High school sports

Courier Publications/VillageSoup spotlights schoolgirl athlete-of-year finalists

Veilleux, Kassie Krul, Kelly, Davis, Robertson-McIntire check in as five elite student-athletes
By Mark Haskell | Aug 06, 2019
Artwork by: Christine Dunkle

Rockland — Whether accolades came from booting a ball into a net, passing a baton, tossing a discus or throwing out base runners — or a bevy of other impressive individual- or team-based performances — Midcoast high school female student-athletes thrived throughout the 2018-19 school year on the field, track and court of athletic competition.

Now, the question becomes: Who, among those stalwarts, were the best of the best?

The Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports department — sports director Ken Waltz, associate sports director Mark Haskell and sports reporter Zack Miller — will attempt to answer that question as they begin their quest to sort out the 2018-19 Courier Publications/VillageSoup 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 semifinalists — and, ultimately, five finalists — by Waltz, Haskell and Miller.

Students from Oceanside High School of Rockland, 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 are eligible for the media company's athlete-of-year honors.

The 2018-19 schoolgirl athlete-of-the-year finalists are: Oceanside’s Abby Veilleux, Camden Hills’ Kassie Krul and Kristina Kelly, Mount View’s Shala Davis and Belfast’s Junne Robertson-McIntire.

The five finalists were whittled from 10 semifinalists, the other five of whom included: Belfast’s Maya Cunningham and Brooke Richards, Searsport’s Mikaela Alley, Medomak Valley’s Sadie Cohen and Mount View’s Hannah Coolen.

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

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

A story on the top athlete will appear in a future newspaper and on the company's websites.

The 2018-19 athlete-of-the-year finalists and semifinalists, with a brief recap of notable accomplishments during the school year, follows, with athletes listed in alphabetical order:

Finalists

Davis, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Mount View as she competed in soccer, basketball and outdoor track and field for the Mustangs. On the soccer field, Davis began the year as the team’s keeper but transitioned to defensive midfield, with her task being to bottle up the opposition’s top goal scorers. She netted two goals, added five assists and was named as a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B first-team all-conference selection. On the court, Davis averaged nearly a double-double as she netted 9.2 points, while adding 10.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and two steals per contest. Her efforts also earned her a KVAC Class B first-team all-conference selection. She was not an all-conference selection at outdoor track and field, but proved her worth and then some as she won the state Class C championship in the discus with a throw of 118 feet. She also was the first leg of the 4x100-meter relay team that finished fourth in the state championships.

Kelly, a junior, was a two-sport athlete for Camden Hills as she played soccer and wrestled for the Windjammers. On the soccer field, there was, quite frankly, no better player in the state than Kelly. She scored an astounding 37 goals and added 11 assists, which earned her, in order, a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A first-team all-conference selection, an All-State selection and was named the 2018 Maine Gatorade player of the year. She also led the Windjammers to their third straight state Class A championship. On the mats, Kelly was a steady performer as she finished 21-17, with seven pins. She also placed fourth in the Class A North regional coed championships and went on to win the inaugural state girls wrestling championship in the 113-pound weight class.

Krul, a senior, was a two-sport athlete for Camden Hills as she played soccer and basketball for the Windjammers. On the pitch, Krul, a team captain, was arguably the team’s most complete player as she ended her high school career with 16 goals and 11 assists in her final season before she moves on to play soccer in college at Division II Barton College in Wilson, N.C. Krul was named Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A first-team all-conference and All-State as she played an integral role in the team’s third straight state Class A soccer championship. On the court, Krul was the team’s top scorer and all-around player as she netted 16.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals per contest, which earned her a KVAC Class A South first-team all-conference selection.

