Despite COVID-19 doing its best to put a damper on the 2020-21 high school athletic seasons, there still were plenty of high spots for Midcoast student-athletes.

And now, the question becomes: Who, of those athletes, were the best of the best?

The Courier Publications/VillageSoup sports staff — Ken Waltz, director; and Mark Haskell, associate director; along with Zack Miller, community editor and former sports reporter — will attempt to answer that question as the trio sorts out the media company’s 2020-21 schoolboy athletes of the year.

Courier Publications publishes three weekly newspapers, The Courier-Gazette in Rockland, Camden Herald and Republican Journal in Belfast. The company also has two websites: stage.cg.10upmanaged.com and stage-villagesoup.cg.10upmanaged.com.

A lengthy list of potential athlete-of-year candidates was whittled to 10 male semifinalists — and, ultimately, five finalists — by Waltz, Haskell and Miller.

The 2020-21 schoolboy athlete-of-the-year finalists are: Mount View’s Draedyn Furrow and Noah Hurd; Belfast’s Jason Bartlett; and Camden Hills’ Levi Guay and Charlie Griebel.

The five finalists were whittled from a list of semifinalists, which included Belfast’s Chris Kelley and Tanner Veilleux; Medomak Valley’s Connor Daigle; Searsport’s Josh Wright; and Mount View’s Declan Knowlton.

As is the case with any list where one determines a top all-around athlete for a full school year (or, in some cases, less than a school year on the athletic front), the process is subjective. However, the final decision lies with the sports staff on its schoolboy athlete of the year.

Athletes who excelled in three sports, particularly who were given all-conference awards, receive additional consideration given the fact their overall ability in a variety of sports makes the case for them being more well-rounded “athletes.”

In rare cases, athletes who participate in a single sport are considered, since one could argue the athlete who focuses solely on perfection in one sport and outshines the competition in that sport should not be excluded.

There were many other student-athletes considered for the top 10, but, ultimately, did not make the final lists.

The 2020-21 selection process proved to be just as unconventional as the previous year, with many, but not all, schools opting out of particular sports — either by choice or by mandate from the Maine Principals’ Association — in the fall and winter seasons.

In addition, the majority of conferences did not give all-conference honors in the fall and winter seasons, though some did when they had sports that were able to play seasons in their entirety.

Furthermore, some schools had seasons they were participating in cut short in the fall when the color-coded county designations shifted due to COVID-19, which canceled the remainder of campaigns for many squads.

Students from Oceanside High School of Rockland, Camden Hills Regional High School of Rockport, Mount View High School of Thorndike, Belfast Area High School, Medomak Valley High School of Waldoboro, Vinalhaven School, North Haven Community School, Searsport District High School and Islesboro Central School are eligible for athlete-of-year honors.

A story on the male athlete of the year will appear in the future.

The 2020-21 athlete-of-the-year finalists and semifinalists, with a recap of notable accomplishments during the school year, follows, with athletes listed in alphabetical order and their grades in 2020-21 from which they are being considered listed:

Finalists

Bartlett, a senior, was a three-sport athlete for Belfast, where he played soccer, basketball and baseball for the Lions. He scored one goal in the team’s four games played on the soccer pitch before he averaged 21.5 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals on the hardwood for basketball. In baseball, he batted .310, with 13 hits (9 singles, 4 doubles), eight RBIs, 13 runs and a .913 on-base plus slugging percentage. On the mound, he pitched 35 1/3 innings, walked 12, struck out 41 and sported a 4.16 earned-run average. He was all-conference in baseball.

Furrow, a junior, was a three-sport athlete for Mount View, where he played soccer, basketball and baseball for the Mustangs. On the soccer pitch, he scored eight goals and tallied two assists on a team that went unbeaten through six games, while he also averaged 12.5 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals on the hardwood for basketball. In baseball, he batted .504, while he racked up 24 hits and 19 steals. He also was an all-conference selection in baseball.

Griebel, a senior, was a two-sport athlete for Camden Hills, where he played ice hockey and lacrosse for the Windjammers. On the ice, Griebel netted 16 goals and added six assists, which helped the Windjammers sail to their “pod” championship. In lacrosse, Griebel scored 20 goals, added 18 assists and scooped 51 ground balls. He was all-conference in lacrosse.

Guay, a senior, was a two-sport athlete for Camden Hills, where he played ice hockey and lacrosse for the Windjammers. On the ice, Guay had eight goals and 14 assists as he was a major cog in the Windjammer machine that sailed to the “pod” championship. In lacrosse, Guay broke a single-season scoring record at CHRHS as he netted a whopping 91 points (41 goals, 50 assists) and also scooped 31 ground balls. He was all-conference in lacrosse.

Hurd, a freshman, was a three-sport athlete for Mount View, where he played soccer, basketball and baseball for the Mustangs. On the pitch, Hurd scored five goals on a team that went unbeaten through six games, while he also averaged six points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals on the hardwood. In baseball, Hurd batted .426, while he racked up 21 hits and 17 steals. On the mound, the southpaw had a 6-1 record, struck out 66 batters against only four walks and sported a 0.78 earned-run average. He was all-conference in baseball.

Semifinalists

Daigle, a junior, was a two-sport athlete for Medomak Valley, where he participated in cross country and outdoor track and field for the Panthers. In cross country, Daigle was undefeated in races and, according to longtime Medomak Valley coach George Gould, would have been a lock to win the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B individual championship and “would have had a real shot at winning a state title.” In outdoor track and field, Daigle won the state Class B championship in the 3,200 meters and finished third in the same event at the league championships.

Kelley, a senior, was a four-sport athlete for Belfast as he played football, soccer, basketball and baseball for the Lions. In 7-on-7 football, Kelley had two touchdown catches in four games, while on the hardwood, Kelley averaged 17 points and 11.9 rebounds. In baseball, Kelley batted .195, with eight hits (3 doubles, 2 home runs) and had a 1.89 earned-run average on the mound, with 57 strikeouts and 27 walks.

Knowlton, a junior, was a three-sport athlete for Mount View as he played soccer, basketball and baseball for the Mustangs. On the soccer pitch, Knowlton played outside mid on a team that went unbeaten through six games, while on the hardwood, he averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and just under one block. In baseball, Knowlton batted .340, with 14 hits and 11 steals, while he also sported a 2.20 earned-run average on the mound. Knowlton was all-conference in baseball.

Veilleux, a senior, was a four-sport athlete for Belfast as he played football, soccer, basketball and baseball for the Lions. In 7-on-7 football, Veilleux hauled in three touchdowns in four games, while he averaged eight points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals on the basketball court. In baseball, he batted .275, with 14 hits (5 doubles), five RBIs and 11 runs. Defensively, at catcher, he allowed only five passed balls in 105 2/3 innings. He was all-conference in baseball.

Wright, a junior, was a three-sport athlete for Searsport where he played soccer, basketball and baseball for the Vikings. Wright scored one goal on a soccer team that played four games, while he also averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists on the hoop season. In baseball, Wright batted .311, with five RBIs and 12 runs. On the mound, he had a 3.43 earned-run average with 31 hits allowed, 12 walks and 61 strikeouts. He also tossed a complete game in the team’s 4-3 win in the Class D South championship game (Searsport went on to win the state crown). Wright was all-conference in baseball.