FA coaches recognize winter athletes at Awards Night

HEAD OF SCHOOL Award recipient Tucker Buzzell with assistant boys' basketball coach Charlie Tryder. (Photos by Julian Zhu)

FRYEBURG — Whether they were starters or valuable contributors on their respective winter sports teams, Athletic Director Sue Thurston offered up a few words from sports psychologist Dr. Keith Bell (author of a book first published in 1982 called Winning Isn’t Normal) to close out Monday’s Fryeburg Academy Awards Night.  

“Please take it for what you want as you reflect back or think ahead to the future,” Thurston told FA athletes:

Winning isn’t normal. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with winning. It just isn’t the norm. It is highly unusual.

Every competition only has one winner. No matter how many people are entered, only one person or one team wins each event.

In order to win, you must do extraordinary things. You can’t just be one of the crowd. The crowd doesn’t win. You have to be willing to stand out and act differently.

Your actions need to reflect unusual values and priorities. You have to value success more than others do. You have to want it more. Now take note! Wanting it more is a decision you make and act upon — not some inherent quality or burning inner drive or inspiration. And you have to make that value a priority.

You can’t train like everyone else. You have to train more and train better.

You can’t talk like everyone else. You can’t think like everyone else. You can’t be too willing to join the crowd, to do what is expected, to act in a socially accepted manner, to do what’s in. You need to be willing to stand out in the crowd and consistently take exceptional action. If you want to win, you need to accept the risks and perhaps the loneliness…because winning isn’t normal!

On to the speakers and award winners:

Special Olympics, speaker Star Young; Raider Award to John Plummer. Here’s how athletes fared during ski competition: James Littlefield, bronze, fourth and fifth; John Plummer, bronze, fifth and sixth; Owen Ring, two gold and a silver; Star Young, two gold in the dual ski competitions.

Boys’ Basketball, speaker Tucker Buzzell; Coaches Awards to Reece Kneissler and Nate Knapp.

Indoor Track, speaker Abigail Hewes; Raider Awards to Abigail Hewes, Isaak McKenney and Antonin Santarelli; Coach’s Award to Casey Kneissler.

Boys’ Nordic Skiing, speaker Alfie Walker; Most Improved to Luke Dupuis; Most Valuable, Alfie Walker.

Girls’ Alpine Skiing, speaker Brooke Juneau; Coach’s Award to Abby Novia; Most Valuable to Brooke Juneau.

Girls’ Basketball, speaker River Lusky; Raider Awards to Tina LeBlanc and Kaylee Emery.

Wrestling, speaker Eddie Plessinger; no award. 

Girls’ Nordic Skiing, speaker Zoe Maguire; Most Improved to Alanna Nataluk; Most Valuable to Zoe Maguire.

Boys’ Alpine Skiing, speaker Matt Gunther; Most Improved to Danali Jensen; Coach’s Award to Andrew Turner.

Unified Basketball, speakers Aaron Limmer and Jess Frum; Raider Awards to Jack Campbell and Matt McLaughlin.

Howard Ross Award to Jeff Juneau. The Ross Award is given annually to a member of the Fryeburg Ski community, who has provided exceptional contributions to the ski program. Jeff Juneau has given freely of his time for the last two years as a volunteer before joining the coaching staff this season. He has spent countless hours finding and then tuning so that all athletes have the proper equipment to race with. In addition, Jeff and his wife orchestrated the meals at every championship race and had the uncanny ability to secure the best spot in the lodge before all others! Jeff is a technician and an avid supporter of the Fryeburg Academy Alpine Ski team.

Head of School Award to Tucker Buzzell.

All Academic: The Western Maine Conference recognized the following FA seniors as All Academic for achieving grade point averages of 3.2 or better:

Nordic Ski: Zoe Maguire, Sam Paulding.

Alpine Ski: Brooke Juneau, Abby Novia.

Ice Hockey: Liam Chisari.

Indoor Track: Matt Bordonaro, Caroline Condon, Jessica Jensen, Casey Kneissler, David Marshall, Silvia Sanchez-Serra, Addie Stone, Anthony Santarelli. 

Basketball: Tina LeBlanc, River Lusky, Tucker Buzzell, Caleb Bowles, Reece Kneissler, Oscar Saunders.

Unified Basketball: Matt McLaughlin.

All Conference Selections: Graham Blood, Mid State wrestling, second team; Olivia Burford, Honorable Mention, alpine skiing; Tucker Buzzell, boys’ basketball, third team; Matt Guenther and Brooke Juneau, alpine skiing; Tina LeBlanc, girls’ basketball, Honorable Mention; Zoe Maguire, Nordic skiing; Abby Novia, alpine skiing; Alanna Nataluk, Nordic skiing; Oscar Saunders, boys’ basketball, second team; Alfie Walker, Nordic skiing; Abby Winterbottom, alpine skiing.

