Varsity Maine – Press Herald Tue, 25 Apr 2017 04:45:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Monday’s boys’ high school roundup: South Portland nearly perfect in victory Tue, 25 Apr 2017 02:55:33 +0000 WINDHAM — Sam Troiano came one out away from pitching a perfect game in South Portland’s 3-1 win over Windham in a Class A baseball game Monday.

Troiano’s perfect game was broken up on a two-out triple in the seventh by Tanner Bernier, who was driven in on a single by Timmy Greenlaw.

South Portland (1-0) capitalized on four errors by Windham (0-1), scoring three unearned runs.

Troiano (1-0) finished with seven strikeouts.

FALMOUTH 2, CAPE ELIZABETH 0: Cam Guarino pitched a shutout, striking out seven, as the Capers (1-0) beat the Yachtsmen (3-0) in Cape Elizabeth.

Griffin Aube singled in the second inning and scored on Marcus Cady’s sacrifice fly to right.

Falmouth added a run in the third when Robbie Armitage singled home Garrett Aube.

Brett McAlister had two of Cape Elizabeth’s four hits.

GREELY 1, GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 0: Logan DeCourcey scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Tate Porter in the top of the sixth inning and the Rangers (1-0) held on to beat the Patriots (1-2) in Gray.

Ryan Twitchell threw a complete game, striking out seven and allowing one hit for Greely.

DeCourcey singled to start the sixth, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by AJ Eisenhart and advanced to third on a throwing error.

The Patriots had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh with John Villanueva on second base, but Josiah Rottari grounded out to end the game.

Rottari pitched a strong game for the Patriots, allowing one run on four hits while striking out two in six innings.

YARMOUTH 4, YORK 3: Gibson Harnett scored the winning run on a fielder’s choice by Jackson Caruso in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Clippers (1-0) over the Wildcats (2-1) in Yarmouth.

Joe Coyne, Luke Waeldner and James Waaler hit consecutive RBI singles to give Yarmouth a 3-0 lead in the second inning. York scored a run in the third and another in the fourth, then tied the game in the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Dawson Gundlah.

Waeldner had two hits and also came in relief in the sixth inning to pick up the victory for Yarmouth.

BIDDEFORD 5, PORTLAND 3: Logan Magnant lined an RBI single to start a four-run rally in the sixth inning as the Tigers beat the Bulldogs in an opener at Biddeford.

Giovanni Ruotolo had a two-run single in the top of the fourth as Portland opened a 3-0 lead, before Biddeford chipped away with a run in the bottom of the fifth.

Camren Knop had a pair of hits, including a double, for the Bulldogs.

Biddeford’s Brady Crepeau went six innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and three strikeouts.

Crepeau left for a reliever but returned to pick up the save. Brice Springer pitched a scoreless inning to earn the win.

Donny Tocci pitched well in the loss for Portland, allowing only a pair of earned runs and striking out five.

CHEVERUS 3, GORHAM 0: Jared Brooks struck out 12 to lead the Stags (2-0) over the Rams (1-1) in Gorham.

Justin Ray and Rylan Benedict each had two hits for Cheverus.

Brooks (1-0) allowed four hits and one walk over 61/3 innings. Ray pitched in relief to record the save, striking out his final batter in a bases-loaded jam.

TRAIP 6, SACOPEE VALLEY 2: Shane MacNeill retired the first 13 batters he faced and hit a two-run homer to lead the Rangers (2-0) over the Hawks (1-2) in Hiram.

MacNeill (2-0) allowed four hits over six innings and struck out two.

OCEANSIDE 15, MCI 8: Tim Mazzeo had two hits and scored three times as the Mariners (2-0) beat the Huskies (0-3) in Rockland.

Titus Kaewthong hit an RBI triple, while Michael Norton and Coby Dorr each had two hits and an RBI for Oceanside, which scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take an 8-5 lead.

ERSKINE ACADEMY 6, MEDOMAK VALLEY 0: Nick Turcotte had two doubles and Dakota Stoops added a pair of hits to lead the Eagles (1-0) to a win over the Panthers (0-2) in South China.

Dylan Presby pitched five innings of shutout ball to earn the victory for Erskine (1-0).

WELLS 5, KENNEBUNK 0: Cameron Cousins struck out six and pitched a complete game as the Warriors (1-0) beat the Rams (1-2) in Wells.

CONY 3, CAMDEN HILLS 2: Kolbe Merfeld and Taylor Heath combined on a three-hitter, leading the Rams (1-1) past the Windjammers (1-1) in Augusta.

Cony tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning on a Danny White suicide squeeze. Merfeld doubled for the Rams.

Owen Hilt doubled for Camden Hills, while Braden Fisher took the loss in a complete game effort.


CAMDEN HILLS 9, WINSLOW 2: Thomas Griebel scored five goals to lead the Windjammers (2-0) in Rockport.

Evan Dart and Cameron Goodwin scored for Winslow (0-3).

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Monday’s girls’ roundup: Jones throws no-hitter for Oceanside Tue, 25 Apr 2017 02:40:31 +0000 ROCKLAND — Chloe Jones threw a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts and four walks as Oceanside cruised to a 9-0 win softball win Friday over Maine Central Institute.

Alexis Mazurek powered the offense for Oceanside (1-1) with a two-run homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the sixth. Jones and Hannah Moholland each added a double.

MCI dropped to 2-1.

GORHAM 17, DEERING 10: Grace McGouldrick had five hits, scored five times and came on in the fifth inning to pick up the win in relief for Gorham (1-1), which spoiled Deering’s season opener in Portland.

Carli Labreque and McGouldrick scored as Gorham tied the game in the sixth. Gorham then put the game away with a seven-run seventh.

Sydney Giroux had three hits for Deering, and Maddie Broda drove home two runs.

MARSHWOOD 8, SOUTH PORTLAND 6: Meaghan Sandler broke a 3-3 tie with a home run in the fourth inning and the Hawks (1-0) beat the Red Riots (0-2) in South Portland.

Lauren Liedemann-Smith tripled and drove in three runs for Marshwood.

Grace Rende had two hits, including a double, and drove in four runs to lead South Portland.

MAINE GIRLS’ ACADEMY/FALMOUTH 10, WESTBROOK 7: Holley Akey hit a two-run single as the Lions scored six runs in the first inning and held off the Blue Blazes in an opener at Westbrook.

Camryn LaPierre went 3 for 4 with three RBI for Westbrook.

SCARBOROUGH 12, SANFORD 0: Abbie Murrell and Lilly Volk combined to hold the Spartans (0-2) to one hit over six innings in Scarborough’s season-opening victory in Sanford.

Sam Carriero’s two-run single in the sixth put the mercy rule into effect. She also belted a home run.

WINDHAM 14, BIDDEFORD 4: Chloe Wilcox hit a two-run triple to trigger a seven-run second inning as the Eagles (1-0) downed the Tigers (0-1) in Windham.

Erin Elder and Lauren Talbot each drove in three runs for Windham.

Kaitlyn Stewart hit a two-run single for Biddeford.

PORTLAND 19, CHEVERUS/NYA 4: The Bulldogs (2-0) led 10-0 after two innings and defeated the Stags (0-1) in five innings in Portland.

Portland scored six runs in the first inning, and Grace Stacey belted a grand slam in the second.

Morgan Boyle and Annie Twombly each recorded three hits for the Bulldogs.

MASSABESIC 16, BONNY EAGLE 3: Julia Gregoire homered and drove in five runs, and the Mustangs (1-0) scored 12 runs in the top of the first against the Scots (0-1) at Standish.

Gregoire finished with three hits, and Kyra-Mei Cartwright and Grace Tutt each added two for Massabesic, which got 15 hits in the five-inning game.

Bonny Eagle got its runs on a two-run single by Nell Spencer and a home run by Sydney Gillingham.

YARMOUTH 4, YORK 3: Kate Ralph singled home Andrea St. Pierre in the seventh inning to lift the Clippers (1-0) over the Wildcats (1-1) in Yarmouth.

Yarmouth took a 3-0 lead in the fourth, highlighted by an RBI double by Cayte Tillotson. York was quick to respond, getting three runs in the fifth with the help of three errors.

St. Pierre led Yarmouth with three hits, including a double and a triple.

POLAND 18, FREEPORT 5: Allison Kelly had a single and a two-run double during a seven-run third inning as the Knights (3-0) rolled to a five-inning win over the Falcons (0-1) in Freeport.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 12, GREELY 0: Cara Waltz had three hits to pace a 12-hit attack as the Patriots (1-1) shut out the Rangers (0-2) in a six-inning game at Gray.

Alison Martell had a double and a single, and Grace Kariotis and Mikaela Ryan each added a pair of hits for Gray-New Gloucester. Winning pitcher Haley True allowed just a pair of singles and one walk.

FRYEBURG ACADEMY 10, LAKE REGION 2: Tina Le-Blanc hit a tiebreaking RBI triple in the sixth and the Raiders (2-0) scored seven more runs in the inning to down the Lakers (0-1) in Fryeburg.

Makayla Cooper added an RBI double and Grace Condon drove two runs with a single during the big rally.

Nicole Bennett pitched a three-hitter and walked only one while striking out six.

SACOPEE VALLEY 13, TRAIP ACADEMY 0: Brynn Hink struck out eight while allowing just three hits, and the Hawks (1-1) scored eight runs in the first two innings on their way to a six-inning win over the Rangers (0-2) in Kittery.

Brenna Humphrey led Sacopee with three hits, including an RBI triple in the fourth. Annette Humphrey hit a two-run homer in the sixth.


BONNY EAGLE 10, SOUTH PORTLAND 8: Catherine Biegel scored four goals as the Scots (1-0) defeated the Red Riots (0-1) in Standish.

Kaya Backman and Paige Fleming scored three goals apiece for South Portland.