Robertson-McIntire, a junior, was a rare four-sport athlete for Belfast as she played soccer, basketball, indoor track and outdoor track and field for the Lions. On the soccer field, Robertson-McIntire was a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B first-team all-conference selection as she finished the campaign with 10 goals and two assists. Coach Brian Beaulieu said she demonstrated a wealth of leadership at center midfield and “did this very well with a very young and inexperienced team.” In indoor and outdoor track, Robertson-McIntire also was a KVAC Class B first team all-conference selection. In indoor track, she collected KVAC Class B titles in the 55 meters and 200 meters, while she finished second in 55 meters and third in the 200 meters at the state Class B championships. In outdoor track, she nabbed KVAC Class B titles in the 100 and 200 meters and went on to win three state Class B titles in the 100 and 200 meters, and as the fourth leg of the 4x100-meter relay team. Robertson-McIntire missed half her team’s basketball games in the winter due to injury.

Veilleux, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Oceanside as she played soccer, basketball and softball for the Mariners. On the pitch, Veilleux was a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B first-team all-conference selection and team captain as she scored 15 goals and two assists, seven of which came off direct kicks in the last five games of the regular season. On the basketball court, as a guard, Veilleux logged 4.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and about an assist per contest. On the softball field, Veilleux was a force as the team’s catcher and leadoff hitter. At the plate, she boasted a .410 batting average, .475 slugging percentage, .975 on-base percentage, 14 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. Defensively, she threw out 10 of 18 potential base stealers, led the team in putouts with 188 and had a fielding percentage of .976, all of which helped earned her a KVAC Class B North first-team all-conference selection.

Semifinalists

Alley, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Searsport, where she played soccer, basketball and softball for the Vikings. On the soccer pitch, Alley got her cardio in and then some as she was one of only 11 players on the team and played mostly midfield for Searsport. Despite that fact, Alley was named Penobscot Valley Conference Class D first-team all-conference as she collected five assists on the year. On the hardwood, she was named PVC second-team all-conference and averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and 1.8 blocks and was invited to participate in the Maine McDonald’s High School Senior All-Star Basketball Games. On the diamond, Alley was a PVC honorable mention as she batted .360, with 18 hits, 18 runs, seven RBIs and .560 slugging percentage. She also stole 19 bases on 19 attempts and had a .865 fielding percentage.

Cohen, a junior, was a three-sport athlete for Medomak Valley, where she played soccer, basketball and tennis for the Panthers. Cohen was a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference first-team all-conference selection on the soccer pitch, where she netted nine goals and added four assists. On the basketball court, she was named to the KVAC Class A South first team, as she averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 2.6 assists. In the spring, Cohen transitioned from softball to tennis and held down the team’s second singles position for the majority of the season. She sported a 7-5 individual record.

Coolen, a freshman, was a three-sport athlete for Mount View, where she played soccer, basketball and softball for the Mustangs. On the soccer pitch, Coolen began the season as a center midfielder and was moved to defense a few games into the campaign, tasked with shutting down the opposition’s top scoring threats. Coolen thrived on defense and finished the season with two goals and two assists. On the courts, the 5-foot 3-inch Coolen averaged a cool, 13.8 points, along with 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals, canning 21 3-pointers. On the softball field, Coolen was the team’s starting shortstop and leadoff hitter and batted .231, with 22 runs scored and a .821 fielding percentage.

Cunningham, a senior, was a two-sport athlete for Belfast, where she played field hockey and softball for the Lions. In the fall, Cunningham scored five goals, had four assists and added two defensive saves for the field hockey team. She was named Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference first-team all-conference and also earned an All-State selection. Cunningham will play Division I field hockey at Wagner University in Staten Island, N.Y. On the softball field, as the team’s catcher, Cunningham was a KVAC second-team all-conference selection as sported a .434 batting average, with 23 hits, eight RBIs and six runs scored.

Richards, a junior, was a two-sport athlete for Belfast, where she played field hockey and softball for the Lions. In the fall, Richards, as the field hockey team’s goalie, was named Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference first-team all-conference as she made 61 saves on 93 shots, with seven shutouts. On the softball field, primarily at third base, Richards boasted a blistering .520 batting average, with 26 hits, 11 RBIs and eight runs.

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