Spring Athletes of the Year: South Portland Red Riots

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2009 Spring Male Athlete of the Year:

BEN LINSCOTT, Senior-Lacrosse

* SMAA All-Conference first team, attack

* Senior All-Star

Ben Linscott simply loves to play lacrosse. He’s quick to admit it and that passion is clear when you see him do his thing on the field.

His senior season was a special one as Linscott led South Portland to the playoffs and into the semifinals, was named to the Senior All-Star Game and made his last appearance in a Red Riots’ uniform a memorable one, as he scored three times.

For being so committed to his craft and for being so good at it, Ben Linscott is The Forecaster’s choice for South Portland’s 2009 Spring Male Athlete of the Year.

Linscott started playing in middle school and by high school was playing lacrosse and nothing else. While he enjoys snowboarding and wakeboarding as hobbies, he’s never happier than when he has a stick in his hand. While he admits he was timid at times as a freshman, his confidence grew exponentially each year and by the time 2009 dawned, Linscott was ready to dominate.

Linscott finished with 23 goals 19 assists and 53 ground balls. Highlights included five goals and six assists in a season-opening romp over Westbrook, two goals in a win over Deering, six versus Windham, three goals and two assists in a victory at Waynflete, three goals against Marshwood and four versus Bonny Eagle.

Linscott scored three more as South Portland won at Thornton Academy in the Western A quarterfinals. The Red Riots were then eliminated by eventual state champion Portland in the semis.

Linscott ascribed his success to his relaxed attitude. He just tries to have fun and the results were clear as he was named to the league’s all-star first-team.

Linscott plans to attend the University of Maine in the fall, which doesn’t have a varsity lacrosse program. He will play club and will likely make a name for himself.

He certainly made his mark this season. Ben Linscott, South Portland’s 2009 Spring Male Athlete of the Year, turned his love for the game into a can’t-miss show.

Coach Tom Fiorini’s comment: “Ben was a team captain and leader of the team. Other players looked up to him. I looked to Ben to score when we needed a goal in a tight game or to make the play that got us that goal.”

2008 winner: Will Furbush (Baseball)

2007 winner: Eugene Arsenault (Lacrosse)

2006 winner: Thomas McCoubrey (Track)

2005 winner: Justin Collett (Baseball)

2004 winner: Scott Guillerault (Baseball)

2003 winner: Anthony Dambrie (Track)

2002 winner: Greg Norton (Baseball)

2009 Spring Female Athlete of the Year:

DANIELLE DIBIASE, Sophomore – Softball

* SMAA All-Conference first team, outfield

The young Red Riots of South Portland weren’t supposed to do much this softball season, but by the middle of June, for the fourth time in five years, the Red Riots were playing in the regional final.

The team’s youth came of age at the right time, a phenomenon best exemplified by sophomore Danielle DiBiase, who did a little of everything to help her squad reach great heights.

For playing wherever she needed to, for doing it well and for coming up with clutch hits, Danielle DiBiase is The Forecaster’s choice for South Portland’s 2009 Spring Female Athlete of the Year.

DiBiase grew up in South Portland and started playing softball at a young age. She is also a promising basketball player, but already has some impressive varsity softball experience.

This spring, DiBiase was a steady leadoff hitter and wound up the team leader in runs scored and RBI. She had three hits May 1 in a clutch home win over Bonny Eagle which kick-started a nine-game winning streak. DiBiase also ripped a three-win homer in a victory over Deering, had two hits and four RBI against Windham, drove in a pair of runs in a victory over Massabesic and had the tie-breaking two-run hit in a stunning upset win at defending regional champion Biddeford.

In the playoffs, DiBiase scored the winning run in a come-from-behind 3-2, eight inning triumph over Gorham in the quarterfinals and tripled in the semifinals in a victory over Thornton Academy.

DiBiase, who also plays a little ASA softball and is part of the South Portland Interact Club, is interested in playing softball in college. She has two years left to lead the Red Riots to big things.

Odds are she’ll do just that. Danielle DiBiase, South Portland’s 2009 Spring Female Athlete of the Year, is already playing beyond her years and has a flair for the dramatic.

Coach Ralph Aceto’s comment: “Danielle was a quiet leader. She practiced hard every day. She could play multiple positions without a squawk. She’s a nice young lady. Very coachable. She has great speed and plays hard all the time. For a 16-year-old sophomore to do what she did, I couldn’t have been happier.”

2008 winner: Julie DiMatteo (Softball)

2007 winner: Christina Aceto (Softball)

2006 winner: Kristin Kill (Softball)

2005 winner: Krystal Shannon (Softball)

2004 winner: Lindsay Coit (Lacrosse)

2003 winner: Nichole Cousins (Softball)

2002 winner: Morgan O’Donnell (Softball)