If Time Magazine can designate everyone as its Person of the Year, why not have awards for all those south-of-Boston athletes who stood out over the past year? Hearing no good reason, I hereby offer my 2006 award winners, an eclectic compendium of sporting high-achievers from our region.
Career Coaching Award
Elaine Clement-Holbrook , who led Oliver Ames girls' basketball to the Division 2 state title. They have won 11 league titles and qualified for the state tournament 27 of her 29 years, including the last 17 in a row.
Two Hats Award
Myles Berry of Quincy, one of the top coaches in the Little East Conference. In the fall, he was the league's Soccer Coach of the Year; and in the spring, he won the Lacrosse Coach of the Year honor for UMass-Boston.
Best Foot Forward Award
Kevin Swiniarski , the former Plymouth North football star who ended his collegiate career in memorable fashion, setting Trinity College records for field goals (23), and point-after-touchdowns (171).
Shoot a Basketball and See the World Award
Katie Kelley of Hull, a former Bentley College star, who is lighting it up for the Bausch & Lomb Wildcats in the Women's Super League in Ireland this year. She is averaging 19.5 points per game.
David Ortiz DH Award
Alysia DiMuzio of Quincy, a surprise slugger for Curry College. The freshman designated hitter hit 11 homers and knocked in 32 runs. Both numbers are unofficial single-season records for Curry softball.
Grand Exit Award
Pat O'Connor of Mattapoisett, who slammed a three-run homer to lift Wheaton to a 4-3 victory over Marietta (Ga.) College and send the Lyons into the championship game of the NCAA Division 3 World Series.
He's a Locke Award
Drew Locke of Weymouth, who is on the fast track to the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is coming off an outstanding season where he earned South Atlantic League All-Star honors for the Columbus Catfish.
Daisuke Matsuzaka Award
Bobby Holmes , the Dedham High righthander who pitched a no-hitter, a pair of one-hitters and struck out 20 in one game on the way to Globe Player of the Year honors. He'll pitch for Holy Cross this spring.
Lacrosse Player of the Year (College Division)
Sean Morris of Marshfield, who led the University of Massachusetts to the NCAA finals, bowing out to unbeaten University of Virginia, 15-7 in the championship game. He set a school record scoring in 34 consecutive games.
Lacrosse Player of the Year (High School Division)
Max Quinzani of Duxbury, who shattered the national high school scoring record by 24 points. The two-time Globe Player of the Year finished with 577 leading Duxbury to its third straight state title.
Christine Cotter of Stoughton, who could not practice with the Springfield College basketball team because her left shoulder ached so much, but it didn't stop her from being one of their top players on game day.
Leap (of Year) Award
Jen Harlow of East Bridgewater and Wheaton College. She earned All-America honors for the second straight year by winning the NCAA Division 3 high jump crown. Her leap of 5 feet, 7¾ inches was 1¼ inches better than any one else's.
Light Fingers Award
Melissa Murphy of Rockland and Bridgewater State College basketball team. She broke a 19-year-old school record for steals in a season with 106. Her 3.80 steals per game ranked 11th among Division 3 players in the nation.
Matt Cahill of Bridgewater, who etched his name all over the Saint Anselm College basketball record book before graduating in June, setting career marks for points (2,081), minutes (3,874), blocks (86) and three-pointers (321).
Rookie of the Year Award
Scott Savastano of Plymouth. He had a great year freshman year, leading Franklin Pierce College in batting with a .397 average as the Ravens advanced to the NCAA Division 2 World Series.
Coach of the Year Award (College Basketball Division)
Dave McLaughlin turned around fortunes at Stonehill College, taking the Skyhawks to the NCAA Division 2 Elite Eight and set a school record for victories.
Can You Dig It Award
Shannon Desmond of Quincy, who set records for volleyball digs during her play for the Bridgewater State College women's team. In her senior year, she had 704 of her team's 2,049 digs as BSC won its 12th straight league title.
Coach of the Year Award (College Football Division)
Skip Bandini , who took over for Steve Nelson at Curry College and never missed a beat, winning the New England College Football Conference Championship in his first year.
Helping Hand Award
The folks at Wheaton College, who offered Norton High School its baseball stadium for home games because construction delays prevented the Lancers from using their home field.
It's All Downhill Award
Kyle Ewanouski of Boston College High School and Scituate who, when he wasn't playing football or lacrosse, trained for and won the state giant slalom title at Wachusett Mountain in 55.67 seconds.
