Yarmouth Clippers Fall Athletes of the Year

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MALE:

CHANDLER SMITH, Senior-Soccer

  • All-State

  • Western Maine Soccer Officials Sportsmanship Award

  • WMC Class A/B all-star, first-team

  • WMC All-Academic team

  • Western B all-regional

  • Lindsey Berghuis Courage Award winner

  • Captain

Smith was the rare athlete who would be equally trusted by his coach to make the biggest play of the game or date his daughter.

Capping a brilliant four year career with a combination of poise, leadership, immense talent and sportsmanship, Smith cemented his legacy as one of the best players in the history of a storied program.

Smith came to Yarmouth by a round-about route. He was born in Massachusetts, lived in Australia for a time, then came to Maine as a freshman, just in time to earn a spot on the Clippers varsity.

“I was terrible when I was little, but I loved (soccer) more and more,” Smith said.

Smith had a goal and an assist as a freshman on Yarmouth’s 2010 Class B state championship team, but became much better known for his shutdown defense. That continued this fall, but Smith also managed to score six times and add a couple of assists.

Smith scored a goal in a season-opening win over Poland, had tallies against Freeport, Waynflete, Falmouth (which was the winner), York and Cape Elizabeth (in a semifinal round romp).

Smith was part of a sensational senior class that ran roughshod over the league until the regional final, when Yarmouth was stunned by Greely. Regardless, Smith won 84 percent of his games in high school and wasn’t just honored for his play on the pitch, but was also given awards by his team and the conference’s soccer officials.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to play anywhere else,” said Smith. “It was one of the best experiences of my life. My teammates and coaches drove me. My parents, my brothers, Conor and Braden, and my sister, Riley, supported me.”

Smith previously dabbled in lacrosse and track, but is focusing on soccer this winter (he plays for the Portland Phoenix premier team) and may play tennis this spring. He’s the president of the Maine Principals’ Association’s Advisory Committee, is a member of Yarmouth’s Playmakers and BOLD (which stresses a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle) and plays golf and volleyball recreationally.

Smith is weighing several top schools in New England and hopes to play soccer at the next level.

Words and statistics really don’t do him justice. Chandler Smith, Yarmouth’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, meant everything to his teammates, coaches and community. While his place in Clippers lore is secure, he has only begun to put his unique stamp on the world.

Coach Mike Hagerty’s comment: “Chandler is the player that others want to play with and win for more than anyone I’ve ever coached. He has always conducted himself with class and maturity beyond his years on and off the field. He has become the new standard that we’ll measure captains by. He’s set the standard that our players can be great on the field, great in the classroom, tough and kind, thoughtful and courageous all simultaneously. He’s become a better leader each and every year.”

Prior winners:

2012: Red DeSmith (Golf)

2011 Chris Knaub (Soccer)

2010: Luke Pierce (Soccer)

2009: Eric Estabrook (Football)

2008: Johnny Murphy (Soccer)

2007: Johnny Murphy (Soccer)

2006: Cody Lapointe (Soccer)

2005: Tim Murphy (Soccer)

2004: Justin Morrill (Soccer)

2003: Pat Gildart (Soccer)

2002: Greg Abbot (Soccer)

2001: Eoin Lynch (Soccer)

FEMALE:

GRACE MALLETT, Senior-Volleyball

  • Class B all-state, first-team, setter

  • Class B leader, aces

  • Class B leader, assists

  • Captain

Mallett set the ball in just the right spot for her teammates, but more importantly, she set the tone for a championship team, all the while exuding tremendous leadership and an infectious personality.

Mallett spent the early part of her life in New York City, started playing volleyball in the fifth grade and upon arrival in Yarmouth as a freshman, joined the Clippers varsity. Mallett credited former stars like Abbie Hutchinson (who trained her as a setter), Suzanne Driscoll and Gina Robertson for turning her into an elite player.

She became a starter as a sophomore and helped Yarmouth win a state championship for the first time. The Clippers fell short her junior season, but Mallett and her teammates wouldn’t be denied this fall, losing just once in a march to another title, one that came with high drama.

Mallett wound up with dazzling statistics, but since she rarely crashed the net for the jawdropping kill (she was credited with one), she didn’t get the credit she deserved. Mallett led Class B with 254 assists. She also was first in aces (96) and and had a whopping 169 service points, which led the Clippers.

Her calming presence was never more evident than in the state match, when Yarmouth lost the first two sets to Washington Academy. The Clippers were able to rally back for an epic five-game victory and the season ended in style.

“We all worked well together,” said Mallett, emphasizing the play of teammates like Maddy Maierhofer, Hannah Elrick, Kristina Borderia and Madeleine Anderson. “I love the sport and my teammates. I’ve been lucky to have worked with so many amazing teammates over the years. This year was the culmination of an amazing four years and I feel so lucky to have been part of such a special team. We worked so hard and weren’t going to go down without a fight. I’m so grateful to my parents and coaches.”

Mallett has also competed in swimming and lacrosse and was considering skiing or competing in indoor track this winter. She volunteers for the Maine Youth Court and Maine Adoptive skiing, is a member of Student Senate and Model UN and is an avid photographer.

Mallett is looking at continuing her education at a small liberal arts college, where she would love to play volleyball.

While many great things await, the Clippers program won’t ever forget the role played by one Grace Mallett, Yarmouth’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, who was not only a tremendous talent and teammate, but a singular student-athlete in every sense.

Coach Jim Senecal‘s comment: “Grace was a starter for three of four years and has certainly been a key ingredient to our success. She has a way of making all the other players on the floor better. She used all of her hitters and really seemed to know which ones to set at the right time. She took pride in putting the ball exactly where our kids could be most effective. She plays with a confidence and enthusiasm that’s felt by her teammates. She pulled everyone together, developing relationships and constantly staying positive with everyone on the team. As she moves on, I’m sure she’ll know she set the standard for leadership and excellence for years to come. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been in a position to be her coach. She’s a very special young lady.”

Prior winners:

2012: Monica Austin (Golf)

2011: Suzanne Driscoll (Volleyball)

2010: Natalie Salmon (Soccer)

2009: Kate Darrell (Volleyball)

2008: Mariah Martin (Field hockey)

2007: Anna Makaretz (Cross country)

2006: Nicole Simmonds (Soccer)

2005: Shannon Gildart (Soccer)

2004: Melissa Moylan (Soccer)

2003: Stephanie Whittaker (Soccer)

2002: Karen Thorp (Cross country)

2001: Danielle McGee (Field hockey)

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

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