Friday, February 5, 2010

York High Athletes Are a Special Group

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
The success of the fall athletic programs at York High School is well documented.
All but one of the teams advanced into the Western Maine Class B playoffs and two, girl’s soccer and golf, won state titles.
There were leaders on those teams, some of who won individual recognition in their respective sport.
That group includes Matt Campbell, Aaron Bailey, Emma Clark, Jared Prugar, Alex Moser, and Bill Gauthier.
“They’re an extraordinary group,” York High School Principal Bob Stevens said. “They are terrific athletes who are also terrific kids, good students and mature beyond their years.”
Over the years York has produced some great teams and individuals and this group, Stevens, who has been principal for 32 years, said, “ranks up there with some of those great dynasties. They have their priorities straight.”
“Fall athletics get your year started off right,” he said, “and impacts the students because their attitude and action shows itself clearly on the field and on the track” and that teaches “others the right way to do things. They help in no small measure to create a positive climate in the school.”
Matt Campbell, the son of Greg and Kate Campbell, was named the top golfer in Western Maine for the second year in a row and led his team to the Class B state title.
He’s been playing golf since he was seven or eight, he said, but got really serious about it when he was 10.
He plans to attend Holy Cross next year to play Division I golf. Academically at this point he’s looking at pre-business or political science.
Campbell, who is currently playing on the school’s basketball team, said one of his fondest golf memories is shooting a 32 on the front nine at York Golf and Tennis Club when he was a freshman, a score he has yet to duplicate.
Aaron Bailey captured the individual state golf title but, like his teammate, sees the team championship as a top achievement.
Bailey, the son of Ed and Heidi Bailey, is interested in a career in golf or sports management.
He first played at age five or six, he said, and took part in his first tournament at 12. One of the highlights of his career is carding a 68 at Riverside Country Club.
He has applied to several schools, noting, “I definitely want to play golf in college,” but has not made a decision as yet.
Bailey, like Campbell, is part of York’s basketball team.
The honors keep coming for Emma Clark. She has been named all-conference, all state and all-New England as well as player of the year by both the Portsmouth Herald and the Portland Press Herald.
The daughter of Laurie Knox and Jeff Clark, she will be attending Boston University in the fall on a soccer scholarship.
In her four years as a starter for Coach Wally Caldwell’s team, she has been on two state championship winners. She also plays on the currently undefeated girls’ basketball team and lacrosse.
Last season she said she scored 18 goals and had 30 assists for the 16-2 Wildcats.
Clark said her future might be in occupational therapy or as an elementary school teacher. “I love kids,” she said.
Jared Prugar was named Campbell Conference Player of the Year, leading the Wildcat football team to an 8-1 record and the No. 2 seed in the Western Maine playoffs.
He’s not sure where he’ll attend college next year but hopes to advance his football career. His academic interests are in physical therapy and biomechanical engineering.
One of his best memories of the season was the Wildcats’ upset of Mountain Valley in the regular season finals, snapping its two-year undefeated streak and its four-year undefeated record at home.
The son of Tom and Mary Prugar gained more than 1,300 yards for Coach Randy Small’s team and is currently playing for Small as a member of the Wildcats basketball team.
Alex Moser, the son of Jacqueline and William Moser, won the Maine State Class B championship in cross-country. He’s now a member of the indoor track team.
Schools on his radar for next year include the University of Maine at Orono, the University of Southern Maine, and Florida State. Wherever he goes he plans to keep running.
As to academics he said he’s “not really sure” as to what he’ll pursue. “I’m not really set on any major yet,” he said.
Moser, who is class president and president of the school’s National Honor Society, is also active in the schools’ Sober Friends, a group of over 130 students who have pledged not to use any substances.
Bill Gauthier has compiled a 37-2 record in wrestling while being named team most valuable player and captain.
The son of Ray and Mary Gauthier began wrestling in third grade “and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Colleges he’s thinking about include Drexel in Philadelphia, the Coast Guard Academy and the Air Force Academy. A possible major for him is biology.
In addition to these outstanding Wildcats it must be noted that Randy Small was named Campbell Conference coach of the year.
Photo caption: York High athletes, left to right, Matt Campbell, Emma Clark, Jared Prugar, and Aaron Bailey. (Larry Favinger photo)