Spring Athletes of the Year: Cheverus Stags

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2009 Spring Male Athlete of the Year:

MICK DISTASIO, Senior-Baseball

* SMAA All-Conference first team, outfield

* SMAA All-Conference first team, pitcher

* SMAA All-Academic team

* Team MVP

It’s no secret that Mick DiStasio is a star on the basketball court. What people haven’t heard enough of is just how good DiStasio is on the diamond.

This spring, DiStasio finally got his due for his baseball skill, as he reminded everyone that it wasn’t his second sport, posting superb stats and leading Cheverus to the semifinals for the first time in several years.

He was equally adept blowing away hitters or getting the job done with the bat in his hand and capped a special high school career in style.

For being so skilled, for being not only an elite pitcher, but a clutch hitter as well, and for serving as a poised team leader who carried the Stags to great heights, Mick DiStasio is The Forecaster’s selection as Cheverus’ 2009 Spring Male Athlete of the Year.

DiStasio grew up in Yarmouth with baseball being his top sport. He became a basketball standout in middle school and will long be remembered for his brilliance on the hardwood at Cheverus. DiStasio led the Stags to the 2008 Class A title and was a finalist for the Maine Mr. Basketball award this past winter.

Even while he was draining 3s and leading Cheverus to win after basketball win, DiStasio continued to feel that baseball was his best sport. If there was any doubt that he could dominate with the horsehide, it was put to bed this season.

DiStasio hit .510 during the regular season, slugged .824, drove in 22 runs and earned seven wins on the mound. He drove in the lone run in a 1-0 victory over Marshwood May 6, homered in a win over Massabesic three days later, threw a three-hitter and had two RBI in a triumph over Bonny Eagle May 11, gutted out a 4-3 victory over South Portland May 16, went 4-for-4 in a win over Windham, and dominated Portland in a 7-2 triumph May 26. His finest outing might have come on June 3, when he pitched his team to a 4-3 win over top contender Westbrook, a game in which he crushed a fifth inning home to cap a rally from a three-run deficit.

On June 11, Cheverus earned its first quarterfinal round playoff win in six years, as DiStasio threw a four-hitter and had an RBI double in a 5-0 win over Marshwood. The Stags’ season ended two days later with a 7-3 loss to state champion Deering in the semifinals.

DiStasio is playing for the Cheverus American Legion team this summer and hurled a no-hitter last weekend. In the fall, he’ll matriculate at Trinity College, where he plans to play basketball and baseball.

After all, he’s just as good at the latter as the former. That point was hammered home over the past couple of months as Mick DiStasio, Cheverus’ 2009 Spring Male Athlete of the Year, came through time and time again to carry the Stags to a memorable campaign.

Coach Mac McKew’s comment: “Mick is a coach’s dream. He is the epitome of a student/athlete. His prowess as an athlete is quite impressive. He stands out even greater as a person. We hope that this season springboards future success for the Cheverus baseball program. Mick was a big part of establishing that success.”

2008 winner: Topher Pochebit (lacrosse)

2007 winner: Todd Keneborus (baseball)

2006 winner: Michael Antoniou (lacrosse)

2005 winner: Ben Michaud (track)

2004 winner: Ben Michaud (track)

2009 Spring Female Athlete of the Year:

THERESA HENDRIX, Junior-Softball

* SMAA All-Conference second team, pitcher

The Cheverus softball team keeps getting better.

The Stags were 9-9 a year ago and won 12 times this spring, thanks largely to the dazzling performance of junior pitcher (and hitter) Theresa Hendrix.

Hendrix came up big time after time both on the mound and at the plate this season and turned Cheverus into a top contender with the promise of even greater triumph to come.

In light of her pitching brilliance and timely hitting and base-running, Theresa Hendrix is The Forecaster’s choice for Cheverus’ 2009 Spring Female Athlete of the Year, making her a repeat selection.

Hendrix, who lives in Scarborough, also plays field hockey and basketball, but saves her best work for the spring.

This season, she started every game but one. When all was said and done, Hendrix had 124 strikeouts. She threw shutouts against Portland, Kennebunk, Noble and Marshwood. That was just part of the story.

Hendrix was also the Stags’ leadoff batter and hit .446 scoring, 16 runs, with a league-high 12 steals. She had a triple and a single in the win over Portland, hit a triple and stole home in a victory over McAuley, had four hits against Noble, had a triple in a victory against Thornton Academy and homered in the season finale, a loss at Scarborough.

Cheverus’ season came to a disappointing end on June 11 with a 7-6 loss at Bonny Eagle in the Western A quarterfinals, but the Stags’ 12-5 record was easily their best to date.

Hendrix is playing for the Southern Maine Flame ASA softball team this summer. She wants to go to a small, Division III school in New England where she can play as many sports as she can.

Before she goes on to college, however, she’ll get a chance to close her high school career with a flourish next year. That season could be one for the record books. Theresa Hendrix, Cheverus’ 2009 Spring Female Athlete of the Year, has enjoyed great success to date and figures to have a senior season to remember.

Coach Amy McMullin’s comment: “Theresa led our team both offensively and defensively this season. She is the most determined and hardest working athlete I’ve ever coached. She’s always first to practice and the last to leave. If we ever need anyone to come through, we look to her. She’s a phenomenal kid and an absolute coach’s dream.”

2008 winner: Theresa Hendrix (softball)

2007 winner: Dana Proscia (lacrosse)

2006 winner: Dana Proscia (lacrosse)

2005 winner: Meaghan Morris (track)

2004 winner: Kate McLaughlin (track)


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Sports Editor’s note

As usual, selecting the top male and female spring athletes from each school was a challenge, more so in some cases than in others. While coaches and athletic directors were consulted, the ultimate decision was mine, based on seeing all or part of 91 sporting events since mid-April. The following athletes weren’t always the most prolific performers or even necessarily in the spotlight, but I feel that each of them helped elevate their respective teams to greatness. Congratulations to all of the winners!

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