WALDOBORO — The Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame has announced the names of five male and five female finalists for the Hall’s 2019 High School Athlete of the Year.
The winner of each category will be announced at the Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame annual banquet Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Rockland Elks Club.
The selection process for this award begins in the spring with eight Midcoast high schools — Oceanside, Camden Hills, Medomak Valley, Lincoln Academy, Vinalhaven, Islesboro, Boothbay and Wiscasset — being requested to submit two female and two male nominees to the Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame directors.
Nominees are then informed of the honor of their selection and are asked to complete a questionnaire about themselves and return it to the board to be considered to be one of the five finalists for each award. Any nominee who did not return the questionnaire was not able to be considered.
The five male finalists for this prestigious award are Erik Benner of Medomak Valley, Jarrett Gulden of Lincoln Academy, Sam Hebert of Camden Hills, Eli Miller of Medomak Valley, and Ben Ripley of Oceanside.
The five female finalists are Chloe Arsenault of Boothbay Region, Faith Blethen of Boothbay Region, Sadie Cohen of Medomak Valley, Chloe Jones of Oceanside, and Kassie Krul of Camden Hills.
Erik Benner, a senior this fall at Medomak Valley, is looking to continue his outstanding efforts in football and wrestling. Erik was instrumental in helping the Panthers football team make the playoffs for the first time and for the team receiving the Good Sportsmanship Award for Class C football. Erik is starting offensive and defensive tackle and was all-conference nominee for Lineman of the Year and Player of the Year. In wrestling, Erik set a number of records for Medomak Valley during his junior year including most wins (55), most pins (38), most points (315), as well as achieving 100 career wins, and his long-time goals of being Class B regional and state champion at 220 pounds. Erik’s strong work ethic and physical strength is enhanced by his full time summer job of lobstering, as well as volunteering with youth football and wrestling.
Jarrett Gulden, a senior this fall at Lincoln Academy, will be continuing his excellent efforts in Cross Country, Swim team, and Track & Field. Running #1 or #2 on the X-C team, Jarrett has been instrumental in the team’s success including conference champions for the past three years, 2017 state champions (the first for Lincoln Academy in 75 years), 2018 state runners-up, while personally finishing sixth and fifth in the state meets in 2017 and 2018, as well as qualifying for the New Englands as a team in 2017 and as an individual in 2018. In swimming, Jarrett has qualified for the state meet each of the last three years in every event/stroke including individual medley, freestyle, medley relay, free relay, fly, and breast stroke. In track and field in 2019, Jarrett was conference champion in the 1600-meter the 800-meter, the 4x800-meter relay, and was second in the 3200-meter, earning him the award as the top scoring track athlete at the conference meet. In the past three years in the state meet, Jarrett has run in the 800-meter, the 1200-meter, and the 3200-meter runs, placing as high as second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth in the various events. Jarrett is a dedicated and enthusiastic runner, very devoted to his sports and his teams, but also finds time to play the saxophone in the Lincoln Academy jazz band and has excelled here as well, having achieved the distinction of playing in District Band, All-State Band Orchestra and All-State Jazz Festival.
Sam Hebert, a 2019 graduate of Camden Hills, was chosen as the school’s 2019 Male Athlete of the Year for his excellence, leadership, and character in football, and indoor and outdoor track and field. In football, Sam was team captain and conference all-star in 2017 & 2018, team MVP in 2018, and received the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award in 2018. In indoor and outdoor track and field, Sam excelled in high jump, long jump, triple jump, and javelin, winning the KVAC championship in high jump and long jump in 2017. In conference championships for indoor and outdoor track (2017, 2018, 2019) Sam had 12 podium finishes as well as eight podium finishes in the state championships for those sports. Sam holds the school records in high jump (5’10”), long jump (20’3”), triple jump (41’6”), discus (112’1”), and javelin (147’2”). During his high school career, Sam also was a member of National Honor Society, finished his Eagle Scout Project of a large-scale renovation for the Marge Jones Recreational Fields, and played competitive billiards for the past six years participating in many state and national level pool tournaments, resulting in three Under 18 8-Ball Maine State Championships and two time National Finalist at the US Super Billiards Expo. Sam is attending Susquehanna University this fall.
Eli Miller, a 2019 graduate of Medomak Valley, had an outstanding career in football and wrestling. In football, Eli was in the local football program since fourth grade, when the community got together to start a football program for Medomak Valley. That involvement paid off with the Medomak Valley football program reaching the playoffs in 2018, for the first time in school history. Eli earned honorable mention for Class C North in 2017, and as team captain in 2018, he received Big 11 all-conference mention, Big 11 all-academic selection, was chosen to represent Medomak Valley in the Maine Shriner’s Lobster Bowl, and was awarded the school’s football “Panther” Award and the 2018 Coach Ken Libby Memorial Scholarship Award. Eli’s four year career in wrestling culminated with numerous weight class championships in various tournaments, in being a two-time KVAC champion, two-time regional champion and two-time state champion (wrestling at 152 pounds as a junior and 160 pounds as a senior). He was chosen all four years to participate in the Maine-Nebraska Friendship Challenge. Eli holds the school record for most career wins (169) and he was the first wrestler in school history to reach the milestones of 150 wins and 100 pins. He concluded his high school wrestling career by participating the the New England Wrestling Championships in Rhode Island. Eli rounded out his sports career as manager for the school softball team. He was a member of National Honor Society, PAWS, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Medomak Valley’s theater productions, the Poetry Out Loud Competition, and the Phillbrook Speech Contest. Eli is attending University of Southern Maine this fall with a major in nursing.