FALMOUTH 11, GORHAM 5: Sydney Bell scored four times and set up a fifth goal to lead Falmouth (1-0) past the Rams (0-1) in Gorham.

Marina Pappalardo paced Gorham with two goals and an assist.

CAPE ELIZABETH 14, WELLS 3: Susie Graham scored three of her five goals in the first half as the Capers opened an 8-1 lead and cruised past the Warriors in Cape Elizabeth.

Casey Kelley had three goals and two assists, Chloe Chapin contributed two goals and three assists, and Emily Healy scored twice.

Aimely Michaud, Alyssa Loukola and Laney O’Brien were the goal scorers for Wells.

]]> 0 Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:44:50 +0000
Thornton Academy holds off Noble for 2-1 softball win Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:41:10 +0000 SACO — Despite topping 200 pitches only two days earlier, Thornton Academy’s Louisa Colucci still had enough in the tank late in a one-run game.

The junior hurler got out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the sixth and a one-out, two-on predicament in the seventh to secure a 2-1 triumph Monday against Noble.

Colucci, who finished with a six-hitter and 11 strikeouts, explained that she thrives in tight situations.

“We had an 11-inning game (on Saturday) against Gorham, so I was a little tired, but I also felt refreshed and loose,” she said. “I love it when the bases are loaded. I don’t know why. I (guess it) feels like it is a challenge for me to face.”

Noble (1-1) loaded the bases in the sixth on singles by Mackenzie Aleva and Kassidy Lessard followed by Colucci’s first walk, to Jordan Boucher. But the Golden Trojans’ pitcher struck out Lauren Sanger – who had two doubles in her first two at-bats – and induced a soft liner by Abbie Sprague to Kaya O’Connor at first.

Thornton Coach John Provost visited Colucci after the walk, but he didn’t need to say much.

“I went to the mound and told her to trust her stuff,” he said.

In the final inning, Colucci sandwiched two walks around a strikeout, but she got Marissa Copolla to ground out to second base before Aleva, the No. 3 hitter, popped to second to end the game.

“(In the seventh), fatigue was setting in,” Provost said. “I went out and talked about finishing the game with these last two batters and getting out of here.”

Noble Coach Rick Melanson liked his team’s chances with Sanger and Aleva hitting in clutch situations in the sixth and seventh.

“I thought when Lauren Sanger came up with the bases loaded and she had been ripping the ball, that it was a great time to have her up,” Melanson said. “But she didn’t make it.

“(In the seventh), we had the No. 3 hitter up who had hit a hard shot before. But it was one of those games that wasn’t meant to be.”

Thornton (2-0), which has five starters who are freshmen or sophomores, pushed across the go-ahead run in the fifth when Kaitlin Verreault’s drive to center field popped out of Sprague’s glove, allowing Olivia Paradis to score. Paradis reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second on a walk to Jenica Botting.

Noble opened the scoring in the fourth inning on Sanger’s RBI double that drove home Lessard, who had singled.

Thornton answered in the bottom of the inning when O’Connor scored on a hit by Amanda Bogardus, her second of the game.

Noble pitcher Raegan Kelly allowed six hits and struck out four.

“I know Kelly and I know Louisa, so I told the girls before the game that this is probably going to be a playoff-type game,” Provost said. “We’re young, very young, and we expect to make some mistakes. But they were good today. They made the plays when they had to.”

]]> 0, ME - APRIL 24: Thornton Academy celebrates after getting out of an inning Monday, April 24, 2017. L to R, Jenica Botting, Olivia Howe, Louisa Colucci and Kaya O'Connor.(Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer)Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:14:17 +0000
Saturday’s high school roundup: Thornton Academy gets 11-inning win Sun, 23 Apr 2017 00:43:07 +0000 GORHAM — Louisa Colucci doubled home a run as part of a four-run 11th inning as Thornton Academy opened its softball season Saturday with an 8-4 win over Gorham.

Colucci also picked up the win on the mound, striking out 16 batters in a complete-game effort.

Kaitlin Verreault added an RBI single in the 11th inning.

Grace McGouldrick tripled twice, drove in two runs and allowed two earned runs while striking out 10 batters in a complete-game effort for Gorham.

CAPE ELIZABETH 7, GREELY 0: Katie Bozek and Katie Ledoux each drove in two runs and Jessie Robicheaw pitched a three-hitter with nine strikeouts as the Capers won their opener in Cumberland.

Cape Elizabeth broke the game open with five runs in the last two innings. Bozek and Ledoux each hit an RBI single in the seventh after Kelly O’Sullivan smacked a run-scoring triple.

Bozek finished with three hits.

Greely pitcher Kelsey Currier recorded 11 strikeouts.

WELLS 3, KENNEBUNK 2: Anya Chase pitched a three-hitter and hit an RBI triple in the third inning and the Warriors held on to beat the Rams in a season opener in Wells.

Lydia Howarth, the losing pitcher, gave a Kennebunk a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the first inning, but Sara Ring singled home Chase in the bottom of the first. Ring scored on a throwing error to put the Warriors ahead for good.

Chase’s triple extended the lead to 3-1 in the third. Howarth hit a home run in the seventh for Kennebunk.

RICHMOND 17, SACOPEE VALLEY 3: Meranda Martin pitched a five-hitter and had three hits and four runs scored as the Bobcats (2-0) beat the Hawks (0-1) in Hiram.

Caitlin Kendrick added three hits and five RBI, Emily Douin contributed two hits and four RBI, and Sydney Tilton scored four runs.

Jordan Miner had two of the Hawks’ five hits, including a home run.


FALMOUTH 12, FRYEBURG ACADEMY 2: Griffin Aube hit a two-run double as part of a six-run sixth inning as the Yachtsmen (2-0) pulled away from the Raiders (0-2) in Fryeburg.

Falmouth led 4-2 going into the sixth. Aube had three hits and drove in three runs, while Max Fortier picked up the win, allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out 15. Fortier also doubled home Robbie Armitage in the sixth to give the Yachtsmen a 5-2 lead.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 11, POLAND 0: Nick McCann hit a two-run double to start a four-run first inning as the Patriots (1-0) downed the Knights (0-1) in five innings in Poland.

Josiah Rottari drove in two runs with a single, and Jacob Winchester, William Shufelt and John Villanueva each added two hits. Villanueva also pitched a five-hitter.

SACOPEE VALLEY 12, RICHMOND 11: The Hawks (1-1) scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn a win over the Bobcats (2-1).

Austin Eastman and Cameron Cyr each doubled for Sacopee Valley. Jared Jordan earned the win.

Richmond managed just two hits but took advantage of six errors and 16 walks. Brendan Emmons took the loss.


MASSABESIC 16, WINDHAM 11: Ethan Ouellette scored five goals and set up two others as the Mustangs won a season opener in Windham.

Garrett Stubbs added three goals and an assist.

Windham got four goals from Liam McCusker and three goals and three assists from Grant Jacobson.

]]> 0 Johnston of Greely reaches for a throw as Katie LeDoux of Cape Elizabeth steals second base in the sixth inning Saturday. LeDoux had two RBI for the Capers in a 7-0 win.Sat, 22 Apr 2017 22:36:47 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: South Portland upends Scarborough Sat, 22 Apr 2017 02:53:09 +0000 SOUTH PORTLAND — It may have been the first game of what will be a long season for the South Portland boys’ lacrosse team, but if the Red Riots make a deep postseason run, they could look back and point to their 14-13 win Friday over Scarborough as a big confidence builder.

The Red Riots trailed by four goals late in the first half against Scarborough, the defending Class A state champion. But they fought back to take the lead before the Red Storm got a late goal to force overtime.

South Portland got possession in overtime and never gave it back.

David Fiorini took a pass from Cooper Mehlhorn behind the net and found Jack Angell on a backdoor cut. The senior midfielder buried a shot from about 10 feet, one minute into the extra session.

“We came out of halftime talking about deciding what kind of team we’re going to be,” said Red Riots Coach Tom Fiorini. “Are we the kind that will come out and play hard in the second half and come from behind and win … or not. And these kids showed that’s what they want to do.”

The faceoff win by Jack Tierney to start was vital, said Angell.

“I was just hoping for an early goal (in overtime),” said Angell, who finished with five goals. “I knew if it kept going it would be rough. If we let them go down they might score a goal. I wanted to make sure we scored first and end the game.”

Finn Zechman also had five goals, while Mehlhorn added three goals and two assists. Fiorini had two assists and Mitchell Adams scored the other goal.

South Portland got three goals in a 1:44 span midway through the final quarter to take its first lead of the game at 13-12. Mehlhorn, who had 43 goals and 28 assists as a freshman last year, netted the first two only 20 seconds apart before Angell put the Red Riots ahead.

The teams traded chances for the next six-plus minutes before Scarborough’s Marc Guerette (four goals) finished off a give-and-go with Joshua DaRosa (one goal, one assist) with 26.6 showing on the clock.

The Red Riots won the ensuing faceoff but lost possession and gave the ball back to Scarborough (1-1) with 13 seconds left. Sam Neugebauer (three goals) didn’t have shot and tried a cross-field pass that was high and went out of bounds with three seconds left.

“(Neugebauer) has the ability to freelance and he wants to score there, but he’s mature enough now and he realized (the defense) slid to help (against him). He tried to find a guy open and just missed the pass,” Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep said.

The Red Riots turned the game around with a 4-2 edge in the third quarter, holding Scarborough to one goal for the first 10:47 before Neugebauer’s goal gave his team a 10-9 edge heading into the final 12 minutes.

“South Portland came out and made a ton of big boy plays in the third quarter to rally and turn the momentum. And we had a tough time picking it back up,” said Hezlep.

The importance of an early win against a top foe was not lost on Angell.

“This win gives us a huge boost (knowing) that they knocked us out (of the playoffs) last year and we can beat them this year,” he said. “And we came back from (being down) in the beginning (of the game).”