Athletes who placed in League Championships:

Basketball: Oscar Saunders, Tucker Buzzell and Tina LeBlanc will all be playing the WMC Senior All Star basketball games held next Tuesday evening at Southern Maine Community College.

WMC Indoor Track Championships: Livia DeVries sixth in the 400; Jenn L’Hommedieu sixth in the 55 meters; Paige O’Connell fourth in the shot put; Casey Kneissler third in the shot put; Abigail Hewes third in the mile and third in the 800.

Mid-State Wrestling Championships: Eddie Plessinger placed fourth; Graham Blood champion in the 106-pound division.

WMC Nordic Ski Championships: Zoe Maguire second in the Skate and first in the Classic, overall WMC champion in the combination of the two races;Alanna Nataluk third in the Skate, sixth overall in the combination of the two races; Alfie Walker first in the Skate and third in the Classic, overall WMC champion in the combination of the two races.

WMC Alpine Ski Championships: Matt Gunther placed ninth in the slalom;Abby Novia placed third in the slalom and third in the giant slalom; Brooke Juneau was the WMC champion in the giant slalom and slalom; FA girls won the WMC alpine championship.

Between the Alpine and the Nordic WMC Championships, Fryeburg Academy won six out 10  individual titles.      

Placed at State Championships: Nordic, Zoe Maguire third in the Classic, fifth in the Skate, finished in third overall; Alanna Nataluk finished seventh in the Skate; Alfie Walker placed fifth in the Classic and state Class A champion in the Skate, fourth overall.

Wrestling: Graham Blood placed third.

Indoor Track: Abigail Hewes fifth in the mile; Casey Kneissler seventh in the shot put.

Alpine: Matt Guenther placed placed 10th in the slalom; Abby Novia state runner-up in the slalom and seventh in the giant slalom; Brooke Juneau state runner-up in the giant slalom and fifth in the slalom.

New England Qualifiers: Brooke Juneau was the top qualifier in the Alpine Regional Shoot-Outs and will represent Team Maine next week at the New England Championships that will be held at Attitash this coming weekend.

Zoe Maguire, Alfie Walker, Alanna Nataluk and Luke Dupuis all qualified over the weekend to be a part of the Maine Nordic Teams headed to Fort Kent for the New England Championships.

Oscar Saunders has been chosen by coaches across the state to play in the Senior McDonalds All Star Game this Saturday at Husson College. He is just the third Raider during the Coach Saunders’ era to earn a spot in the prestigious all-star game. Oscar joins FA alum Justin McIver and Bright Amoako. All proceeds benefit the children and families of Maine served by the Ronald McDonald Foundation.

Boosters’ Fans of the Season Award to Aaron Limmer and Kyle Mercier.

3 Star Jackets awarded to athletes who have earned their third varsity letter: Ella Baptista, Livia DeVries, Jaycob Lindgren, Kyle Littlefield, Olivia Krug, Isaak McKenney, Jaydin Ming, Abby Novia, Lily Nylin, Tree Nguyen, Paige O’Connell, Maggie Powers, Charlie Stokes, Addie Stone, Andrew Turner, Katherine Trumbull.

Closing by Mrs. Thurston: As we end the evening, a thank you to all the coaches, athletes and parents for enduring the winter that just won’t end! Special thanks to Brylie Walker, our strength and conditioning coach, and Karyn Svarczkoph, our athletic trainer, for all their time.  

Even though only a few athletes were recognized tonight, I want to congratulate all the athletes who are here. For some you, your teammates and coaches don’t realize the time you put into preparing for the winter season.  I get to see those who have been in Power Play all summer and fall, been in the weight room getting stronger, play another sport just to be a better athlete or even the little things like taking time alone to practice your shot, your footwork or your throws. Many here have taken advantage of summer training, open gym or open ice times to get better.

BOYS' BASKETBALL Coach's Award went to Nate Knapp, pictured with Coach Sedge Saunders.
INDOOR TRACK Raider Award recipient Abigail Hewes with Coach Kevin McDonald (center) and Assistant Trevor Hope.
NORDIC SKI Most Improved Player Luke Dupuis pictured with Coach John Weston (right) and Assistant Coach Chris Darling.
ALPINE SKI Most Valuable Player Brooke Juneau with Coach Sam Dyer (left) and Assistant Coach Jeff Juneau.
NORDIC SKI Most Valuable Player Zoe Maguire with Coach John Weston (right) and Assistant Coach Chris Darling.
INDOOR TRACK Raider Award went to Antonin Santarelli, pictured with Coach Kevin McDonald and Assistant Coach Trevor Hope.
UNIFIED BASKETBALL Raider Award recipient Jack Campbell and Coach Jen Bartlett.
STATE CHAMPION and Most Valuable Nordic skier Alfie Walker with Coach John Weston.
FANS OF THE SEASON AWARD presented by the Boosters Club went to Aaron Limmer (left) and Kyle Mercier, pictured with Boosters member Kirsten Hewes.
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