High school sports

Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame announces top athlete finalists

Student-athletes come from Oceanside, Boothbay, Camden Hills, Medomak Valley, Lincoln Academy
By Staff | Sep 05, 2019

Waldoboro — The Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame has announced the five male and female finalists for the organization's 2018-19 high school athletes of the year.

The winners will be announced at the hall's annual banquet on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Rockland Elks Club on upper Rankin Street.

The finalists were selected by the MCSHOF board of directors after it requested two female and two male nominees from each of the following Midcoast high schools: Oceanside of Rockland, Camden Hills of Rockport, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, Vinalhaven, Islesboro, Boothbay Region and Wiscasset.

The candidates were informed of the honor of their nomination and were asked to complete a questionnaire and return it to the board to be considered to be one of the five finalists for each award.

Any candidate who did not return the questionnaire was not considered.

The five male finalists are Erik Benner and Eli Miller of Medomak Valley, Sam Hebert of Camden Hills, Jarrett Gulden of Lincoln Academy and Ben Ripley of Oceanside.

The five female finalists are Chloe Arsenault and Faith Blethen of Boothbay Region, Sadie Cohen of Medomak Valley, Chloe Jones of Oceanside and Kassie Krul of Camden Hills.

The following is a summer for the boys candidates:

Benner, a senior at Medomak Valley, was instrumental in helping the Panthers football team make the playoffs for the first time and receiving the Good Sportsmanship Award for Class C football. Benner is a starting offensive and defensive tackle and was a Class C North all-conference nominee for lineman of the year and player of the year. In wrestling, Benner set a number of records during his junior year, including most wins (55), most pins (38) and most points (315), as well as achieving 100 career wins and winning the Class B South regional and state championship in the 220-pound class. He is a full-time lobsterman in the summer and volunteers with youth football and wrestling, which enhances his strong work ethic.

Gulden, a senior at Lincoln Academy, had excellent efforts in cross country, swimming and track and field last year and looks to continue that trend this year. He was one of the team’s top two runners in cross country and was instrumental in the team winning conference championships the last three years, in addition to the school’s first state cross-country championship in 75 years in 2017. He also finished sixth and fifth overall, respectively, in the state Class B meets in 2017 and 2018 and qualified for New England’s in 2018, in addition to helping the Eagles qualify as a team in 2017. He qualified for the state meet in swimming each of the last three years in every event, while this past spring, he was a conference champion in the 1,600 meters, 800 meters and as a leg in the 4x800-meter relay, while second in the 3,200 meters, which made him the top-scoring individual at the meet. In the past three years at the state meet, Jarrett has placed as high as second and as low as eighth in the 800-, 1,800- and 3,200-meter runs, is devoted to his sports and teams and has also excelled with a saxophone in the Lincoln Academy Jazz Band, earning the distinction of playing in District Band, the All-State Band Orchestra and the All-State Jazz Festival.

Hebert, a 2019 Camden Hills Regional High School graduate, was chosen as the school’s male athlete of the year his senior year for his excellence, leadership and character in football and indoor and outdoor track and field. In football, Hebert was team captain and a conference all star in 2017 and 2018, as well as being named the team’s most valuable player in 2018. He also received the National Football Foundation scholar-athlete award in 2018. In indoor track, Hebert excelled in the high jump, long jump and triple jump, winning conference titles in the high jump and long jump in 2017. In three years of conference championship appearances, Hebert had 12 podium finishes and eight podium finishes at state championships. He holds the school record in the high jump (5-10), long jump (20-3), triple jump (41-6), discus (112-1) and javelin (147-2). He also was a member of the National Honor Society, finished his Eagle Scout project of a large-scale renovation of the Marge Jones Recreation Fields and played competitive billiards for the past six years, participating in many state and national level tournaments, resulting in three under-18 8-ball Maine State Championships and was a two-time national finalist at the U.S. Billiards Expo. He is a freshman at Susquehanna University in Sellinsgrove, Pa.

Miller, a 2019 Medomak Valley graduate, had an outstanding career in football and wrestling. In football, Miller has been in the local football program since fourth grade and, years later, helped the school’s new varsity football team make the Class C North playoffs for the first time. He was a Class C North honorable mention his junior and senior years, in addition to being a team captain and all-academic selection his junior year and represented the school in the Maine Shriner’s Lobster Bowl. He also ws awarded the MVHS football “Panther” award and the 2018 Coach Ken Libby Memorial Scholarship Award. His four-year wrestling career culminated with him being a two-time conference, regional and state championship winner in his weight class and participated all four years in the Maine Nebraska Friendship Challenge. He holds the school record in wrestling for career wins (169) and was the first wrestler in school history to reach 150 wins and 100 pins. He also was a manager for the Medomak Valley varsity softball team. In addition, Miller was a member of NHS, PAWS, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the school’s theater productions, the Poetry Out Loud competition and the Philbrook Speech Contest. Miller is a freshman at the University of Southern Maine, where he is a nursing major.