Ben Ripley is a 2019 graduate of Oceanside High School where he excelled in football, wrestling, and baseball. In football, Ben was a four year varsity player and was named to the KVAC all-conference second team in 2017 and 2018. Ben was named Oceanside football MVP as a freshman and as a senior, and received the coaches award as a junior. In wrestling, Ben was Class B regional and state champions as a freshman (132 pound), earning him a trip to the New Englands, and was Class B North regional champion and state runner-up as a sophomore (160 pounds). He was named to the KVAC all-conference first team and was Oceanside MVP his freshman and sophomore years. In baseball, Ben was named to KVAC all-conference first team his senior year and was Oceanside MVP as well, and received the baseball coaches award his junior year. Ben is involved in his community by volunteering 70 community service hours, by refereeing youth wrestling tournaments. He is attending Eastern Maine Community College, studying to be an electrician.
Chloe Arsenault is a senior at Boothbay Region High School, where she excels in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. In field hockey. Chloe was named to the MVC all-conference first team and the all-state field hockey team her sophomore and junior years. Chloe has played club field hockey for the Black Bear Elite team and Maine Elite Field Hockey. In basketball, Chloe plays point guard on the Boothbay team, which in 2018- 2019 won the MVC championship, the Class C South regional championship and the Class C state championship with an undefeated 22-0 season. In lacrosse, Chloe was team captain and MVP her junior year, scoring a total of 83 career goals and is on track to 100 goals during her senior season.
Faith Blethen, 2019 salutatorian and graduate of Boothbay Region High School, excelled in two sports as a two-time individual regional cross country champion and by leading Boothbay to a Class C state basketball championship in 2019 scoring a career total of 1,223 points. Faith led the Boothbay cross country team to the MVC team championship in 2015 and was the MVC cross country individual champion and the MVC girls cross country Runner of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2018. Faith was the Southern Maine regional cross country individual champion in 2015 and 2016. Faith excelled equally in basketball, leading Boothbay to MVC team championships in 2016, 2017, and 2019. She was named all four years to the MVC first team all-star and in 2018 and 2019 was MVC girls basketball player of the year. In state tournament play, Boothbay won the Class C Southern regional champions in 2015-16, and state Class C runners-up that year. In 2017-18 Boothbay was Class C South regional runners-up, and in 2018-19 Boothbay was Class C South regional and state champions, 35 years since the last state championship for girls basketball (1984). Individually, Faith was a 2019 Miss Maine Basketball Finalist (top three), a McDonald’s girls basketball all-star and academic all-star, and a Maine Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year nominee in 2018 and 2019, along with numerous other state recognition. Academically, Faith maintained high honors all four years, was in National Honor Society, class president her senior year, president of the Rotary Interact Club, and was involved in numerous way in her community. Faith is attending George Washington University this fall on a full tuition scholarship.
Sadie Cohen, a senior at Medomak Valley, is a dedicated three sport athlete playing soccer, basketball, and tennis. In soccer, Sadie is a mid-fielder and in 2018 was team MVP and KVAC South all-conference. In basketball, Sadie received the team’s coaches award in 2017-18, KVAC all-conference honorable mention in 2018, team MVP in 2018-2019, and KVAC all-conference first team in 2019. In tennis, Sadie was chosen for the 2019 team’s coaches award. Sadie is very involved in student activities at Medomak Valley, including being president of her class for four years, a member of student council, National Honor Society, PAWS, World Language Club, was elected president of the newly-formed Valley Interact Club, and was chosen to be one of the two student representatives on the MSAD40 school board. She has volunteered to coach a first and second grade soccer team, has refereed peewee basketball games and assisted with soccer camps for younger students.
Chloe Jones, a 2019 graduate of Oceanside, was a three sport varsity athlete in soccer, basketball, and softball. In soccer, she was part of the Class B KVAC championship team in 2015. In basketball, Chloe played guard. In softball, Chloe was an outstanding pitcher and was named all four years to the KVAC all-conference first team, two years to the Maine Sunday Telegram all-state team for 2018 and 2019, was the 2018 KVAC Class B softball Player of the Year, and helped Oceanside win the KVAC Class B championship in 2017. Chloe has helped younger players with softball pitching clinics, at middle school practices with pitchers and catchers, and refereeing peewee soccer games and scoring for middle school or peewee basketball games. Chloe played on a travel softball team, the Maine Thunder, and plans to continue her softball career at the American International College while majoring in exercise science.
Kassie Krul, a 2019 graduate of Camden Hills, was an outstanding athlete in soccer, basketball, and tennis. In soccer, Kassie was a starter all four years on the Class A powerhouse Camden Hills girls soccer team, who have been Class A North champions and state champions for three consecutive years in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Kassie was named to the KVAC Class A all-conference first team for 2017 and 2018, and to the senior all-star northern team, all-state team, All-New England team, all-conference, and was named an All-American. Kassie was team captain in 2017 and 2018, and MVP in 2017. In basketball, Kassie was named a 2019 KVAC all-star, senior all-star northern team, and all-academic team. In tennis, Kassie started all four years, played first doubles (2016), third singles (2017) and first singles (2018). Kassie was an important part of the KVAC Class A North championship team in 2016. At Camden Hills, Kassie was on student council for two years, PEERS, and has coached at numerous soccer and basketball camps for younger students. She works at Quarry Hill nursing home in Camden. Kassie is continuing her soccer career at Barton College in North Carolina and plans to study business.
The Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame, located in Waldoboro, wants to congratulate these Midcoast athletes for their nominations by their communities and for their impressive accomplishments.
Reach the sports department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.