South Portland Red Riots Spring Athletes of the Year

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Male:

SAM TROIANO, Junior-Baseball

  • SMAA MVP

  • SMAA all-star, first team

  • SMAA All-Defensive team

  • Underclass All-Star

  • USA Today Maine all-star, first team

Troiano did it all for another highly successful Red Riots squad, crushing the ball, stealing bases with abandon, throwing strikes and playing superb defense in centerfield.

Troiano has been a baseball aficionado since T-ball, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Nick, who was the Red Riots’ catcher.

“I like tracking fly balls, the challenge of facing good pitchers and running the bases,” Troiano said. “I’m pretty laid back in regular life, but in sports, I’m very competitive. I hate losing.”

Troiano cracked the varsity team’s starting lineup as a freshman and played centerfield, shortstop and pitcher. He was a first-team all-star after leading the team in batting average (.400), runs scored (18) and hits (22). He also drove in 11 runs. As a sophomore, Troiano batted .315 with a team-high 15 runs and 15 hits and had a 3-1 record with a 0.72 ERA as a sophomore when he made the second-team.

This spring, Troiano raised the bar even higher, tying for first in the league in hits with 25, leading the league in runs (20) and steals (13), tying for second in the league in average (.439) and doubles (six), placing second in total bases (38), finishing third in slugging percentage (.667) and driving in a dozen runs. Troiano only struck out five times in 57 at-bats and made a mere two errors.

Highlights included two hits, two runs scored, an RBI and stolen base in a win over Sanford, two hits and three steals in a victory over Westbrook, two hits and a steal in a win over Gorham, a double, triple, two singles, four runs and five RBI against Massabesic, two hits, two runs scored and a steal against Deering, two hits, a run, an RBI and steal against Noble, three hits, three runs scored and three steals in a win over Scarborough, two hits, two runs and two steals in a victory over Westbrook and two doubles, three RBI and a run scored in a win over Windham.

Troiano was also sharp on the mound, going 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA, holding opponents to a .173 average (second best in the league), while walking just 10 batters and striking out 32 in 27.1 innings.

Troiano beat Sanford with a two-hit, 10-strikeout performance, downed Marshwood with a four-hitter and blanked Westbrook on one hit and eight strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

In the playoffs, Troiano had two hits and two RBI in a quarterfinal round win over Marshwood, doubled, tripled, stole home, drove in a run and pitched three innings in a semifinal round victory over Scarborough and scored a run in the regional final loss to Falmouth.

“We did a really good job this year after losing so many key players,” Troiano said. “Everyone had played together since T-ball.”

Troiano, who works with his brother and father in property services, is playing American Legion ball this summer, plays with the Tomahawks travel team in the winter and hopes to win a state title before graduating and likely playing at the next level.

Based on his progression, the sky is the limit. Sam Troiano, South Portland’s Spring Male Athlete of the Year, just gets better every single season.

Coach Mike Owens’ comment: “Sam makes us go. As he goes, we go. When he gets on base, everyone relaxes. He’s a menace on the bases. When he gets on, we’re a different team. He’s just a great player who can do it all.”

Previous winners:

2015 Henry Curran (baseball)

2014 Duncan Preston (lacrosse)

2013 Duncan Preston (lacrosse)

2012 Brendan Horton (baseball)

2011 Adrian Reid (track)

2010 Adam Burpee (lacrosse)

2009 Ben Linscott (lacrosse)

2008 Will Furbush (baseball)

2007 Eugene Arsenault (lacrosse)

2006 Thomas McCoubrey (track)

2005 Justin Collett (baseball)

2004 Scott Guillerault (baseball)

2003 Anthony Dambrie (track)

2002 Greg Norton (baseball)

Female:

MARY CRONIN, Senior-Lacrosse

  • SMAA all-star, first team

  • Captain

Cronin had a spectacular senior season, leading a young team and scoring a lot of goals, a season which she fittingly capped with the biggest goal in program history.

Cronin was born in South Portland, lived for three years in Japan, then returned to South Portland where she picked up lacrosse in the third grade. Cronin also played soccer in high school, but lacrosse is her passion.

Cronin was named to the SMAA All-Rookie team as a sophomore and as a junior, was named a second-team all-star.

Her senior season was something to behold as she scored 51 goals and won 49 draws.

Highlights included five goals in a crossover win over Brunswick, six in a surprising victory over Scarborough (the Red Riots’ first over the Red Storm in 12 years), six goals in a victory at Sanford, eight goals in a win over Portland and four in a victory over Deering.

South Portland won seven games, but had to go to Gorham for the quarterfinals to face a Rams squad which won the regular season meeting. It looked like Gorham was going to prevail again, but a goal in waning seconds from Jena Leckie forced overtime and in the second OT, Cronin won it, giving the Red Riots their first ever victory in that round. 

“I was so glad I got to be a part of that win,” Cronin said. “It was awesome to score that goal.”

Cronin scored one final goal in a semifinal round loss to Marshwood.

“It was a great season, my best one for sure,” Cronin said. “We knew it would be a building year, but we worked well together. We got a couple wins and the girls’ confidence went up. Beating Scarborough did a lot for our confidence.”

“Going into the season, I knew (Mary) was going to be our captain,” said South Portland coach Leslie Dyer. “Her passion for the sport, work ethic and leadership skills made her the obvious choice. The beginning of the season was hard for her. We replaced many starters, so she was playing with a completely new offense. We knew it would be a slow start, but that we’d finish strong as long as she played her best and she did.” 

Cronin also played with the Maineiax premier team, was a member of South Portland’s Interact Club and Spanish Club and plans to attend Loyola University in Baltimore in the fall where she’ll play club lacrosse.

She’ll never be forgotten for her contributions to the program. Mary Cronin, South Portland’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year, scored the biggest goal in team history and that’s a fitting way for her to be remembered.

Coach Leslie Dyer’s comment: “Mary is a hardworking young lady and was a great leader this season. The reason we made it so far was largely due to her and her passion. She plays with intelligence, passion and heart in every game. She’s coachable, smart and is a coach’s dream to have as part of the team. She’s irreplaceable.”

Previous winners:

2015 Laurine German (softball)

2014 Shannon Conley (track)

2013 Danica Gleason (softball)

2012 Erin Bogdanovich (softball)

2011 Alexis Bogdanovich (softball)

2010 Katlin Norton (softball)

2009 Danielle DiBiase (softball)

2008 Julie DiMatteo (softball)

2007 Christina Aceto (softball)

2006 Kristin Kill (softball)

2005 Krystal Shannon (softball)

2004 Lindsay Coit (lacrosse)

2003 Nichole Cousins (softball)

2002 Morgan O’Donnell (softball)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached atmhoffer@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.