Yarmouth Clippers Winter Athletes of the Year

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Whynot

Laukli

Male:

SEAN WHYNOT, Junior-Diving

* Class B state champion

* All-State

* South Division Diver of the Year

* Southwestern Maine All-Conference

Whynot began the season a novice diver. He ended it as a state champion and a storybook year set the stage for even more success down the road.

Whynot competed in cross country and track until a turn on the family trampoline led to an inspiration which the Yarmouth swim program was the biggest beneficiary.

“I started diving for fun,” said Whynot. “It’s like doing tricks on my trampoline. My Dad was a diver and he suggested a program over the summer. I liked it from the start.”

Whynot then gave up indoor track to join the swim team and he quickly made his mark on the board. Whynot immediately qualified for states and it wasn’t long until he was among the best divers around. Whynot came in second to veteran Falmouth standout Griffin Conley at the Kennebunk Invitational. At the South Division Southwesterns, Whynot finished first with a score of 315.85 points. He then won the Class B state title with a score of 271.35 points.

“I worked on improving in every practice and got better and better,” said Whynot who credited his diving coach, Mike Bartley, for helping him progress. “I scored well at Southwesterns and I thought I had a chance at states. It was awesome to win.”

Whynot will now turn his attention to running the 800 and mile in outdoor track. He also belongs to Yarmouth’s Gay Straight Transgender Alliance. Next winter, Whynot will look to win another diving title before possibly diving in college.

What a success story this was. Sean Whynot, Yarmouth’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year, burst on to the scene and made quite a splash, or in his case, not much of a splash, as he posted high scores and captured an unexpected state title.

Coach Dave Cox’s comment: “Sean’s story is remarkable. He tried diving in October and asked if he could be on the high school team in November. Sean’s guts, athleticism and determination propelled him to qualify for states the third week of the season, lead the Class B rankings halfway through the season, win South Southwesterns and lead Yarmouth to its first Southwesterns title and finish the season as Class B champion. His work ethic, humility and fearlessness led him from from beginner to state champion in a few short months.”

Previous winners:

2016-17 Alek Medenica (basketball)

2015-16 Walter Conrad (hockey)

2014-15 John Lane (Nordic skiing)

2013-14 David Murphy (basketball)

2012-13 Braden Becker (skiing)

2011-12 Josh Britten (basketball)

2010-11 Luke Pierce (basketball)

2009-10 Ethan Gray (hockey)

2008-09 Cam Woodworth (skiing)

2007-08 Jack Gross (skiing)

2006-07 Lucas Denning (basketball)

2005-06 Jack Gross (skiing)

2004-05 Pat Delaney (hockey)

2003-04 Ben Swardlick (skiing)

2002-03 Gunnar Hagstrom (basketball)

2001-02 Jay Fletcher (hockey)

Female:

SOPHIA LAUKLI, Senior-Nordic skiing

* Class B state champion, classical

* Class B state champion, skate

* WMC All-Conference

* WMC All-Academic team

Laukli made a triumphant return to Yarmouth and helped the Clippers juggernaut to yet another state title.

Laukli came to skiing naturally, as both parents competed in college. She made an immediate impact in high school, placing seventh in the classical and 10th in the freestyle at states as a freshman. As a sophomore, she moved up to third in the classical and fourth in the sophomore. Laukli then spent her junior year in Switzerland, where she began training even more seriously.

Laukli returned to Yarmouth this school year and after coming in second individually at the Class B cross country running state meet, helping the Clippers to a state title, she delivered a knockout performance in her final season on the trails this winter.

Laukli didn’t finish in a spot other than first all winter, downing all comers in the league and the state, placing first throughout the regular season, at the Sassi Memorial Classic and at the Western Maine Conference championship and Class B state championship meet.

“Skiing is a team and individual sport and while it’s painful while you’re doing it, it’s very rewarding when you finish,” Laukli said. 

Laukli went on to earn All-American honors. She plans to take a gap year (where she’ll spend some time in her father’s homeland, Norway), then will be a force at the college level.

Sophia Laukli, Yarmouth’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, wrote a memorable final high school chapter and still has plenty of triumph in her future.

Coach Bob Morse’s comment: “Sophia is very quiet, but she knows what she wants to do. She’ll smile and joke around, but at the same time, she’s out to win. Not many high school kids have a plan, but she does. She’s a great skier and she’s mentally tough.”

Previous winners:

2016-17 Grace Cowles (skiing)

2015-16 Emma Egan (track)

2014-15 Emma Egan (track)

2013-14 Chapin Dorsett (skiing)

2012-13 Abby Belisle-Haley (swimming)

2011-12 Morgan Cahill (basketball)

2010-11 Becca Bell (skiing)

2009-10 Becca Bell (skiing)

2008-09 Lauren Stackhouse (skiing)

2007-08 Julianna Lord (skiing)

2006-07 Molly Hallweaver (skiing)

2005-06 Meredith Shaw (basketball)

2004-05 Aylie Baker (basketball)

2003-04 Kalie Dunn (skiing)

2002-03 Emily Poole (skiing)

2001-02 Emily Erickson (basketball)

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

Whynot

Laukli

0
Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.