Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the student athletes who are in contention for the York News-Times Female and Male Athlete of the Year Award. In the weeks leading up to the announcement of the two winners, there will be features written on the five male and five female student-athletes that are in the discussion to win the award. The awards will be presented later in June. The only criteria is that the athlete competes in three sports during the high school season.
YORK - On May 5th, 2021, York senior Maddie Portwine became a Division I athlete when she signed to run both track and cross country at the University of Nebraska.
Having a chance to compete at the highest level was all she needed to convince her to join the Cornhusker track and field and cross country teams.
Her senior year at York High School she was not only successful on the track, but on the court as well as she led the Dukes to the semifinals of the Class B State Basketball Tournament.
On the track she was an instrumental member of the 2021 Class B State Track and Field team championship.
In basketball she was recognized for her play with an Omaha World-Herald third team Super State selection and All-Class B in both the OWH and Lincoln Journal Star. She was also a first team selection in the Central Conference and York News-Times All-Area co-captain.
Over the course of the year she averaged 15.7 points per game despite always drawing the best defender from Duke opponents.
“Maddie was a dominant player for us this year. She averaged almost 16 points per game while always getting most of the attention on our team from opposing defenses,” commented York head coach Matt Kern at the end of the 2020-21 season.
She became the third player in York girls basketball history to score better than 1,000 points. Her season-high came against Blair with 25 points in the district final. She hit 72% of her free throws (91-127) and scored in double figures in 20 of 25 games.
The 2021 Class B track and field season concluded with the York girls on the podium holding the Class B State Championship trophy.
Portwine was a huge factor in that championship as she accounted for 13 individual points and 1.5 points in the relay.
Maddie finished second in the 1600 at state with a time of 5:14.96; she was fourth in the 3200 (11:43.80) and was a member of the third place 4x800 relay team with a time of 9:43.38.
In Class B overall she had the second fastest time in the 1600; she was sixth in the state in the 3200 and the relay finished with the third best time.
She started the year with a volleyball team that made its first appearance at Class B State since 2012.
During the course of the season Maddie was one of the better defenders at the net. She finished with 56 blocks which ranked her fifth among York News-Times coverage area players and added 103 kills.
In the fall Maddie will attend the University of Nebraska where she plans to major in Biological Sciences and run both cross country and track and field for the Huskers.