]]> 0 PORTLAND, ME - APRIL 21: Boys lacrosse game between South Portland and Scarborough. Scarborough's#9, Sam Neugebauer, scores on a diving shot past South Portland goalie Quinn Watson (#11) in the first quarter. (Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer)Fri, 21 Apr 2017 23:06:08 +0000
Outdoor track: Athletes to watch Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:00:03 +0000 GIRLS

Nyagoa Bayak, Westbrook sophomore: Bayak finished sixth in the high jump (5-0) at the Class A meet last year but is coming off a strong indoor season, having won the high jump (5-6) and triple jump (37-03/4) at the state meet.

Adelaide Cooke, Falmouth senior: Cooke won the shot put (39-111/2) and discus (131-0), and was second in the javelin (110-0) and fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (16.03) at the Class A meet last year.

Emma Gallant, Cheverus freshman: In her first indoor state meet, Gallant won the 200 (26.48) and 400 (58.86), and was third in the 55 (7.48) in Class A.

Abby Hamilton, Yarmouth senior: Hamilton won the 2-mile at the Class B indoor state meet by 22 seconds (11:21.24) and previously ran a state-leading time of 11:11.18. Last outdoor season, she won the 3,200 at the state meet (11:12.14).

Emily Labbe, Scarborough freshman: At the Class A indoor state meet, Labbe won the 55 (7.47), and finished second in the 200 (26.98) and the 55 hurdles (8.79) to help lead her team to the title.

Anneka Murrin, Yarmouth junior: Murrin won the 1,600 (5:12.59) and took second in the 800 (2:20.43) at last year’s Class B state meet.

Malaika Pasch, Falmouth sophomore: Pasch took second in the 800 (2:23.54) at the Class A state meet last year. This indoor season, she won the mile (5:24.12) and was third in the 800 (2:20.17).

Juliana Selser, South Portland junior: Selser won the 800 (2:20.48) last year, and also captured the indoor title this winter in a state-record time of 2:16.82.

Bethany Sholl, Scarborough junior: Sholl won the 3,200 (11:36.85) at the Class A state meet last year and the 2-mile title at this year’s indoor state meet (11:40.31).

Emma White, Cheverus sophomore: White took fourth in the long jump (16-63/4) and sixth in the triple jump (33-11) at the Class A meet last year. This indoor season, she was second in both the long jump (17-21/4) and triple jump (36-51/2).


Ben Batoosingh, Scarborough senior: After placing fifth in the 300 hurdles (42.35) at the Class A state meet last year, Batoosingh came on strong this indoor season, winning the 400 (52.44) and taking third place in the 200 (23.29).

Ruay Bol, South Portland senior: Bol won the triple jump (45-1) and was second in the long jump (21-4) at the Class A state meet last year.

Matt Brady, Biddeford senior: Coming off an injury that sidelined him for most of the winter after he opened the indoor season with a state-leading throw of 57-1, Brady was second in the shot (55-103/4) and third in the discus (154-8) at last year’s Class A state meet.

Jarett Flaker, Scarborough freshman: Flaker won the 55 (6.68) and finished second in the 200 (22.99) at the Class A indoor state meet, and ran the fastest time in the state this year in the 55 (6.61).

Tahj Garvey, Yarmouth junior: Garvey won the 400 at the Class B outdoor state meet (50.64) last year.

Luke Laverdiere, Yarmouth junior: Last year, Laverdiere won the 800 (2:01.34) and 1,600 (4:21.94) at the Class B state meet. This indoor season, he won the mile (4:24.35) and the 2-mile (9:49.73).

Matt Polewaczyk, Falmouth senior: Polewaczyk finished second in the 100 (11.49) and third in the 200 (22.93) at the Class A state meet. He is returning from a hip injury that sidelined him indoors.

Sam Rusak, Scarborough senior: Rusak won the 200 (22.82), 110 hurdles (15.01), high jump (6-0) and pole vault (15-6) at last year’s Class A state meet. He also won three events at the indoor meet both this year and last year.

Jeremiah Sands, Falmouth senior: Sands is the top returning 1,600-meter runner in Class A. He placed third in the event (4:25.22) last year and was fourth in the 3,200 (9:38.18).

Seth White, Brunswick senior: One of the top returning sprinters in Class A, White finished fourth in both the 100 (11.56) and long jump (20-63/4) at the Class A state meet.

– Deirdre Fleming

]]> 0 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 21:23:04 +0000
Outdoor track preview: Biddeford distance runners get closer through grieving process Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 BIDDEFORD — Biddeford High senior Abby Laverriere recalls how assistant coach Will Fulford would ride his bike alongside the 20 or so distance runners during practice, offering encouragement as if each had their own personal coach.

Madison Perry, also a senior, remembers how Fulford cared about them as individuals.

“He asked you about your friends, your grades, about college,” said Perry. “Because he was an English teacher he asked to correct my college application. I didn’t even think to ask him. It was the last thing he did for me.”

Fulford died of apparent cardiac arrest Dec. 11 while working out at a gym with his wife, Ashley Potvin-Fulford. The news shocked the Biddeford High track community, where Fulford, 29, served as a coach for cross country, indoor and outdoor track.

His death, at the start of the indoor track season, turned a sport that had been a fun, healthy outlet into an awkward and sorrowful journey for the athletes who knew Fulford best. The challenges they faced went beyond training hard and competing well. Many had to figure out how to train, how to comfort each other – and even how to help coach each other.

“Running has always been a big part of my life,” Laverriere said. “You run every day, it goes through your head a lot. I keep imagining he’ll come back, but obviously he’s not going to. I keep waiting for him to, though.”

Fulford’s death not only left a void where a friend and mentor had been, but left the 84 athletes on the boys’ and girls’ track teams down a coach. Head coach Ron Ouellette, who works primarily with sprinters and field event athletes, said there wasn’t time to hire an assistant to lead the distance runners.

“We tried to split up the team, but a lot of the distance runners didn’t get as much attention as they normally would,” said Ouellette, who has coached at Biddeford for 43 years.

Based on the workouts Fulford gave them a year earlier, the distance runners recorded their training in logs he suggested they keep, mapping their training in small groups. They also helped to coach each other at meets. They would ask teammates the times they hoped to run, just as Fulford did.

“The dynamics of the team changed,” Perry said. “I think we did a good job. He instilled a lot of good things in us, so in a way we weren’t on our own.”

“Our team got closer,” Laverriere agreed.

Sophomore Sam Mills had the workout log Fulford used. It was helpful this indoor season while trying to put together workouts. But he said if he didn’t have the support of his teammates, it would have been difficult to do any training.

“It was really a different environment,” Mills said. “The seniors on the girls’ team really held everything together. It was like Abby, who’s the captain, was always looking out for us. As soon as we found out that Coach died, I called her to make sure it was true. I was crying and she was crying. I didn’t really move forward. Everything was different. Practice was still practice and meets were still meets, but now there was this hole blast right through the middle of it.”

Junior Jack Delprete said he didn’t know how to feel at the start of the indoor season. Then, at the first meet, when he thought he saw Fulford, he started crying.

“I felt such a loss. I had no idea what I was doing,” Delprete said. “He always stood in the same place. When I came around the track it made me think I’d see him there.”

Now before every race, to help deal with the loss, Delprete said he tries to stay positive, so he tells Fulford the next race is for him.

“I loved the way that before and after a race he always came up and fist-bumped us,” Delprete said.

Although the Biddeford distance runners have tried to stress the same kind of encouragement offered by Fulford, the void of his absence remains.

Many days that they meet to train on the roads, they’re reminded of him by everyday landmarks, and miss seeing him pedaling alongside.

“He always asked how you were feeling. He always checked in with us,” Laverriere said. “Even before big races, he’d ask, ‘How are you feeling? How are your legs feeling?’ ”

“He treated you like an individual, like he actually cared,” Perry said. “He gave very individual attention to each runner. It was very special.”

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or at:

Twitter: FlemingPph

]]> 0 Biddeford High distance runners have banded together to do things the way Will Fulford – their late assistant coach – would have wanted.Thu, 20 Apr 2017 21:22:18 +0000
Outdoor track: Teams to watch Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Girls

1. Cheverus: Last year’s third-place team in Class A is bolstered by the addition of freshman Emma Gallant, who won two events at the indoor Class A meet, to go along with All-New England sophomore jumper Emma White and three-time defending champion senior sprinter Emily Turner.

2. Scarborough: After winning their first indoor Class A title since 2012, the Red Storm should make a run at the outdoor title. They’ll be fueled by freshman sprinter Emily Labbe, who scored 26 points at the Class A indoor meet.

3. Falmouth: The defending Class A champions return Adelaide Cooke, who scored 32 of the team’s 75 points, and all but one runner from the third-place 1,600-meter relay team (4:13.66).

4. Greely: The Rangers won the Class B indoor title, and they’ll be led by sophomore Carolyn Todd, who was second in the mile (5:14.27) and 3,200 (11:26.12) at the outdoor meet last year, and Katherine Leggat-Barr, another standout distance runner who is competing in both lacrosse and track this spring.

5. York: The defending Class B champions return nine athletes who helped score their 68 points, including their entire winning 3,200 relay team and three of the four legs of their championship 1,600 relay.


1. Scarborough: The Red Storm have won two of the last four Class A titles and should be in the hunt again, led by senior All-American Sam Rusak, who could win four events again and contribute 40 points.

2. Falmouth: It’s a rebuilding year for last year’s Class A runner-up, but the Yachtsmen always find a way to put together fast relays, and three relays can score a lot of points.

3. South Portland: The Red Riots were one point out of second place last year, and they have one of the best jumpers in the state in defending triple jump champion Ruay Bol, as well as senior Steven Smith, the top returning race walker in Class A.

