2016-17 high school sports

Courier Publications/VillageSoup reveals female athlete-of-year finalists

By Mark Haskell | Aug 04, 2017
Artwork by: Christine Dunkle

Rockland — State championships, significant individual accolades and other topnotch accomplishments were all the rage for Midcoast high school female student-athletes over the past school year.

However, the question now becomes: Who will be deemed the best of the best?

The Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports department — comprised of sports director Ken Waltz, associate sports director Mark Haskell and editorial assistant Holly Vanorse Spicer — will attempt to answer that question as they begin their quest to sort out the 2016-17 schoolgirl athlete of the year.

Courier Publications publishes three weekly newspapers, The Courier-Gazette in Rockland, The Camden Herald and The Republican Journal in Belfast. The company also has two websites: knox.villagesoup.com and waldo.villagesoup.com.

A lengthy list of potential athlete-of-year candidates was whittled to 10 female semifinalists — and, ultimately, five female finalists.

Students from Oceanside High School of Rockland/Thomaston, Camden Hills Regional High School of Rockport, Mount View High School of Thorndike, Belfast Area High School, Medomak Valley High School of Waldoboro, Vinalhaven School, North Haven Community School, Searsport District High School and Islesboro Central School were eligible and considered for athlete-of-year honors.

The 2016-17 schoolgirl athlete-of-the-year finalists are: Belfast’s Kylie Nelson, Camden Hills’ Charlotte Messer, Medomak Valley’s Gabby DePatsy and Oceanside’s Jillian Brooks and Alexis Mazurek.

The five finalists were whittled from 10 semifinalists, the other five of whom included: Camden Hills’ Kristina Kelly and Kassie Krul, Oceanside’s Kelsey Brooks, Mount View’s Reanna Boulay and Vinalhaven’s Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes.

The Brooks are identical twin sisters.

There were many other area student-athletes considered for the top 10, but, ultimately, did not make the final list.

As is the case with any list where one is determining a top all-around athlete for a full year, the process is subjective. However, the final decision lies with the Courier Publications' sports staff on the schoolgirl athletes of the year.

Athletes who excelled in three different sports, particularly who were given all-conference awards, receive more consideration given the fact their overall ability in a variety of sports makes the case for them being more well-rounded "athletes."

Two-sport athletes also are given consideration and, in rare cases, single-sport athletes, since one could argue that the athlete who focuses solely on perfection in one sport and outshines the competition in that sport should not be excluded.

Stories on the winner will appear in the future.

The 2016-17 athlete-of-the-year finalists, with a brief recap of notable accomplishments during the school year, follows, with athletes listed in alphabetical order:

Finalists

Jillian Brooks, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Oceanside, who played soccer, basketball and lacrosse for the Mariners. On the pitch, Brooks was one of Oceanside’s go-to players, whether setting up scoring opportunities for teammates — or creating them for herself. Her pitch prowess earned her first-team all-conference honors. On the basketball court, while not the team’s primary scorer (she average 3 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists per contest), Brooks was a guard and had a nose for the ball, either carrying the ball on pivotal possessions or defending the ball with aggression and vigor. But it was her play in lacrosse that transcended as she found that net an astounding 47 times and also logged 20 assists, leading the Mariners to the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship game and the Mariners' first regional championship berth. Her efforts also earned her first-team all-conference honors. She also was standout in soccer, where she was a top goal scorer and stellar all-around player (her soccer statistics were unavailable).

DePatsy, a junior, was a three-sport athlete for Medomak Valley, as she played soccer, basketball and softball for the Panthers. On the pitch, DePatsy thrived as a defensive stopper and often was the last line of defense in front of the goalie for Medomak Valley. On the court, the 5-foot 10-inch DePatsy earned second-team all-conference honors as she averaged 15.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists. She also shot 71 percent from the foul line and 43 percent from the field. On the diamond, DePatsy displayed her best work, which culminated with her nabbing Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B player-of-the-year honors. At the plate, she batted .443, with six doubles, three triples, six home runs and 31 RBIs, along with a .460 on-base percentage and a .934 slugging percentage. In the pitching circle, DePatsy finished 8-1 and sported a 2.31 earned-run average, with 82 strikeouts.

Mazurek, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Oceanside, as she played field hockey, basketball and softball for the Mariners. Mazurek was a team captain for field hockey, and, from the midfield position, racked up four goals and three assists. On the court, Mazurek was an interior presence for the Mariners as she averaged nine points, six rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot. But it was on the softball diamond where Mazurek’s dominance was on full display, as she batted a whopping .514 and had 36 hits (8 doubles, triple, 8 home runs), 32 RBIs, 30 runs, a 1.000 slugging percentage and a 1.550 on-base percentage. She was named first-team all-conference and also blasted a game-winning, walk-off, extra-inning home run in the playoffs against Medomak Valley.

