Spring Athletes of the Year: Portland Bulldogs

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Spring 2010 Male Athlete of the Year:

CALEB KENNEY, Junior—Lacrosse

* All-American

* SMAA All-Conference first team

* Team captain

While there have been many superb offensive performances over the years, the show that Caleb Kenney put on the night of June 1 won’t soon be forgotten.

Looking to help the defending Class A champion Bulldogs complete a surprise undefeated regular season, Kenney was a human highlight reel against formidable Scarborough, scoring 10 times as Portland won, 16-12.

If that was all Kenney did this season it would be remarkable, but he was a year-long force, helping the Bulldogs bridge from one championship era to the next and was a tremendous leader as Portland got within two goals of repeating as state champion.

In light of his many memorable performances and the way he carried himself on and off the field, Caleb Kenney is The Forecaster’s choice as Portland’s Spring 2010 Male Athlete of the Year.

Kenney grew up in Portland and started playing lacrosse in the seventh grade. He followed in the footsteps of his brother Dylan, Class of 2009. He started one game as a freshman and saw ample playing time as the Bulldogs cruised to their first championship last year. This season, Kenney was one of the most unstoppable offensive forces in the state of Maine, scoring a team-high 52 goals and 80 points. He was second on the squad with 28 assists. He led the team with 114 ground balls and even won five of the six faceoffs in which he took part.

Long before he was rewriting the record books in the finale, Kenney was making his presence felt. He had seven goals versus Kennebunk, seven against Massabesic, three goals against Marshwood, four goals, five assists and a bone-rattling hit (immortalized on YouTube) in a come-from-behind victory at Lewiston, two goals and three assists against Messalonskee and four first half goals in a rout of Deering.

Then came the Scarborough game.

In the postseason, the Bulldogs were the top seed in Eastern A and Kenney continued to dazzle, scoring twice (with an assist and nine ground balls) in a win over Lewiston in the semifinals and six times in a regional final victory over Messalonskee.

Prior to a rematch with Scarborough in the state finale, Portland’s season took a tragic turn when injured sophomore Garrett Cormier was killed in an auto accident. The Bulldogs, with heavy hearts, gave the Red Storm all they had in the state game, but Scarborough did a much more effective job neutralizing Kenney, holding him to three goals, in an 8-6 victory.

Kenney is also a linebacker and fullback on Portland’s football team and is primed for a huge senior season in that sport, as well as lacrosse. He’s a member of the school’s Executive Board and takes part in peer-to-peer tutoring. He’s playing lacrosse this summer and works for a realtor in Falmouth. He wants to play lacrosse in college and is beginning the selection process.

Rest assured, he’ll have a ton of interest. After his season of excellence, Caleb Kenney, Portland’s Spring 2010 Male Athlete of the Year, has earned his spot as one of the state’s elite talents.

Coach Eric Begonia’s comment: “Caleb has earned the respect of his team with his play and positive leadership style. Although his numbers speak for themselves, he is as unselfish a player as you could ask for. He practices as hard as he plays in games and sets the standard level of effort that we expect others to strive to. His size, strength and pure athleticism, along with his high lacrosse IQ, have made him a dominant player on offense as well as defense. He’s tireless, very competitive and motivated.”

2009 winner: K.R. Jurgelevich (lacrosse)

2008 winner; Brian Furey (baseball)

2007 winner: Sam McAdam (lacrosse)

2006 winner: Joe Fessenden (baseball)

2005 winner: Peter Sengelmann (lacrosse)

2004 winner: Jake Schuit (lacrosse)

Spring 2010 Female Athlete of the Year:

MARY MORAN, Senior—Tennis

* SMAA All-Conference, singles first team

Mary Moran faced her share of pressure this spring and handled it with grace.

Not only was she the first singles player on a defending regional champion with state title aspirations, but she also plays for her mother, Bonnie (last year’s Coach of the Year), a dynamic that can prove tricky in some circumstances, but not this one..

Moran was able to shine time after time this year,, beating all but one difficult opponent in leading the Bulldogs to yet another stellar campaign.

For making the most of her limited time with the sport, for facing every challenge head-on and for helping the Bulldogs remain a team to be reckoned with, Mary Moran convinced The Forecaster to select her as Portland’s Spring 2010 Female Athlete of the Year.

Moran grew up in Windham, but didn’t get into tennis until the eighth grade. In high school, she did a little of everything, competing in doubles as a freshman and sophomore before moving up to the second singles spot as a junior, helping the Bulldogs reach the state final for the first time in program history.

After devoting a lot of time to developing her game in the winter, Moran was almost unbeatable as a senior. She won every regular season match but one (losing to Gorham standout Natalie Egbert) and was only stretched to three sets on two other occasions. In the singles tournament, she reached the Round of 16 before being ousted by Egbert. In the playoffs, she beat her South Portland and Scarborough counterparts in straight sets in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, but against nemesis Egbert in the regional final, Moran lost, 4-6, 4-6, and the Bulldogs were stunned by the Rams, 3-2.

Moran, who also played soccer and was a member of Executive Board at Portland high, trains with Tim Lacombe at Racket and Fitness. She will attend Bates College in the fall, will definitely play soccer and maybe tennis, while studying psychology.

More great things figure to be on her horizon. After an impressive high school career, capped by a superb senior campaign, Mary Moran, Portland’s Spring 2010 Female Athlete of the Year, leaves quite a legacy in her wake.

Coach Bonnie Moran’s comment: “Mary is extremely hardworking and dedicated. She’s an encouraging and positive teammate and so much fun to be around. She is a natural athlete who can pick up the technical and strategic aspects of a sport very quickly. Although she is very competitive and approaches each match with determination, she is able to handle wins and losses with equal grace. She’s made tremendous progress and would love to be able to play in college.”

2009 winner: Maggie Swann (tennis)

2008 winner: Liz Mosley (lacrosse)

2007 winner: Jasmine Powell (track)

2006 winner: Katie Hutchins (softball)

2005 winner: Kelly Flaherty (lacrosse)

2004 winner: Lily Anderson (lacrosse)

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