4. Yarmouth: The Clippers finished ninth in Class B last year but have all their point-scorers back, including defending state champions Luke Laverdiere (800 and 1,600) and Tahj Garvey (400). Yarmouth also should score in several of the field events.

5. York: The Wildcats graduated eight seniors who scored at the state meet for a Class B runner-up team, but they had several underclassmen who were just out of the scoring. York won the Class B title in 2015.

– Deirdre Fleming

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Thursday’s high school roundup: Noble opens softball season with nine-inning win Fri, 21 Apr 2017 02:42:48 +0000 SOUTH BERWICK — Kelsey Lessard beat out a two-out grounder down the third-base line as Lauren Sanger scored from third in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday to give Noble a 2-1 win over South Portland in its softball season opener.

Raegan Kelly pitched a complete game for Noble, striking out 14 while outdueling Stephanie Aceto, who had eight strikeouts.

South Portland (0-2) took the lead in the first when Kaylee Whitten reached on an error and scored on a three-base error. Noble tied it in the bottom half, with Kelly doubling and scoring on Kassidy Lessard’s single.

PORTLAND 8, SANFORD 1: Jessica Brown struck out 14 while pitching a five-hitter and Morgan Boyle belted a three-run homer as the Bulldogs opened their season with a win against Sanford in Portland.

Kit Rosmus rapped a two-run single to cap a three-run first inning before Boyle homered in the second to make it 6-1.

The Spartans got their run in the top of the first when Julia Allen singled and scored on Marli Wilson’s double.


WESTBROOK 5, SANFORD 0: Dylan Francoeur fired a three-hitter and also scored twice to lead the Blue Blazes (1-0) past Sanford (0-2) in Westbrook.

Kyle Champagne scored on a passed ball and Derek Higgins singled home Justin Copetta for a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Francoeur, Copetta and Connor Blake each finished with two hits. Leyton Bickford had two of the Spartans’ three singles.

KENNEBUNK 3, FRYEBURG ACADEMY 2: Matt Smith singled home the winning run in the bottom of the eighth as the Rams (1-1) beat the Raiders (0-1) in Kennebunk.

Derek Smith started the winning rally by drawing a walk and stealing second. Bryan Hickey was intentionally walked and Cole Hoffman reached on an attempted sacrifice bunt to load the bases.

CHEVERUS 6, NOBLE 0: Jack Casale limited Noble (0-1) to two hits while striking out six as the Stags (1-0) won in Portland.

Logan McCarthy, the game’s only repeat hitter, scored in the second inning and singled home Maxx St. John in the fourth before the Stags added four runs in the sixth.


DEERING 20, WESTBROOK 9: Nate Richards scored eight times to raise his career total to 101 goals as the Rams (1-0) beat the Blue Blazes (0-1) in Westbrook.

Omar Contreras and Zach Harvey each added three goals and an assist for the Rams. Nick James also scored three goals and Chase Walter had two.

Grayson Post netted four goals and Ryan Shackley scored three times for Westbrook.

UPDATE: This story was updated on April 21 at 9:10 a.m. to correctly identify Deering High’s Chase Walter.

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Baseball: York shuts down Sacopee Valley Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:19:30 +0000 YORK — Dawson Gundlah collected three hits and Trevor LaBonte pitched a four-hitter Thursday to lead York to a 5-1 victory against Sacopee Valley in a Western Maine Conference baseball game.

LaBonte walked three and struck out nine for the Wildcats, who are expected to be a contender in Class B South.

“We just wanted to pour it into the strike zone and let the defense play, pitch to contact, and our defense played really well today,” said LaBonte.

The top three batters in the lineup for Sacopee Valley (1-1) went 0 for 10 with six strikeouts. The bottom four batters went 3 for 8 with three walks.

“(We) weren’t overmatched. I guess that’s the biggest positive I saw out of (the game),” said Sacopee Coach Chris Burnell, whose team is the reigning Class C state champion.

LaBonte ran into trouble in the second inning after getting the side in order in the first. The Hawks loaded the bases with one out before their No. 8 batter, Travis Weeks, reached on an infield single toward shortstop, driving in Peter Cates.

“I think it was nothing more than (LaBonte) being amped up. It’s his senior year, he got a lot of accolades last year, so I think he’s trying to live up to those accolades when all he really needs to do is trust his mechanics and throw,” said York Coach Chuck Chadbourne.

“I thought he was incredibly efficient (in the third, fourth and fifth innings).”

LaBonte only needed a total of 22 pitches to get through those three innings.

Gundlah ripped a pair of doubles, including one that drove in a run to kick-start a three-run third for York (2-0).

“I was seeing (the ball) well but I know we’re going to face better, so it was good to get the confidence up a little bit,” said Gundlah.

With Gunlah on second base and Timothy McDonald on third with one out, Andrew Rodrigues laced a double to the gap in left-center, giving the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.

Cates drew the start for Sacopee, which is dealing with injuries to its top pitchers.

Sophomore Dylan Miner has a broken thumb and senior Brandon Burnell, who went 7-1 last season, is awaiting an MRI on his elbow. The Hawks are worried Burnell may have a torn his ulnar collateral ligament.

“(Brandon) could need Tommy John (surgery),” said Coach Burnell.

Cates allowed five runs, four earned, and 10 hits in six innings.

“To be competitive against a team like (York) with our No. 4 (or) No. 5 pitcher, I thought we played well. About as good as we could play,” said Burnell.

The Wildcats had 10 hits but left seven runners on base.

“I’m disappointed with our offense. Fly balls, we’re not getting on top of the ball, and it’s stuff we preach and work on, said Chadbourne.

“But we’re young, four sophomores and a freshman starting today, so we have to deal with it.”

Jack Kelley, hitting out of the No. 8 spot in for York, collected a pair of hits, including a double.

]]> 0 Valley catcher D.J. Shea applies the tag on Dawson Gundlah, who was trying to score in the fifth inning of York's 5-1 victory Thursday at home.Thu, 20 Apr 2017 20:26:50 +0000
Tennis: Teams to watch Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 GIRLS

1. Falmouth: Graduation claimed the top two singles players, but nine straight state titles and a 141-match winning streak result from plenty of depth. Senior Kate Kelley moves up to No. 1, freshman sister Meredith Kelley slots in at No. 2 and senior Amanda Watson at No. 3. A big test will come May 5 at defending Class C state champ St. Dominic, which boasts an all-senior lineup led by three-time singles semifinalist Bethany Hammond.

2. Cape Elizabeth: Coming off a Class B state title, the Capers must replace four starters lost to graduation but return senior Liv Clifford and junior Katie Gilman to the top two singles spots. Sophomore Emelie Jarquin or senior Ellie Garfield will slide into No. 3, leaving Coach Sarah Boeckel to fashion two doubles teams from a combined varsity and JV roster that numbers 45.

3. Greely: Senior Kathryn Pare, who helped the Rangers win Class B state titles in 2014 and 2015, drops down to No. 2 singles with the return from a year abroad of junior Izzy Evans, a singles quarterfinalist in 2015. Her sister, Paige Evans, a freshman, slots in at No. 3. Junior Kathryn Steinberg and sophomore Jordan Bryant team up at first doubles with four strong contenders to fill out the second doubles team.

4. Waynflete: Senior Lexi Epstein is back at No. 1 singles for a team that went 8-7 but reached the Class C South finals before falling to unbeaten St. Dominic. Six of the top seven are back, including senior Sidara Cash-Sortwell, who finished the season at No. 3 singles. Classmate Kiera MacWhinnie, likely at No. 2 singles after playing first doubles as a sophomore, has recovered from a knee injury that cost her last season.

5. Gorham: The Rams went 12-2 and reached the Class A South semifinals before falling 3-2 to No. 2 Scarborough. Much of that lineup is back, along with freshman Jocelyn Bolt, who is likely to join seniors Whitney King and Jenna Cowan in singles. Coach Nicole Bergeron is still sorting out doubles, but has plenty of depth and young talent from which to draw.


1. Thornton Academy: The defending Class A state champion Golden Trojans once more have an international flair, with returning sophomore Dariy Vykhodtsev being joined in singles by senior Jakub Jarasek from the Czech Republic and junior Balazs Balati of Hungary. Juniors Asher Thompson and Adam Lovejoy move up to first doubles with junior Junxi Xiao (who played No. 3 singles) and sophomore Caleb Richard at second doubles.

2. Falmouth: Losing Nick Forester on the eve of the team tournament cost Falmouth a third straight Class A title, but a depleted lineup still managed to reach the regional final and lose only 3-2 to Thornton Academy. With the dual-handed Forester healthy again, junior Alex Klemperer and senior Peter Stegemann return to second and third singles. The formidable doubles quartet of seniors Jordan Bruce, Trey Fallon and Greyson Cohen, and sophomore Calvin Spencer returns intact.

3. Waynflete: Senior Brandon Ameglio returns at No. 1 singles for a squad seeking its 10th straight Class C state title. Four other starters (senior John Van Dyke, junior Shuhao Liu, and sophomores Thorne Kieffer and Cooper Sherman) return from the championship lineup. Junior Jacob Greene missed the final because of a school-sponsored trip to China but is back at either second or third singles.

4. Camden Hills: Graduation claimed four of the top seven from the reigning Class B state champion, but seniors Matt Morse and Josiah Krul return at singles, and classmate Colby Arau moves up from first doubles.

5. Portland: The Bulldogs return every starter from a club that went 11-3 and reached the Class A South semifinals, but it will be hard to get past Falmouth or Thornton Academy. Seniors Peter Gribizis and Peter Barry lead the singles lineup, which also includes junior Quinn Clarke. Seniors Henry Gates and Daniel Mencher form the first doubles team, and juniors Dana Hinchcliffe and Jack Kovarik the second.

