her passing and defense. She’s a great player. She’s a coach’s dream. If I had her at setter or at libero, she’s be one of the best in the state. She’s so competitive at everything she does.”

2010 winner: Cortney Hughes (Soccer)

2009 winner: Brittany Ross (Field hockey)

2008 winner: Brittany Ross (Field hockey)

2007 winner: Sarah Bonenfant (Field hockey)

2006 winner: Erica Jesseman (Cross country)

2005 winner: Liz Houle (Soccer)

2004 winner: Caitlin Albert (Field hockey)

2003 winner: Zaria Udeh (Soccer)

2002 winner: Caitlin Neelon (Field hockey)

2001 winner: Maureen McHugh (Soccer)

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