Florence Nightingale Award
Ruby DeBrave of Randolph, who frequently needs to give a Ben-Gay massage to her husband, Al, a 76-year-old basketball player who will be headed to the US National Senior Games next summer in Virginia Beach.
Making a Point Award
Jocelyn Savastano of Plymouth, who set the all-time Saint Anselm College women's soccer scoring record. The Northeast-10 Player of the Year and Division 2 All-American finished her career with 82 goals, 29 assists for 193 points.
Take Your Base Award
Brendan Powers of Walpole, who reached base safely in 11 straight plate appearances for Amherst College's baseball team. He went 6 for 14 and drew five walks for the Jeffs. Powers finished his rookie season with a .330 batting average.
The Hard Way Award
Foxborough High School football coach Jack Martinelli , who needed to run the table after a 3-2 start to earn his 200th career victory and his Warriors did it, winning eight straight, capped off by the Division 2 Super Bowl.
Energizer Bunny Award
Mark Amirault , who has won so many cross-country, mile and 2-mile races for Xaverian Brothers High School of Westwood that his wins tally could be up to triple-digits when he graduates this June.
Alex the Great Award
Former Abington High School softball star Alex Hitchcock, a Bentley College freshman, who began her collegiate career in style by getting a hit in each of her first 16 games, the longest hitting streak in school history.
Cruise Control Award
Ashley Messina who strung together a perfect record on the mound for Hanover High softball. She posted a 0.35 earn run average, but it was her control that was truly impressive. She struck out 120 hitters and did not walk a batter.
Big Three Award
Amanda Morrissey, Allie Hanlon, and Hannah Bearce , who led Notre Dame Academy to its fifth straight girls' golf championship. During their four years on the team, it never lost a match.
Top Scorer Award
Brittany Lyons of Canton High School girls' hockey team. She led the state in scoring last year with 52 goals and 76 points. With two years remaining, she has 136 points. She is on her way to becoming the all-time leading scorer in the state.
History Repeats Award
Dave Stoller and Paul Bortolotti , who pitched Milton High School into the state baseball tourney in 1974. This year their offspring, Ryan Stoller and Jen Bortolotti, are the pitchers for the highly ranked Milton baseball and softball teams.
All in the Family Award
Leslie Frank , one of the top lacrosse coaches in the region, whose daughters are among her best students. Meredith is a star for national champion Northwestern University and Alexandra is an All-Scholastic at Westwood.
Eye on the Ball Award
Ryan Armstrong of Whitman, who led Middlebury College to its first-ever New England Small College Athletic Conference baseball title. He graduates as their all-time leader in average (.415), hits (146), runs (93), RBI (99) and triples (9).
Tennis Anyone Award
The Milton Academy's boys' and girls' varsity tennis teams, both of which had banner seasons. Under Sue Goldman, the girls advanced to the New England Class A finals while the boys, under Michael Deseau, won the New England crown.
Dave Ellis , winner of a national gymnastics title in Miami for his performance on the parallel bars. The West Point plebe was third in the all-around, fourth in the rings, and fifth in the floor exercise. At Braintree High, he led the Wamps to their fourth state title.
Walter Mitty Award
Golfer Rick Marcos of Lakeville, who lived a dream last summer when he qualified for the US Senior Open in Prairie Dunes in Kansas. There he teed it up with the Arnold Palmers and Tom Watsons of the world.
Don't Walk on by Award
Kate White of Plymouth, who made the University of Massachusetts-Boston women's volleyball team as a walk-on and proved to be the best player. The Beacons improved from 7-15 in 2005 to 16-9 this year.
Do It Yourself Award
John Norcott of Norton, a self-taught weight lifter who traveled to Milwaukee and won a national title in the 16-and-under age division by lifting a total of 1,371 pounds (551 squat, 297.5 bench press and 523 dead lift.).
If You Can Coach One Sport, You Can Coach Them All Award
Kevin Mackin, a multi Division 1 South wrestling coach of the year, who took over the Weymouth High football program and turned a 0-11 in 2004 team into a Super Bowl finalist this year.
Captain, My Captain Award
Wendell Chipman , a leader on and off the athletic field. The Marshfield High School National Honor Society member is a captain of the football, wrestling and lacrosse team.
Best Field Hockey Team Award
Walpole High School and Canton High School (tie), both of which played 49 games combined this year and neither lost a contest (three ties are nicks on a perfect season) as both won state titles.