– Glenn Jordan

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Tennis preview: Waynflete boys have their eyes on 10th straight state title Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Reggae music drifted from portable speakers. A gentle breeze wafted through tree branches just starting to bud.

The absence of leaves allowed views of the Fore River shimmering in the afternoon sunshine.

All eyes, however, were on the organized chaos unfolding on three upper tennis courts, where Waynflete boys’ coach Jeff Madore was overseeing a game of Live Ball, which starts on three courts with two players per side and six balls in play, and ends on the middle court with one ball and as many as six players on each side.

“He always has different drills for us,” said senior Brandon Ameglio, returning at No. 1 singles. “We do some of the same stuff, of course, but he mixes it up with different drills that we haven’t seen in years. And they’re all good, and help us get better at different parts of our game.”

Madore’s philosophy is a winning one. His Flyers have won nine straight Class C state championships, matching the streaks put together by the South Portland girls in Class A (1973-81), Cape Elizabeth girls in Class B (1990-98), and Falmouth girls in B and A (2008-present).

A native of Rockland, Madore grew up with football, basketball and baseball, and played baseball for one year at the University of Maine under Jack Butterfield. Tennis came later, as an adult. He began coaching in 2002 with the Waynflete girls’ team after retiring as a chemical engineer and switched to the boys in 2007.

“I don’t even know if we won half our (matches) that first year,” Madore said. “I was changing the whole system around and we had a lot of young kids. And then the next year we got (Brandon) Thompson.”

Thompson (2010) is one of the three Waynflete boys to win a singles state title under Madore. The others are Patrick Ordway (2011) and Isaac Salas (2015). Devin Van Dyke, who came in as a freshman in 2007 with Madore, said his old coach is even more effective with doubles players.

“A good coach can make a big difference in doubles,” said Van Dyke, who played at Haverford College in Pennsylvania and is in his first year of medical school. “He can turn kids who don’t have much formal teaching in tennis into pretty effective doubles players and … quickly.”

Van Dyke’s younger brother, John, a senior on this year’s team, played first doubles last spring.

“I was at pretty much every match of his, cheering him on,” John said. “It’s been great to kind of carry on Devin’s legacy and be part of the team. We definitely feel some pressure. This is the big 1-0, the big year. It would be a decade.”

Madore is a proponent of pressure and tries to incorporate aspects of competition into every practice. Take a drill he calls First Ball Cross Court.

“So if I feed you the ball, you’ve got to bring it back cross court,” Madore said. “There are several iterations of this. One would just be Play It Out. One would be a game we call Chess, which is really about when to change ball direction. We want them to change ball direction either on a short outside ball or an inside ball that they can handle and go the other way.”

Once the ball changes direction, the point doubles in value. Games are to five. A short ball (anything that lands inside the service line) loses a point for the striker and requires the receiver to come to net to finish the point. Unforced errors mean points for your opponent.

“You make a lot of games like this where you really put the pressure on them by the scoring system,” Madore said. “You want to keep them focused and concentrating. You want to keep it competitive and fun, but you also want to make it strategic.”

Madore rarely raises his voice and never loses his temper. His players call him Jeff but clearly maintain an appropriate level of respect.

“That’s helpful, to have him always calm,” said junior Jacob Greene. “If you’re kind of flustered in a match, he can calm you down and say, ‘Just start over, start fresh.’ ”

“I’ve seen him turn matches around with a few well-placed words,” Devin Van Dyke said. “He’d find where the holes are in the other guy’s game and you could turn it around from there.”

Madore also keeps practices fresh by bringing in alumni or competitive adults to hit with his players. Devin Van Dyke said he’s probably come back four different years to rally with those who came after him at the Fore River courts.

“It feels just as it did when I left,” Van Dyke said. “The kids know him and respect him, and he knows how to run these good, effective practices.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 Brandon Ameglio will be back as the No. 1 singles player for Waynflete, which continually benefits by the different drills that Coach Jeff Madore employs in practices.Wed, 19 Apr 2017 23:42:49 +0000
Tennis: Players to watch Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 GIRLS

Grace Campanella, Kennebunk freshman: Ranked 23rd in New England (second in Maine) among 16-and-under girls. She is the younger sister of singles state finalist Rosemary Campanella.

Rosemary Campanella, Wells senior: Reached the final of the state singles tournament as the fourth seed, winning by shutout each match until the championship. Compiled a 10-1 record in team play for the Kennebunk/Wells co-op team.

Liv Clifford, Cape Elizabeth senior: Reached quarterfinals of state singles tournament as eighth seed. Only losses all season were to singles tourney’s top five seeds. Led Cape Elizabeth to first its Class B title in nine years.

Lexi Epstein, Waynflete senior: Returns at No. 1 singles for Class C regional finalist. Seeded 11th in singles state tournament and reached Round of 16 before falling to No. 6 Megan Nathanson.

Izzy Evans, Greely junior: Returns from a year in Spain to reclaim No. 1 singles spot for Rangers. In 2015, reached quarters as No. 5 seed in state singles tournament and went 13-2 to lead team to Class B state title.

Katie Gilman, Cape Elizabeth senior: Reached Round of 16 in singles state tournament before falling to No. 2 Bethany Hammond. Went 13-2 in team play (losing only to Falmouth) to help Capers win Class B state title.

Kate Kelley, Falmouth senior: Unbeaten at No. 3 singles for nine-time state champ Falmouth, which enters season riding 141-match winning streak. Assumes No. 1 singles role of state’s dominant program.

Meredith Kelley, Falmouth freshman: Third among 16-and-under girls in Maine USTA rankings. Will open the season at No. 2 singles behind her older sister.

Lana Mavor, Yarmouth sophomore: Top seed in singles state tournament who withdrew in semifinals because of back injury. Did not drop a set in regular season. First in Maine and second in New England in 16-and-under USTA rankings.

Kathryn Pare, Greely senior: Only remaining member on both of Greely’s back-to-back state championship teams. Drops from No. 1 singles to No. 2. Reached Round of 32 in singles tourney before losing to No. 2 Bethany Hammond.


Brandon Ameglio, Waynflete senior: Returns at No. 1 singles for nine-time defending Class C state champs. Reached Round of 32 in singles state tourney a second straight year despite month-long illness last spring.

Conor Doane, Deering senior: Third year at No. 1 singles for Rams. Reached Round of 16 in the singles state tournament before falling to No. 4 Michael Mills. Led sixth-seeded Rams to Class A regional semifinals.

Nick Forester, Falmouth sophomore: Semifinalist and second seed in the singles tournament. Recovered from knee injury suffered in semifinal match after stepping on a ball, forcing withdrawal for season’s only loss.

Matthew Jarmusz, Morse senior: Returning quarterfinalist as 11th seed in singles state tournament, losing to No. 3 Dariy Vykhodtsev. Played No. 2 singles for Class B regional finalist.

Thomas Jarmusz, Morse senior: Returns at No. 1 singles for a Shipbuilders team that went 10-2 in the regular season. As fifth seed in state singles tournament, reached Round of 16.

Alex Klemperer, Falmouth junior: Returning quarterfinalist as eighth seed in singles tournament who moved up to No. 1 and led Falmouth to regional final. Only losses were to the two singles finalists, Nick Mathieu and Dariy Vyhkodtsev.

Peter Mao, Mt. Ararat junior: Returning quarterfinalist as the 10th seed in the state singles tournament who went 13-0 in team play to help the Eagles reach the Class A North quarterfinals.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat senior: Defending champion and three-time finalist of the state singles tournament. Ranked No. 3 in New England in men’s open division. Unbeaten in three years of team competition.

Matt Morse, Camden Hills senior: Returns at No. 1 singles for defending Class B state champion. Reached Round of 32 in singles state tournament before falling to eventual champion Mathieu.

Dariy Vykhodtsev, Thornton Academy sophomore: Reached final of state singles tournament and pushed Mathieu to three sets in championship match. Also led Thornton Academy to its first Class A state title, going 12-0 in team play.

– Glenn Jordan

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Wednesday’s high school roundup: Mt. Ararat rolls in softball Thu, 20 Apr 2017 02:14:30 +0000 WATERVILLE — Alana Weaver pitched to contact all afternoon Wednesday as Mt. Ararat posted a 12-3 victory against Messalonskee in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A softball opener at Colby College.

Weaver, staked to a 7-0 lead in the second inning, was more than happy to let her defense handle most of the chances. She scattered seven hits and collected five strikeouts.

“I’ve tried to always be as accurate as I can be, but I did have the team to back me up when (Messalonskee) did make contact,” Weaver said. “They were always there for me. It’s nice to have them.”

Weaver’s first pitch of the game was stung into left field by Alyssa Smith of Messalonskee, but Weaver retired the next nine. She closed the first inning with back-to-back strikeouts.

Mt. Ararat Coach Allen Graffam said Weaver has matured as a pitcher.

“She’s been doing that for a long time,” Graffam said. “She doesn’t get rattled; she doesn’t walk many people. If they hit it, we just have to make a play. We have a good defense.”

Lauren Patrie of Messalonskee walked 14 and was charged with three wild pitches. Over the first two innings, she walked seven and five scored.

Three more walks in the fourth led to two more Mt. Ararat runs.

Katelyn Cox (3 for 3, 3 RBI) delivered a two-run double in the second inning and Morgan Johnson’s drive to left field one-hopped the fence for another two-run double in the fourth.

“It was very frustrating,” said Messalonskee Coach Samantha Moore, who felt Patrie wasn’t getting calls on some pitches over the corners.

“It could be easy to blame the weather and blame the day, and blame it on the first game out, but we’ve put in a lot of work. I feel like there are no excuses at this point. We just need to focus on what we need to fix, and that’s what we’ll be working on.”

Belle Benner (2 for 4, 3 RBI) added a two-run single to right-center in the fifth that made it 11-2.

