June 17, 2013

High School Notebook: After so many near-misses, Westbrook breaks through

From staff reports

Westbrook High will savor its Class A state baseball championship for a while.

click image to enlarge

The celebration was on Saturday after Westbrook knocked off defending Class A champion Messalonskee to win the school’s first baseball state title since 1951.

Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

click image to enlarge

Hope Correia, left, and Meredith Willard embrace after Cheverus edged Massabesic 8-7 Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium for the Stags’ first Class A girls’ lacrosse state title.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

SATURDAY'S STATE FINALS

BASEBALL

CLASS A: Westbrook 2, Messalonskee 0

CLASS B: York 4, Winslow 1

CLASS C: Dirigo 8, Stearns 2

CLASS D: Bangor Christian 4, Buckfield 0

SOFTBALL

CLASS A: Scarborough 9, Skowhegan 3

CLASS B: Oceanside 8, Greely 1

CLASS C: Bucksport 7, Madison 0

CLASS D: Richmond 3, Penobscot Valley 0

BOYS' LACROSSE

CLASS A: Scarborough 15, Cheverus 4

CLASS B: Cape Elizabeth 7, Yarmouth 4

GIRLS' LACROSSE

CLASS A: Cheverus 8, Massabesic 7

CLASS B: Waynflete 7, Yarmouth 4

And rightly so. It's been a long time coming. It was the first baseball state title for the school in 62 years, and the first under the statewide playoff format that started in 1970.

The Blue Blazes beat last year's champion, Messalonskee of Oakland, 2-0 on Saturday.

Westbrook has always been a strong baseball community. In the 1960s, the Blue Blazes had some excellent teams, but there were no state playoffs. With the likes of pitchers John Cumberland, 6-foot-7 Mike Mazerolle, Marc Flaherty and Don Douglas, and hitters like Ricky Swan, Westbrook might have won a couple state titles. Cumberland, a lefty, won nine games for the San Francisco Giants in 1971.

The 1971 team with future Maine Baseball Hall of Famers Tony DiBiase and John Mullen, lost to Bangor in the state final.

More recently, the Blazes battled powerhouse Deering teams that went on to win state titles.

The 2005 team, with current Westbrook pitching coach Andrew Keirstead and Anthony D'Alfonso, who went on to star at USM, lost to Oxford Hills in the state final on the same field, Morton Field in Augusta, where the current Blazes won Saturday.

The city of Westbrook supports its teams, and the Westbrook Baseball Boosters are among the best organized of any booster group in the state.

This title was for all of them.

While the players, coaches and school will savor this championship, it doesn't hurt to look ahead to next season, when the Blazes should be strong again.

Returning are junior starters Kyle Heath, Collin Joyce, Kaleb Kent, Ryan Gilligan and Austin Blake. The team will lose its top two pitchers in Keenen Lowe and Zack Bean, but Coach Greg Souza and Keirstead should be able to find some arms in the program.

Said Bean of the prospects for next season: "The juniors definitely have some runs left in them."

IT HAD BEEN so long since York High had won a baseball state championship -- 1971 -- that even the Maine Principals' Association didn't have a record of it.

That title -- a 17-1 victory over Shead, according to Ted Welch, the Wildcats' athletic director -- came the year before the MPA started tracking championships in Class C.

Welch said there were a couple other titles back in the 1960s, before there were statewide playoffs.

Maybe that's why there was such joy Saturday afternoon at St. Joseph College's Mahaney Diamond after York defeated Winslow 4-1 for the Class B title. Players, coaches, parents and friends lingered long after the game was over to talk about what had just happened.

Chuck Chadbourne, the York coach, knew why it happened.

"The key to the success of this season is a bunch of seniors who had knocked on the door in bunch of different sports that bought into a couple of coaches coming in who were going to demand a ton from them," he said. "That meant practices six days a week for two hours, and playing in the summertime, and not only did they buy in but they got better. And they got better and they got better.

"So it's been an amazing, amazing experience."

Many of the Wildcats had advanced to the Western Maine championship game in both football and boys' basketball. Alex Mercurio, the senior catcher, was a state finalist in wrestling.

(Continued on page 2)

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors


Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Cam Wilson lets out a scream during Cape Elizabeth’s victory celebration following a 7-4 win over Yarmouth in the Class B lacrosse state championship game.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Jurien Garrison, top, jumps onto the pile after Scarborough became the first lacrosse team to win four consecutive state championships since the Maine Principals’ Association started sponsoring the sport in 1998.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Cat Johnson rejoices with her Waynflete teammates after the Flyers capped an unbeaten season with a 7-4 win over Yarmouth in the Class B lacrosse final.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Scarborough pitcher Alyssa Williamson celebrates after recording the final out in a 9-3 win over Skowhegan for the Class A softball title.

Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

  


Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


 

Blogs

More PPH Blogs

2014 Boston Marathon

 

Spring sports photos