Waynflete Flyers Fall Athletes of the Year

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ILYAS ABDI, Junior-Soccer

  • Class C South regional all-star

  • WMC Class C all-star, first team

  • Team MVP

Abdi switched positions this fall and became a goal-scoring machine, helping Waynflete enjoy another very successful campaign.

Abdi has also played basketball and lacrosse, but considers soccer his top sport. 

“The soccer field is a nice escape for me,” Abdi said. “It takes things off my mind. My teammates always have my back. That’s the best part of playing. I cherish my moments on the field.”

The Flyers have cherished having Abdi in uniform since his freshman season. Abdi played as a wing his first two years, but moved up top this year and was rewarded by exploding for 17 goals (and adding four assists).

Highlights included a goal against Wells in the opener, two goals in a win over Traip, an assist on the game-winner at Sacopee Valley, two goals in a victory over St. Dom’s, a tying goal versus Freeport, the winner in a second victory against Sacopee Valley, a hat trick in a second win over St. Dom’s and three goals in a quarterfinal round victory over Wiscasset. Waynflete was then ousted on penalty kicks at Lisbon in the semifinals.

“I was a little surprised to be that big a part of the offense,” Abdi said. 

Abdi was named to the conference and regional all-star teams and looks forward to a solid senior season (he’ll be a captain) before he hopes to play in college.

His triumph on the pitch has only just begun. Ilyas Abdi, Waynflete’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, has shown an ability to succeed anywhere he plays, but when the ball’s on his foot and the goal is near, he’s close to unstoppable.

Coach Brandon Salway’s comment: “Ilyas was one of the most improved players in the conference in my opinion. He made the transition from a midfield position to one of the most dangerous strikers in the league. He inspired his teammates through his ability, but more so through his relentless work-rate. He is a great person as well and someone the coaching staff enjoys working with. We all look forward to watching Ilyas as a senior.“

Prior winners:

2015 Milo Belleau (soccer)

2014 Harry Baker-Connick (soccer)

2013 Henry Cleaves (soccer)

2012 Peabo Knoth (soccer)

2011 Daniel Weiner (soccer)

2010 Tucker Geoffroy (soccer)

2009 Chris Gillespie (soccer)

2008 Josh Bloom (soccer)

2007 Tristan Corriveau (soccer)

2006 Tristan Corriveau (soccer)

2005 Dan Black (soccer)

2004 Matt Lacasse (soccer)



  • Western C regional all-star

  • WMC Class C all-star, first-team

  • WMC All-Academic team 

  • Captain

Canning grew from a girl who would rather read a book than play soccer to one who by word and deed led her Waynflete team to greatness during her four years in a Flyers uniform.

Canning grew up in Portland and started playing soccer at the pee wee level, but in one of her first games, she left the field and sat down on the sidelines to read.

Apathy soon turned to competitiveness, however, and Canning never looked back.

“My teammates drive me,” Canning said. “I wanted to do well so they’d be happy and we’d all do well. I wanted to be the best I could be.”

Canning started at Waynflete in the sixth grade and made the varsity girls’ soccer team as a freshman, playing outside back. Canning got an opportunity to win a championship, playing with her older sister, Sofia, whom she occasionally irked with her vocal style of play, even as one of the team’s youngest players.

“I like the leadership role,” Canning said. “I’ve never been shy about communicating.”

Canning was a defensive stalwart as a sophomore and junior and was recognized as one of the top players in the conference in each of her four seasons.

Canning finished with nine goals and nine assists and started every game. She had a goal and two assists in a season-opening win over Wells and scored the only goal in a win over Traip Academy.

Canning also served many corner and free kicks into ideal spots, including one which led to the tying goal in the regional final against Madison.

Most importantly, Canning anchored a defense which allowed just 20 goals in 18 games and shut out seven foes.

“We’ve been through a lot and that brought us together,” Canning said. “We all played with our hearts and it showed on the field.”

Canning was named to the all-region team this fall. She’ll play one final season of lacrosse at Waynflete this spring. Next year, Canning is uncertain of her destination. She may play lacrosse, but is likely done with soccer.

If so, her final act will be well remembered. Isabel Canning, Waynflete’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, was a standout player and a leader who produced a fantastic high career.

Coach Todd Dominski’s comment: “Isabel ends her career at Waynflete as one of the best defensive players that I have ever coached. Isabel has been a respected leader on the team since she stepped on the field as a freshman. She has been responsible for running our defense over the last four years. Isabel’s combination of athleticism, size, speed, strength and intelligence makes her one of the best defenders in the state. She always had a lot of fun and was our team’s vocal leader. Isabel put the team above everything and has been a great role model for the Waynflete community.” 

Prior winners:

2015 Arianna Giguere (soccer)

2014 Julianna Harwood (soccer)

2013 Leigh Fernandez (soccer)

2012 Jo Moore (field hockey)

2011 Becky Smith (soccer)

2010 Lindsey Sinicki (field hockey)

2009 Amy Allen (cross country)

2008 Adele Espy (cross country)

2007 Adele Espy (cross country)

2006 Alex Woodhouse (soccer)

2005 Tess Crain (cross country)

2004 Anina Hewey (soccer)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports

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