“Our bats have really been on fire this season so far, with the scrimmages and stuff,” Weaver said. “I think we kind of knew that this was going to be a good year for us. Last year we had a strong team and we only lost one senior off that team. We kind of felt like we could come out strong.”

Sarah Labbe’s RBI infield hit in the bottom of the fourth cut into a nine-run deficit, but Messalonskee was unable to turn baserunners into big rallies against Weaver.

Smith went 3 for 4 with a double out of the leadoff spot, but the heart of the order was unable to bring her around.

Weaver, who may have taken some lumps as an underclassman, was a big reason Messalonskee never got into a rhythm.

“I trust my defense completely,” Weaver said. “My pitches, I think I’ve just improved over the years. I had some downfalls but I think I’ve gotten over them.”

MEDOMAK VALLEY 9, OCEANSIDE 5: Gabrielle Depatsy struck out four in 61/3 innings, and also tripled and drove in a run as the Panthers won an opener in eight innings at Rockland.

Lydia Simmons added a pair of hits for Medomak. Alexis Mazurek went 3 for 3 and drove in three runs for the Mariners, and Lauren Hatch had two hits and two RBI.

Chloe Jones of Oceanside allowed six runs and struck out one.

POLAND 7, LAKE REGION 0: Amanda Gagne pitched a two-hit shutout as Poland won an opener at home.

The Knights totaled six runs over the first two innings, led by Sarah Walton, who hit two doubles and finished with three RBI.


OCEANSIDE 7, MEDOMAK VALLEY 4: Logan Sheridan carried a perfect game into the fifth inning and Michael Dougherty drove in two runs as the Mariners won an opener at Rockland.

Sheridan allowed one earned run on two hits, striking out five in five innings.

Jack Freeman added a pair of hits and drove in a run, and Hunter Davis and Conner Harvey each added RBI singles.

Brent Stewart took the loss, allowing three earned runs in five innings. Stewart also delivered an RBI single.

FALMOUTH 3, GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER 0: Cam Guarino struck out 14 in a three-hit shutout to lead the Yachtsmen in an opener at Gray.

Max Fortier drove in Colin Coyne on a fielder’s choice in the first inning to put Falmouth up 1-0. Griffin Aube extended the lead to 2-0 with an RBI single in the third, and Garrett Aube added a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

Robbie Armitage had two hits for the Yachtsmen, including a triple.

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Baseball: Bonny Eagle wins opener in nine innings Thu, 20 Apr 2017 01:18:43 +0000 SANFORD — It was, in many ways, a typical Maine high school baseball opener: chilly, windy, error-prone and very close.

Will Whyte scored on a bases-loaded throwing error with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday as Bonny Eagle beat Sanford 4-3 to open the Class A South season at Goodall Park.

The Scots twice rallied to tie the score, in the sixth and eighth innings, each time aided by a Sanford error.

“A game like that, when both teams battle back and forth, it’s nice to come out on top,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Rick Hession. “It means a lot, especially against a good Sanford team. To come out and not let mistakes turn into a loss was very important. We’ve still got a lot of room to improve.”

Each team made five errors and every run was unearned. But there also was outstanding pitching: Brad Bouchard of Sanford went six innings, allowing two runs and two hits, striking out two (on 93 pitches); and Kolby Lambert of Bonny Eagle went seven innings, allowing two runs and four hits, striking out eight (101 pitches).

Each team also made sterling defensive plays at times.

“It was a decent high school baseball game,” said Sanford Coach Mark Boissonneault. “If we would have made a few simple plays, take some mistakes out, the outcome could have been different. But we competed for nine innings and they just made one more play than we did.”

Whyte’s game-ending run capped three Bonny Eagle rallies in the final four innings.

Down 2-1 in the sixth, it tied the game when Lambert, who reached on an error, scored on a sacrifice fly by Cody Mains. The Scots threatened to end the game in the bottom of the seventh, but with two runners on, Sanford second baseman Ryan Connarton made a diving catch to his left to send the game to extra innings.

The Spartans took a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth. They loaded the bases with one out and Frankie Veino scored on an error. But Whyte made a terrific play on the next batter to limit Sanford to one run. Whyte caught a fly ball for the second out and then threw home – on the fly – to catcher Christian Napolitano to get the runner out at the plate for the third out.

“You’ve got to think that you’ve always got a shot to make it,” Whyte said of his throw.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” said Boissonneault, “and for a high school player to make those kind of throws … they’re not going to make them on every play. And he did.”

Bonny Eagle tied the game in the bottom of the eighth. Arlo Pike led off with a double and scored when Mains’ one-out single was bobbled in the outfield.

The Scots then won it in the bottom of the ninth.

With one out, they loaded the bases on a walk by Whyte, and singles by Brady Grass and Lambert. Whyte scored when Pike hit a grounder and the throw home was in the dirt, bouncing away.

“When it was coming in, I saw it in the dirt and then it dropped,” said Whyte. “This is my first varsity game. It was an awesome feeling to be able to win.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Whyte of Bonny Eagle crosses the plate with the winning run as Sanford catcher Nick Liston attempts to control the ball in the ninth inning.Thu, 20 Apr 2017 22:48:16 +0000
Scarborough hockey future may be in doubt Thu, 20 Apr 2017 00:18:33 +0000 Scarborough High is looking for a new boys’ hockey coach after the recent departure of Norm Gagne, the winningest coach in Maine history. But the search for a nearby ice rink may have greater urgency for the future of the school’s hockey programs.

“Until more rinks are built, it’s going to continue to be a struggle,” said Athletic Director Mike LeGage. “We’re in a situation where we have to ask, ‘Do we do this and try to make it work or do we not offer the sport of hockey?’ We’re really at that point.”

Last summer the Red Storm lost their rink – MHG Ice Arena in Saco – when ownership decided to convert the space into a multisport training facility. The boys’ and girls’ teams were forced to find a new home this winter at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, more than 40 miles away.

Instead of practicing after school, the teams had to take ice time at odd hours. Players didn’t get home until about 11 p.m. some weeknights. As a result, Scarborough ended up not having the numbers to field a boys’ junior varsity team.

“Getting home really late and not having as much time to do school work or hang out with friends – it kind of took away from our personal life and made it too much like a pro hockey team,” said junior goalie Brandon Wasser. “It was a lot of back-and-forth. It’s hard to stay focused and be ready for games when you’re just drained from the practices.”

Hope was on the horizon in 2015 when a nonprofit group, Friends of Scarborough Hockey, worked with the Town Council to use municipal-owned land near the high school for a privately financed $5.5 million arena. The project never left the planning stages and was dropped when the group couldn’t raise the money, lacking major donors.

“It’s tough on families and it’s tough on our community,” LeGage said, “but we want to continue to offer the sport of ice hockey.”

There has been interest again in building a rink in Scarborough. Chuck Bradish, president of Scarborough Boys Hockey Boosters, said hockey is a “strong community presence” in Scarborough and the energy to solve the problem is there.

“We need ice – that’s plain and simple,” Bradish said. “I’ve had meetings over the last week with individuals who are looking to pick up the ball where some of us left it. … People are talking to me but until I actually see an official group formed, it’s a conversation.”

For now, the Red Storm plan to practice and play games in Lewiston again next season. Because of the travel, Wasser said he’s unsure whether he’ll go out for the team.

Gagne said his decision to leave Scarborough for Edward Little was unrelated to the struggle to find ice time.

“This is where my career started so I figured it was time to do it,” Gagne said of returning to Edward Little, his alma mater. “I love Scarborough. It was a privilege to be able to coach there. I felt like I was leaving the program in good hands with a good staff.”

Scarborough was a power during Gagne’s eight seasons as coach, winning the Class A state championship in 2015. This winter marked the first time in five years that the Red Storm didn’t advance to the regional championship game, falling to Cheverus 4-3 in the Class A South semifinals.

Wasser said he and his teammates didn’t see Gagne’s departure coming.

“A lot of them were really surprised and kind of bummed,” he said.

“All the players had their end-of-year meeting and no one mentioned it. Next thing you know, he’s going back to his old high school.”

Bradish said Gagne will be missed.

“Obviously, you look at a coach like Norm and you wish he could be around forever,” Bradish said. “He has done wonderful things for the programs – everything from his coaching ability to his work with the booster board and also bringing on new talent.”

LeGage said he has no timetable for hiring a new coach. Gagne is an advocate for Jake Brown, whom he called his “right-hand man,” who served as his assistant coach for seven years.

“Everyone has a special kind of bond with him,” Wasser said of Brown. “The way he talks to us like he’s on the team – he’s a great guy.”

Bradish, whose son was a senior on the squad, echoed this praise of Brown.

“Jake Brown has been a strong second voice on the team – the kids have loved him,” Bradish said.

“I think if we didn’t have Jake, it would be more devastating. Don’t get me wrong, though – we’re going to miss Norm. We’re going to miss Norm a lot.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:33:44 +0000
Mt. Ararat’s Weaver stymies Messalonskee in KVAC softball Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:39:04 +0000 WATERVILLE — Pitching and defense, the tried and true idiom of diamond sports. For Mt. Ararat pitcher Alana Weaver, the second half of that equation holds the most significance.

The senior expertly pitched to contact all afternoon long, while her Messalonskee counterpart Lauren Patrie struggled with her control, as Mt. Ararat posted a convincing 12-3 win over Messalonskee at Colby College on Wednesday in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A softball opener for both teams.

Weaver, staked to a 7-0 lead through just an inning and a half, was more than happy to let the defense behind her handle the lion’s share of the chances in a game where she scattered seven hits and collected only five strikeouts.

“I’ve tried to always be as accurate as I can be, but I did have the team to back me up when (Messalonskee) did make contact,” Weaver said. “They were always there for me. It’s nice to have them.”

Weaver’s first pitch of the game was stung into left field off the bat of Messalonskee shortstop Alyssa Smith. It was not a sign of things to come, as Weaver retired the next nine in order.