Ripley, a 2019 Oceanside High School graduate, excelled in football, wrestling and baseball. In football, he was a four-year varsity player and was named second-team all-conference in 2017 and 2018, was named team most valuable player as a senior and received the coach’s award as a junior. In wrestling, he was regional and state champion as a freshman, regional champion and state runner-up as a sophomore and was named all-conference and team MVP during his freshman and sophomore years. In baseball, Ripley was named first-team all-conference his senior and team MVP, while receiving the team’s coach’s award his junior year. He has volunteered over 70 community service hours refereeing youth wrestling tournaments. He is a freshman at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor, where he is studying to be an electrician.

The following is a summary for the girls candidates:

Arsenault, a senior at Boothbay Region High School, excelled in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse this past year. In field hockey. she was named all-conference and All-State for her sophomore and junior years, while also playing for Black Bear Elite and Maine Elite Field Hockey. In basketball, Arsenault is the team’s starting point guard and helped lead the Seahawks to the Mountain Valley Conference championship, a Class C South regional title and Class C state championship with an undefeated season. In lacrosse, she was team captain and most valuable player her junior year, scoring 83 career goals and is on track to amass 100 goals for her career.

Blethen, a 2019 Boothbay Region High School graduate, was the school’s salutatorian and excelled in both cross country and basketball. Blethen is a two-time individual regional cross-country champion. She also led the school’s cross-country team to a Mountain Valley Conference title in 2015, the MVC individual champion and the conference runner of the year in 2015, 2016 and 2018, was the Southern Maine regional individual champion in 2015 and 2016. In basketball, as a senior, she led the school’s basketball team to the Mountain Valley Conference championship, a Class C South regional title and the Class C state championship with an undefeated season. She also led the team to a Class C South regional title as a freshman. Blethen also led the team to conference titles in 2016 and 2017, was a four-time MVC first-team all-star and was the conference player of the year in 2018 and 2019, was a finalist for the 2019 Miss Maine Basketball Award and a Maine Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year Nominee in 2018 and 2019, along with numerous other state recognitions. Academically, she maintained high honors all four years, was in NHS, class president her senior year, president of the Rotary Interact Club and was involved in numerous ways in her community. Blethen is a freshman at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. on a full tuition scholarship.

Cohen, a senior at Medomak Valley, is a dedicated three-sport athlete playing soccer, basketball and tennis. In soccer, Cohen was a midfielder, the team’s most valuable player in 2018 and first-team all-conference selection. In basketball, she earned the team’s coach’s award as a sophomore, was the team MVP as a junior and first-team all-conference. In tennis, she also earned the team’s coach’s award, has been president of her class the last four years, a member of the student council, National Honor Society, PAWS, World Language Club, was elected president of the newly-formed Medomak Valley Interact Club and was chosen to be one of the two student representatives on the Maine School Administrative District board. She has volunteered coaching youth soccer, is a referee in peewee basketball games and has assisted with soccer camps.

Jones, a 2019 Oceanside High School graduate, was a three-sport athlete in soccer, basketball and softball. In soccer, she was part of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B soccer championship team, while she was a guard on the school’s basketball team. In softball, she was an outstanding pitcher, was named first-team all-all-conference all four years — including All-State in 2018 and 2019 — and was the conference player of the year in 2018. She also led the Mariners to KVAC Class B softball championship in 2017. She also played on a travel softball team, the Maine Thunder. Jones has helped young players at softball pitching clinics, at middle school practices and refereed peewee soccer games and did books for middle school and peewee basketball games. She is a freshman at American International College in Springfield, Mass., where she majors in exercise science and is on the school’s softball team.

Krul, a 2019 Camden Hills Regional High School graduate, played soccer, basketball and tennis for the Windjammers. In soccer, she was a four-year starter and led the team to regional and state championships for three straight years (2016-2018). She was a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference first-team all-conference selection in 2017 and 2018, to the senior all-star northern team, All-State Team, All-New England Team, all-conference and was named an All-American. She also was a team captain in 2017 and 2018 and the team most valuable player in 2017. In basketball, Krul was a KVAC all star, a senior all-star northern team and was named to the all-academic team. Krul was a three-year starter on the tennis team, played first doubles in 2016, third singles in 2017 and first singles in 2018 and was an important part of the team’s regional championship in 2016. Krul was on the student council for two years, PEERS and has coached at numerous soccer and basketball camps for younger students. She also works at Quarry Hill nursing home in Camden. Krul is a freshman at Barton College in Wilson, N.C. where she plans to major in business and is on the school’s Division II soccer team.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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