2009 Spring Male Athlete of the Year:
TOMMY WINGER, Senior-Track
* Class B state champion, long jump
* Class B state champion, triple jump
* Class B state champion, 4×400 relay
* WMC All-Star first team
* WMC All-Star second team, 4×400 relay
* WMC Scholar Athlete
* New England qualifier
* Spring Leadership Award winner
* Team captain
The powerhouse Falmouth boys’ track program finally got over the hump this spring and won the Class B championship for the first time.
While many, many athletes contributed to the title, one special standout stood tallest in capping his stellar high school career in ideal fashion.
Tommy Winger, who emerged as a threat as a freshman and only got better, won individual titles in the long jump and triple jump and was part of a state championship 4×400 relay team as the Yachtsmen won it all.
Winger didn’t just run faster and jump farther than the field. He often did it in dramatic fashion, all the while earning the admiration of all those involved with the sport. His dedication and leadership is the stuff coaches dream about it.
All of those accomplishments and accolades convinced The Forecaster to select Tommy Winger as Falmouth’s 2009 Spring Male Athlete of the Year, marking the second time he’s been honored (the first was in the winter of 2007-08).
Winger grew up in Falmouth and got involved in track in middle school. He also played soccer in high school, but truly dominated in the winter and spring in track.
Last winter, Winger swam while competing in indoor track to keep his body fresh and the results were clear this season. Having already established himself as an elite individual talent, Winger and his teammates entered the 2009 campaign bound and determined to make history and win a team title.
Like most things Winger set his mind to, that goal came to fruition.
After a superb regular season, Winger won the long jump (21 feet, 9.5 inches) and the triple jump (42-3.5), while coming in fourth in the 200 at the Western Maine Conference meet as Falmouth rolled to a team title.
At states, where the Yachtsmen won it all, Winger was first in the long jump (21-5) and triple jump (43-3) and ran the lead leg of the championship-winning 4×100 relay team.
Winger qualified for New Englands and finished sixth in the long jump (21-7) and 13th in the triple jump (42-8.5).
Winger has much to be excited about. He’ll attend Yale in the fall and plans to compete in track and field for a strong program. He’s thinking about pursuing a major in medicine or engineering.
He certainly engineered one of the finest high school track and field careers in recent memory. Tommy Winger, Falmouth’s 2009 Spring Male Athlete of the Year, couldn’t have asked for a better way to conclude his time in a Yachtsmen uniform.
Coach Danny Paul’s comment: “Tommy leads by example and is always involved in helping the team and individual teammates. He’s a superior athlete who has dedicated himself to improve and achieve. He is respected and appreciated at all levels. He’s a clutch competitor. He is successful because he never gives up and makes his teammates better by his example.”
2008 winner: Ethan Shaw (Track)
2007 winner: Ethan Shaw (Track)
2006 winner: Chris Morrison (Tennis)
2005 winner: Antonio Floridino (Track)
2004 winner: Aaron Paradis (Baseball)
2003 winner: Antonio Floridino (Track)
2002 winner: Matt Dissell (Track)
2009 Spring Female Athlete of the Year
ANNIE CRISCIONE, Freshman-Tennis
* State singles semifinalist
* WMC All-Conference, first team
As dominant as the Falmouth girls’ tennis team was this year, you’d think the player most in the forefront would have been a seasoned veteran.
Not quite. She was actually a freshman.
Annie Criscione came to the Yachtsmen highly touted with plenty of accomplishment on her resume and simply elevated her game during her initial high school season.
Playing against the finest players in the Western Maine Conference, which means some of the best in the state, Criscione rose to the occasion time and again, led Falmouth to an undefeated regular season and its fourth Class B championship in five seasons.
For displaying poise, maturity and skill well beyond her years and for exceeding the hype, Annie Criscione is The Forecaster’s selection for Falmouth’s 2009 Spring Female Athlete of the Year.
Criscione grew up in Falmouth and got serious about tennis at the age of 10. She plays daily at the Woodlands and is a regular contender at tournaments. She’s currently ranked in the top 60 in New England in the girls’ U-16 division and was ranked first in Maine by the Maine Junior Tennis Association.
Criscione, who also plays soccer, established herself as the No. 1 singles option, went 20-2 this year, losing only to Waynflete standout Christine Ordway, the three-time state singles champion, in the regular season and again in the semifinals of the singles tournament.
In the team playoffs, Falmouth didn’t drop a point as Criscione lost just eight games in leading the Yachtsmen to another crown. She takes her craft very seriously, but occasionally lets everyone know just how much she enjoys measuring herself against the best on the court.
Criscione is devoted to more than tennis. She served with her church student leadership team on a Hurricane Katrina work team in New Orleans, provides child care and volunteers with those in need.
Criscione wants to win a singles title and keep her team at the top. She’d like to play in college as well.
Luckily for the Yachtsmen, they have her for three more years. Annie Criscione, Falmouth’s 2009 Spring Female Athlete of the Year, had a sensational freshman year and appears to have no ceiling on her greatness.
Coach Sandra Stone’s comment: “Annie was on the hot seat, playing the best that our competition had to offer. She’s exceptionally skilled and consistent. She was always ready to play and is a mentally tough competitor. She plays solid, confident and in control. She is truly an outstanding athlete with a strong work ethic and expects a lot of herself.”
2008 winner: Hallsey Leighton (Tennis)
2007 winner: Carly Applebaum (Track)
2006 winner: Kristen Meahl (Tennis)
2005 winner: Eileen Brandes (Softball)
2004 winner: Kristen Meahl (Tennis)
2003 winner: Beth Rubenstein (Track)
2002 winner: Beth Rubenstein (Track)
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!