Yarmouth Clippers Fall Athletes of the Year

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Groothoff

Groothoff

D’Appolonia

D’Appolonia

MALE:

LUKE GROOTHOFF, Senior-Soccer

  • All-American

  • All-New England

  • All-State
  • Class B Player of the Year

  • WMC Class B all-star

  • Class B South regional all-star

  • Hagstrom Leadership Award winner

  • Captain

Groothoff’s transcendence on the pitch was enough to make him stand alone, but when you add in his leadership and character, it’s easy to see how he will be irreplaceable for the state’s premier Class B boys’ soccer program.

Groothoff grew up in Santa Rosa, California and started playing soccer at the age of five.

“Soccer has always been my top sport,” Groothoff said. “I enjoy the mix of athleticism, skill and technique. It’s non-stop and you’re constantly moving. I play for the love of the sport.”

Groothoff, a midfielder, came to Yarmouth from California for his sophomore year and made an immediate impact with the Clippers, teaming with his older brother, Jon, to help Yarmouth win the Class B championship. Luke Groothoff had six goals and 10 assists that first season. As a junior, he scored 10 times and added six assists as the Clippers won another Gold Ball. This fall, as the squad’s unquestioned heart and soul, Groothoff scored eight goals and added eight assists, helping Yarmouth go 18-0 for the first time and win a fourth straight crown.

Highlights this year included a goal in a season-opening win over Gray-New Gloucester, a goal in a come-from-behind victory at rival Greely, a key assist in a one-goal victory over York, a goal in a second win over Gray-New Gloucester and two goals, including the winner late off a corner kick, at Cape Elizabeth.

What couldn’t be quantified was Groothoff’s ability to draw attention from the defense which allowed Yarmouth’s many other scoring talents to enjoy additional operating room.

“It was just a dream season,” Groothoff said.

For his career, Groothoff scored 28 goals and added 30 assists. He made the All-Conference and All-State teams in each of his three seasons, won three Gold Balls and served as a captain twice. Yarmouth posted a dazzling 49-3-2 record during Groothoff’s time in uniform and he was just named Class B Player of the Year, as well All-New England and Yarmouth’s first All-American.

In addition to playing Global Premier Soccer, Groothoff runs track for Yarmouth, is a member of Yarmouth’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the school’s Student Ambassadors, Politics/Current Event Club and Outing Club. If that’s not enough, he plays the piano and is a top-notch student.

He’ll join his brother on the soccer team next year at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where he plans to study medical illustration.

Luke Groothoff, Yarmouth’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, is the latest in a long line of Clippers stars, but there’s been no one who’s combined excellence on and off the field quite the way he has.

Coach Mike Hagerty’s comment: “The best part about coaching Luke is not his incredible work ethic nor his amazing talent. The best part of having Luke in our program is that he is one of the kindest, most sincere and nicest young men I have ever coached. He is one of the finest role models we have ever had in our program’s history. He gladly accepts the fact that his talents and abilities carry with them a certain responsibility, that is to use them to the best of his ability on and off the field. Simply put, Luke represents all that is good in today’s youth. He made everyone around him better. That’s what the best players do. We’ll miss the heck out of him next year.”

Prior winners:

2016 Luke Laverdiere (cross country)

2015 Jack Snyder (football)

2014 Adam LaBrie (soccer)

2013 Chandler Smith (soccer)

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:

SARA D’APPOLONIA, Senior-Soccer

  • All-American

  • All-New England

  • All-State
  • Class B Player of the Year

  • Class B South, regional all-star

  • WMC Class B all-star, first-team

  • Captain

D’Appolonia didn’t just produce the most prolific scoring season in program history, she bowed out as one of the finest girls’ high school soccer players to ever lace up a pair of cleats.

D’Appolonia’s athletic skill came naturally, as her father, Seb, played soccer at the University of Maine, while her mother, Chris, once more than held her own in high school playing on the boys’ soccer team, while later going on to play women’s basketball at the University of Maine.

D’Appolonia started playing soccer at the age of five, but she was equally devoted to basketball and soccer in middle school. That changed in high school.

“Soccer took over my world in high school,” D’Appolonia said. “I fell in love with it. It’s taught me a lot about life. Sportsmanship, teamwork. It’s a great outlet for me. I’m super-passionate about sports and soccer’s a great sport. It’s a great place for me to channel my energy.”

D’Appolonia made an immediate impact as a freshman, controlling play in the middle of the field. D’Appolonia made the all-star team as a sophomore and again as a junior, helping Yarmouth win its first Gold Ball in 13 years in that latter season.

This fall, she rewrote the record books, helping the Clippers repeat as champs, posting the first 18-0 record in school history.

D’Appolonia got things started with a goal against Gray-New Gloucester in the opener and she was just getting warmed up. After scoring again in a win at Greely, D’Appolonia exploded for a program-best seven goals in a victory at Fryeburg Academy. After scoring twice each in wins at Freeport and York, D’Appolonia had a pair of assists in a second win over Greely. She got back to her goal-scoring ways at Poland with four goals, then she scored three times (and assisted on two other goals) in the first half in a home win over Cape Elizabeth. D’Appolonia two goals at York, scored twice more in a win over Gray-New Gloucester, had three more goals in a second win over Fryeburg Academy, scored the only goal in a second victory over Cape Elizabeth and capped the regular season with two goals against Lake Region, giving her 31 for the year.

While Yarmouth found the going more challenging in the playoffs, D’Appolonia had a goal and an assist in a semifinal round victory over York and scored her 33rd and final goal in a 9-0 state game win over Presque Isle.

“This season was really fun,” D’Appolonia said.

After the season ended, D’Appolonia won just about every award and recognition out there, capped by being named Class B Player of the Year, as well All-New England and Yarmouth’s first All-American.

D’Appolonia, who has long played Premier soccer, is a student ambassador, belongs to Yarmouth’s Outing Club and mentors younger students. She’ll play basketball for her mother this winter until graduating early in January, then she will take her powerful right foot to the University of Delaware, where she’ll realize her dream of playing Division I soccer for the Fighting Blue Hens while studying exercise science.

Sara D’Appolonia, Yarmouth’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, will never be forgotten for her many contributions and her best days on the pitch are still ahead of her.

Coach Chris Coleman’s comment: “There are no words to describe Sara. She is tremendous in so many ways. She set the tone day-in, day-out. Her strength is off the charts. She wants to win and play well. She wants to get goals and assists and the team followed her. She’s a leader and she’s an incredible player and she deserves to be going where she’s going.”

Prior winners:

2016 Cory Langenbach (soccer)

2015 Tori Messina (field hockey)

2014 Kallie Hutchinson (field hockey)

2013 Grace Mallett (volleyball)

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.