She closed out the first inning with back-to-back strikeouts, but the next 10 outs Mt. Ararat recorded came via the able hands of its defense.

Mt. Ararat coach Allen Graffam said Weaver’s performance was a product of her maturing as a pitcher.

“She’s been doing that for a long time,” Graffam said. “She doesn’t get rattled, she doesn’t walk many people. If they hit it, we just have to make a play. We have a good defense.”

Patrie did not have the same success.

The junior hurler walked a total of 14 batters and was charged with three wild pitches. Over the course of the first two innings, Patrie walked seven batters — five of whom would come around to score as Mt. Ararat built its big early cushion.

Three more walks in the fourth inning led to two more Mt. Ararat runs. Senior shortstop Katelyn Cox (3 for 3, 3 RBIs) delivered a two-run double in the second inning, while junior first baseman Morgan Johnson’s drive to left field one-hopped the fence for another two-run double in the fourth.

“It was very frustrating,” said Messalonskee coach Samantha Moore, who felt Patrie wasn’t getting the benefit of the doubt on some pitches over the corners. “It could be easy to blame the weather and blame the day and blame it on the first game out, but we’ve put in a lot of work. I feel like there are no excuses at this point. We just need to focus on what we need to fix, and that’s what we’ll be working on.”

Belle Benner (2 for 4, 3 RBIs) delivered a crucial blow with a two-run single to right-center in the fifth that made it an 11-2 game.

“Our bats have really been on fire this season so far, with the scrimmages and stuff,” Weaver said. “I think we kind of knew that this was going to be a good year for us. Last year, we had a strong team and we only lost one senior off of that team. We kind of felt like we could come out strong.”

Sarah Labbe’s RBI infield hit in the bottom of the fourth cut into a nine-run deficit, but Messalonskee was unable to turn baserunners into big rallies against Weaver. To wit: Smith went 3 for 4 with a double out of the leadoff spot, but the heart of the Eagle order was unable to bring her around to score at any point in the contest.

Weaver, who may have taken some lumps as an underclassman, was certainly a big reason the Messalonskee lineup never got into a rhythm.

“I trust my defense completely,” Weaver said. “My pitches, I think I’ve just improved over the years. I had some downfalls, but I think I’ve gotten over them.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

]]> 0 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 16:39:04 +0000
Lobster Bowl moving to Thornton Academy Wed, 19 Apr 2017 19:17:08 +0000 This year’s Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic will be shifting to Thornton Academy in Saco.

A new site for the 28th annual all-star high school football game, set for July 15, had to be secured when Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field was closed last week after the bleachers were deemed unsafe.

Waterhouse Field had hosted the Lobster Bowl since 1992.

“It’s no big deal. We’re just going across the bridge,” said Rick Hersom, the vice president of the board of governors of the Lobster Bowl, which is sponsored by the Kora Shriners.

The move was finalized Wednesday after Hersom and the Lobster Bowl president, Brian Robbins, toured the facility with Thornton Athletic Director Gary Stevens.

“It’s just for one year now but it could be for more after our walk around,” Hersom said. “They’ve got a lot to offer us. They really offered a lot of great support for us.”

Hill Stadium hosted the first Lobster Bowl in 1990, won by the West, 24-12.

The 1991 game was played at the University of Maine. The event shifted to Waterhouse Field in 1992.

Hersom said Waterhouse was a great site because of the close proximity of the crowd to the playing surface.

But Hill Stadium at Thornton Academy offers plenty of safe seating, a high-quality artificial surface, good lighting and much more on-site parking.

The Lobster Bowl raises money for Shrine hospitals. Over $500,000 has been raised in the past 27 years. Each player is asked to raise a minimum of $500.

Hersom said this year’s fundraising is off to a good start. He said some players already have raised over $2,000.

“We’re hoping to have a big year,” Hersom said. “We’re planning on adding a parade and a Walk of Love where the (players) can use that as a fundraiser.”

Last year the East team won, 58-52. The 110 combined points shattered the previous record of 75.

The West has an 18-9 edge in the all-time series but the East has won three of the past four games.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 23:17:14 +0000
2017 Varsity Maine Awards Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:17:34 +0000 Winners will be announced at #VMEA17 on Tuesday May 2 at the Costello Sports Complex, University of Southern Maine, Gorham.

Finalists have been notified and a winner will be announced on stage May 2 at the 2017 Varsity Maine Awards. Check out the finalists below to see if your favorite athlete, coach or fan has been selected as a finalist.

The wow factor

It’s not easy juggling school, sports and life. This athlete has overcome hardship or adversity while maintaining a commitment to his or her team.
  • Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes, Vinalhaven
  • Victoria Garand, Deering
  • Logan Reardon, Central
  • Ruslan Reiter, Maranacook
  • Parker Wyatt, Falmouth

The academic ace

We’re looking for an athlete who excels in the classroom. Who is tops among his or her peers when it comes to academic excellence?
  • Madeline Beaulieu, Maine Girls’ Academy
  • Kate Guerin, Mt. Ararat
  • Matt Ingram, Winthrop
  • Hayden Sattler, Ellsworth
  • Ben Steeves, Bonny Eagle

The loudest and proudest

Talk about school pride: We’re looking for the No. 1 fan – whether it’s a parent, family member, student or booster who cheers on his or her team at home games and on the road.
  • Karen and Danny Baron, Ellsworth
  • Buzzell Family, Fryeburg Academy
  • MOB hockey fans
  • Stephanie Smith, Greater Portland Christian
  • Wayne and Jennifer Witham, Lawrence

The unsung hero

Not every kid is a star. Tell us about one whose behind-the-scenes contributions to a team have far greater value than what’s in the box score.
  • Kaylin Delaney, Fryeburg Academy
  • Lydia Henderson, South Portland
  • Bruce Hunter, Maranacook
  • Michelle Rowe, Gorham
  • Haley Thebarge, Showhegan

The coach of the year

The best coaches can’t be measured by victories alone. Which one has made the biggest impact on students while forging a winning tradition?
  • Steve DeAngelis, Maranacook
  • Heidi Deery, Rangeley
  • Kathy Leahy, Thornton Academy
  • Sandy Nelson, Vinalhaven
  • Chad Sturgis, A.R. Gould

The role model

Every team has one: We’re looking for an athlete who goes above and beyond to help younger team members succeed.
  • Kiara Carr, Temple
  • Ellie Chidsey, Waynflete
  • Ellie Clarke, Ellsworth
  • Grace Decker, Thornton Academy
  • Austin Dutremble, Biddeford

The fab freshman

Every team counts on newcomers. Which ninth-grader has made the biggest impact on a varsity squad?
  • Emma Gallant, Cheverus
  • Raegan Kelly, Noble
  • Simon McCormick, Cony
  • Hayden St. Amand, Waterville
  • Maggie Strohm, Old Orchard Beach

The clutch player

Who do you turn to down the stretch? This athlete is apt to come through when a big play is needed most.
  • Kayley Cimino, Greely
  • Cody Craig, Skowhegan
  • Jackson Fotter, Gorham
  • Abby Hamilton, Yarmouth
  • Tasia Titherington, Deering

The Better Neighbor

Balancing schoolwork and sports is no easy feat. But some students take it a step further by volunteering their efforts in their community. Tell us about them.
  • Sam Alvarado, Ellsworth
  • Nick Archambault, Portland
  • Alexandria Fraize, Fryeburg Academy
  • Emily Jefferds, Scarborough
  • Anna Lane, Massabesic

The team of the year

Which team – in any sport – has been the most impressive the past 12 months? Results are important, but no more than team chemistry and sportsmanship.
  • Gorham girls’ basketball
  • Thornton Academy boys’ tennis
  • St. Dominic girls’ hockey
  • Vinalhaven girls’ basketball
  • York field hockey


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]]>, ME - FEBRUARY 27: The Greely high school girls basketball team hoists the Class B State trophy into the student cheering section after their victory against Presque Isle high school during the Class B girls State Championship game at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, ME on Friday, February 27, 2015. (Photo by Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer)Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:58:30 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Five teams to watch Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:00:35 +0000 1. Falmouth: The Yachtsmen won Class B last year and return their top players. They play fast and have skilled performers all over the field, particularly up the middle. First-year coach David Barton believes senior Liam Tucker is the state’s best goalie, and close defender Brendan Hickey also is one of the best in Maine. The midfield is deep and versatile with tenacious sophomore LSM Riley Reed creating turnovers, scoring threats in 6-foot-5 Nick Farnham and Nate Arrants, and one of the top faceoff men in Spencer Pierce. Then comes one of the most dangerous attackmen in Bates-bound senior Jack Scribner (42 goals, 38 assists).

2. Scarborough: The 2016 Class A champs might be even stronger this year considering they return 9 of 10 starters, including Maine Sunday Telegram All-State picks senior attack Sam Neugebauer and junior LSM/D Reece Lagerquist. Neugebauer scored 63 goals and Lagerquist will play at Dartmouth. Dynamic three-year starter Cam Thibault is back to head the midfield and three-year starter Dominic Joy is a poised presence in goal. The experience continues with junior Marco Manfra helping to run the offense at attack, senior Eric Murray as a tough close defender and two-way sophomore midfielder/faceoff man Andrew Granzier.

3. Cape Elizabeth: The Capers have three of the top players in the state in senior twins Connor and Owen Thoreck and senior defender Ben Ekedahl and a slick sniper around the net in Tate Perkins. Cape, which was 13-1 last year, will have to replace three-year starting goalie Alex Narvaez (41-3 record) and will miss graduated R.J. Sarka in the midfield. Senior Sam Price will take over in the net after seeing some time as the backup the past three seasons. Junior Finn Raymond, who led the team in ground balls, and senior Jeb Boeschenstein are top returning midfielders who expect to become more involved offensively.