Messer, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Camden Hills, as she played soccer, basketball and tennis for the Windjammers. On the soccer pitch, Messer experienced a dream season for Camden Hills, which culminated with her scoring the lone goal in overtime of the state Class A championship game. That was one of 26 goals she scored and she assisted on 17 others. Messer was named first-team all-conference, Class A player of the year, wand as an All-State, All-New England and All-American honors. On the basketball court, Messer was a second-team all-conference selection as the 5-foot 7-inch guard averaged 13 points, two rebounds and two assists. On the tennis court, Messer was a key cog for the Windjammers, who won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title and advanced to the regional championship game. Messer helped the Windjammers nab an undefeated regular-season record and a berth in the Class B North regional championship game.

Nelson, a senior (and last year’s schoolgirl athlete of the year), was a three-sport athlete for Belfast, as she played field hockey, as well as indoor and outdoor track for the Lions. On the field hockey field, one would be hard-pressed to find a player better than Nelson as the forward amassed an astounding 37 goals and 14 assists. She was named first-team all-conference and Class B player of the year for the second straight season. She led the Lions to the state Class B championship game, which they lost 2-1 to York. Nelson was an All-State selection and one of three finalists for Miss Maine Field Hockey, given to York’s Lily Pastornak. In indoor track, Nelson was named first-team all-conference and Class B athlete of the meet at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships as she won titles in the pole vault, long jump and triple jump. She also went on to win the state crown in the long jump. In outdoor track, Nelson was first-team all-conference and won KVAC Class B titles in pole vault, long jump and triple jump and went on to win state Class B championships in the pole vault and long jump.

Semifinalists

Boulay, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Mount View, as she played field hockey, unified basketball and softball for the Mustangs. In field hockey, Boulay was one of the Midcoast’s top players as she finished with six goals and four assists from the center-back position. Her play earned her not only a first-team all-conference selection, but an All-State selection. On the softball diamond, Boulay wielded an impressive stick as she had a .422 batting average and a .469 on-base percentage, rapping 19 hits (6 doubles, 3 triples, home run) and chipped in 16 RBIs and 11 runs. She also pitched for Mount View and earned a second-team all-conference selection. Boulay also was a member of the school’s unified basketball team, which qualified for the postseason.

Kelsey Brooks, a senior, was a two-sport athlete for Oceanside, playing soccer and lacrosse for the Mariners. On the soccer field, Brooks was one of the team’s top players and earned first-team all-conference honors. In lacrosse, she was equally impressive as she scored 16 goals and added 22 assists, also netting first-team all-conference honors. Her soccer statistics were unavailable.

Davis-Oakes, a junior, was a three-sport athlete for Vinalhaven, as she played soccer, basketball and softball for the Vikings. While Davis-Oakes, the team’s regular goalie, did not get to play soccer this season (she broke her leg in a preseason game), she healed in time for basketball season. Davis-Oakes did not find her stride returning from injury until after Christmas, but averaged about 15 points and 10 rebounds, according to coach Sandy Nelson. Davis-Oakes also poured in a whopping 28 points in the state Class D championship game against Shead of Eastport, as she helped lead the school to its first state title in any sport. Her efforts also earned her an East-West all-conference selection. Davis-Oakes also pitched and played various positions on the diamond for the school’s softball team.

Kelly, a freshman, was a three-sport athlete for Camden Hills, as she participated in soccer, basketball and outdoor track for the Windjammers. Kelly broke onto the scene in a big way on the soccer pitch and helped lead the Windjammers to their first state Class A championship, earning first-team all-conference honors. She led the team in goals with 32 and was third on the team in assists with 10. On the hardwood, she averaged 7.6 points, five steals and three assists. She was also an integral part of the school’s outdoor track team as she turned in topnotch performances at the state championship meet (she qualified but did not participate in the conference championship meet) in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and was the second leg of the 4x400-meter relay team. She was a topnotch sprinter and hurdler.

Krul, a sophomore, was a three-sport athlete for Camden Hills, playing soccer, basketball and tennis for the Windjammers. A midfielder, Krul played a crucial role in the team’s state Class A title run as she creased the net seven times and also added 13 assists, along with being named first-team all-conference in addition to being named to the Northern Maine All-State team. On the hardwood, Krul averaged 11 points, five assists and seven rebounds, as she helped lead the Windjammers into the postseason. On the tennis court, Krul excelled throughout the season at third singles and helped the Windjammers nab an undefeated regular-season record, a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship and a berth in the Class B North regional championship game.

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