South Portland Red Riots Fall 2010 Athletes of the Year

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FALL 2010 MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

NEM KAURIN, Junior-Soccer

* SMAA All-Star, second team

* Western A regional all-star

* Team captain

South Portland’s boys’ soccer team posted its best campaign in a generation and was one of the most entertaining and successful squads in Western Class A.

While the Red Riots triumph was truly a team effort, one player, junior Nem Kaurin, had a special year, leading the team in scoring, an impressive feat considering he was on the injured list in the preseason. He returned to be a force and made his teammates better in the process.

In light of his dominance, leadership and character, The Forecaster is naming Nem Kaurin as South Portland’s Fall 2010 Male Athlete of the Year.

Kaurin was born in Serbia and moved to South Portland at the age of six. He’s played soccer as long as he can remember. He calls basketball his favorite sport, but he realized that soccer is his best and he’s focused on being a standout. He made the varsity team as a freshman and had a tremendous junior campaign.

Kaurin, a center-mid, wound up with nine goals and nine assists. Highlights included a free kick goal to beat Westbrook in the opener, an assist in a victory over Noble, a goal in a win over Biddeford, another in an overtime loss to Marshwood, two goals versus Deering, a goal in a win over Kennebunk and another in a tie against Gorham. South Portland won 10 games, but was ousted in the quarterfinals at Gorham, 2-1, despite one final Kaurin goal.

“We had a lot of talented players this year,” Kaurin said. “Coach (Bryan Hoy) was a big part of it. He made us believe we could win.”

Kaurin plays premier with the Maine Coast United Portland Phoenix. He’s a member of South Portland’s French Club, volunteers with his brother’s youth team and is a manager for the boys’ basketball squad. He’d like to play soccer in college and figures to have plenty of options, but first is in for a stellar senior season.

Nem Kaurin, South Portland’s Fall 2010 Male Athlete of the Year, is already a standout and will only get better. He certainly played a major role in leading the Red Riots to great things.

Coach Bryan Hoy’s Comment: “Nem started out on the injured list and while we had some success without him, we were very inconsistent on offense and were unable to control the ball in the offensive third. Once he came back, that all changed. His ability to control the middle of the field makes the players around him better. He’s a challenge to coach, but in a good way. He has such a desire to continue to get better, it keeps me on my toes trying to find drills and design practices to push him. He basically assumes the role of coach on the field. Off the field, he’s a great kid. He does well in school, volunteers and is just a genuinely nice kid.”

2009 winner: Ryan Curit (Football)

2008 winner: Ryan Chapin (Soccer)

2007 winner: Nick Gaddar (Football)

2006 winner: David Knowland (Cross country)

2005 winner: Endy Carrera (Soccer)

2004 winner: Nolan Moon (Cross country)

2003 winner: Eric Giddings (Cross country)

2002 winner: Eric Giddings (Cross country)

2001 winner: Devin Shaw (Cross country)

FALL 2010 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:

REBECCA ROBERTS, Senior-Field hockey

* All-State

* SMAA All-Star, first team

South Portland’s field hockey program returned to prominence in 2010 after struggling for several seasons. The Red Riots didn’t do it easily, overcoming an 0-4 start, but they were at their best for the biggest games and that was thanks in large part to the clutch play of senior Rebecca Roberts.

Roberts scored her share of pivotal goals, was a superb defender and led her program to the playoffs for the first time in four years.

In light of those attributes, The Forecaster is naming Rebecca Roberts as South Portland’s Fall 2010 Female Athlete of the Year.

Roberts is from South Portland, but she spent her first two years of high school at Cheverus. She returned to a Red Riots program that had a long way to go and she made sure they got there.

This season, Roberts said that the seniors wanted to win and that playoffs were a goal. South Portland would make it to the postseason, but it wasn’t easy.

Individually, Roberts had a goal in an opening day loss at Noble, the first of four straight setbacks. The Red Riots turned the corner with a stunning 2-0 win at Cheverus as Roberts scored one of the goals. The next time out, South Portland edged Gorham on a Roberts goal in the second half. She also had the overtime goal that beat Bonny Eagle.

The Red Riots lost to Thornton Academy in the Western A quarterfinals to wind up 8-7, but Roberts was recognized for her strong play by being named to the league and all-state teams.

Roberts also plays with the Katahdin and Majestix premier teams, has gone to California for a field hockey festival, cheers in the winter, plays lacrosse in the spring and enjoys skiing. She’s a member of Interact and Future Business Leaders of America.

Roberts will go to Susquehanna University to study business and hopes to continue playing field hockey.

After leading her team to its best season in several years, Rebecca Roberts, South Portland’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, still has plenty of great things to look forward to.

Coach Heather Seavey’s Comment: “Becca has been an integral part of our success. She’s the best skilled player I’ve had in five seasons. She’s defensive-minded and controlled the game for us.”

2009 winner: Karleigh Bradbury (Soccer)

2008 winner: Annelise Donahue (Cross country)

2007 winner: Annelise Donahue (Cross country)

2006 winner: Kristina Aceto (Field hockey)

2005 winner: Emily Haeuser (Cross country)

2004 winner: Courtney Albin (Soccer)

2003 winner: Christina Aceto (Soccer)

2002 winner: Andrea Giddings (Cross country)

2001 winner: Andrea Giddings (Cross country)

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