4. Gorham: The Rams advanced to the Class A South regional final and return their goalie, top defender and two top scorers from a 12-3 team. Carter Landry was the Telegram’s All-State choice at goalie last season and Mat Anderson has developed into a tough, competitive presence. Alex York and Cam Wright are both top-end scoring threats. York had 62 goals and 42 assists. Wright scored 36 goals and had nearly 100 points as well. Wright will move to the midfield, opening more scoring opportunities for junior catch-and-shoot attack Chris Tucker. Ryan Hamblen and LSM Sam Burghardt solidify the defense.

5. Brunswick: The Dragons have won three straight Class A regional titles and will once again be a slight favorite over the likes of a solid Cheverus team and improved Lewiston. In senior LSM Christian Glover the team has one of the most exciting, versatile players in the state. Younger brother Aiden Glover, a sophomore, was the team’s leading scorer last season. He and seniors Josh Dorr and Max Gramins lead a group of versatile short sticks who rotate between attack and midfield. Speedy Ben Palizay is a key contributor in the midfield and a defense led by Alek Grimes and Sullivan Boyd is developing.

– Steve Craig

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Boys’ lacrosse preview: Top players have far-reaching impact Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 FALMOUTH — Flashy scorers get the most attention in lacrosse, just like in many sports.

But this spring, a select group of defenders and long-stick midfielders are changing that dynamic in high school boys’ lacrosse in southern Maine.

Players such as Brendan Hickey at Falmouth, Ben Ekedahl at Cape Elizabeth, Reece Lagerquist at Scarborough and Christian Glover at Brunswick are drawing rave reviews from coaches.

“It’s definitely one of the best years for high-end defensive talent in a long time,” said Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep. “All four of those guys have the complete game. They can play defense and they are a threat in transition and certainly Christian can score.”

Boys’ lacrosse is a 10-player game with one goalie, three defenders, three midfielders and three attackmen. A team is allowed a maximum of four long poles on the field at one time – almost always a combination of three defenders and one long-stick midfielder. The long poles are 72 inches in length, compared with the 40-to-42-inch models used by the other five position players.

The longer pole gives defenders extra range to wall off a cutting attacker and obstruct shots and a longer reach in a ground-ball battle. But the increased length makes catching and throwing more difficult.

“You’ve just got to work on your stick skills when no one’s watching,” Hickey said.

If a team has a superior long-pole player, “they can dominate a game,” said Westbrook Coach Peter Lyons. “And they tend to be the best athletes on the team.”

Hickey, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior, is regarded as the best defender.

“He’s as close as you’re going to get to a true shut-down defensemen,” said Falmouth Coach David Barton.

Yarmouth Coach David Pearl adds, “I believe he’s the best player in the state.”

Hezlep agrees, no disrespect to his own player, Lagerquist, a senior who plans to play lacrosse at Dartmouth College.

“Hickey is just an absolute stud,” Hezlep said. “His technique is one of the best, if not the best, in the state and also physically he is just a grown man playing with a bunch of boys. In Maine you happen to see a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing attack. If they get matched up with Hickey it’s not going to end well.”

Other top long-pole players include Gorham senior Mat Anderson, Yarmouth senior Patrick Mallett and Falmouth sophomore Riley Reed. The first order of business for any player carrying a long pole is to defend his goal.

“I try to neutralize their better attackman generally,” Hickey said. “And if I can do that, I feel like I’m doing my job. Everything else I do is kind of extra.”

With the top scoring threat negated, the entire team defense becomes exponentially stronger.

“The biggest part of lacrosse is you need to be able to run by someone to make the defense help and if you can’t run by someone then it’s hard in a six-on-six situation to beat the defense,” Hezlep explained. “Usually in Maine the best player on a team is significantly better than every other person on that team. When you neutralize the best player, it makes playing offense very, very difficult.”

“The best way I can describe a shut-down defender is to call them a force multiplier,” said Camden Hills Coach Wade Ward, a former sergeant in the Marine Corps. “That term comes from my military time to explain the effect of a Marine Corps sniper. No one wants to stick their head up. A top defender, what they’re going to do is automatically shut down the other team’s best player and then they can help out the other guys and after awhile, no one wants to go down there. A top defender spreads fear.”

Christian Glover is the long-pole outlier because of his involvement in Brunswick’s offense.

Last season he routinely was the point man in man-up situations while using his long pole, his gloved fingers nimbly climbing up and down the pole to either lengthen or shorten the lever. Glover, a senior who will attend Phillips Exeter Academy for a post-graduate year, scored 28 goals with 13 assists last year.

“But all four of those guys, when they cross the midfield line, the other teams have to be worried about them,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond. “If teams don’t, then they’re going to run right by them and probably score a goal.

“That’s the added dimension of those guys.”

]]> 0 Coach David Pearl says he believes Falmouth defender Brendan Hickey, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior, is the best player in the state.Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:05:14 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: 15 players to watch Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Hank Duval, Waynflete junior, attack: Duval led the Flyers in scoring last season with 36 goals and 35 assists and teams with sophomore Miles Lipton (25 goals) to form a strong threat.

Ben Ekedahl, Cape Elizabeth senior, defense: Ekedahl is a returning Maine Sunday Telegram All-State player with the skills to be a shutdown defender and a dangerous threat in transition.

Christian Glover, Brunswick senior, LSM: A returning Telegram All-State and U.S. Lacrosse All-America pick, Glover has superb stick skills with his long pole and scored 28 goals with 13 assists.

Brendan Hickey, Falmouth junior, defense: Opposing coaches rave about Hickey’s combination of fundamental skills with his feet and stick, strength and speed that combine to neutralize top attackmen.

Bill Jacobs, Yarmouth senior, attack: A four-year starter for the Clippers, Jacobs has the quickness to get open and the hard shot needed to finish. He scored 44 goals with 28 assists last year.

Reece Lagerquist, Scarborough junior, LSM/defense: A returning Telegram All-State pick and a three-year starter, he is an imposing presence at 6-foot-5 with good ground-ball skills. He plans to play at Dartmouth.

Carter Landry, Gorham, senior goalie: A returning Telegram All-State selection, Landry had a .670 save percentage as Gorham made a surprise run to the Class A South final.

Wyatt LeBlanc, Thornton Academy junior, midfield: LeBlanc led the Golden Trojans in points with 12 goals and 21 assists and picked up 63 ground balls. He has above-average defensive skills.

Cooper Mehlhorn, South Portland sophomore, attack: Already among the top attackmen in the state, Mehlhorn will be looking to build on a 43-goal, 28-assist freshman season for the youthful Red Riots.

Sam Neugebauer, Scarborough senior, attack: Neugebauer led the Class A champs’ dynamic offense with 62 goals and 13 assists. He also picked up 42 ground balls and earned Telegram All-State honors.

Nate Richards, Deering senior, midfielder: A returning all-SMAA pick, Richards is a strong two-way player who scored 38 goals as a junior.

Jack Scribner, Falmouth, senior attack: A returning Telegram All-State pick, Scribner had 42 goals and 38 assists for the Class B champs and plans to play next season at Bates.

Connor Thoreck, Cape Elizabeth senior, midfielder: Despite missing time with an ankle injury, Thoreck scored 25 goals with nine assists. He has improved his shooting and is likely to draw long-stick defenders.

Owen Thoreck, Cape Elizabeth senior, attack: A returning All-America and Connor’s twin brother, Owen Thoreck scored 36 goals with 20 assists to lead Cape in scoring and has improved as a playmaker.

Alex York, Gorham senior, attack: York had 104 points as a junior (62 goals, 42 assists) to set a school single-season record and earn SMAA first-team honors. He and Cam Wright are among the state’s most dangerous duos.

– Steve Craig

]]> 0 Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:04:04 +0000
Girls’ lacrosse: 15 players to watch Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Luci Albers, Marshwood senior, midfield: A second-team SMAA pick, Albers helped the top-seeded Hawks advance to the Class A South regional final with 33 goals and 15 assists.

Gretchen Barbera, Yarmouth senior, defense: The Maine Sunday Telegram All-State selection boasts speed and good field sense, making her tough to get past. Barbera played a key role in helping the Clippers get to the Class B state title game.

Sydney Bell, Falmouth senior, midfield: A returning All-Telegram selection, Bell is a top goal scorer and playmaker who’s great on the draw. She had 71 goals and 27 assists last season for the Yachtsmen (12-2), leading them to the Class B South final.

Catherine Biegel, Bonny Eagle, senior: The first-team SMAA pick is speedy and tough, and she wins a high percentage of draw controls. Biegal had 27 goals and 11 assists for the Scots last season.

Jillian Brooks, Oceanside senior, midfield: Brooks and her twin sister, Kelsey, are both fast to the ball with solid stick skills – making the pair a strong unit at midfield.

Isabel Canning, Waynflete senior, midfield: Canning is a strong physical presence and a great transition player who can play end to end. She scored twice with five assists in the Flyers’ season-opening win over NYA.

Hannah Costin, Marshwood senior, attack: An All-Telegram and first-team SMAA choice, Costin is a dynamic two-way player who can score with ease and cause turnovers. She had 60 goals and 19 assists for the Class A South finalists.

Madison Drain, Massabesic junior, midfield: The first-team SMAA selection is always a reliable goal scorer. She scored four times for the Mustangs in their 7-6 Class A South regional final win over the defending state champion, Marshwood.

Gabby Fogg, Kennebunk senior, midfield: Fogg, along with fellow midfielder Hallie Schwartzman, can play anywhere on the field. She will likely become more of a scoring threat this season for the defending Class B state champions.

Mary Kate Gunville, Yarmouth senior, goalie: One of the best goalies in the Western Maine Conference, Gunville helped lead the Clippers to the state title game last year. A young squad will rely heavily on her leadership this spring.

Allie Lawlor, York senior, midfield: The four-year varsity starter contributes on both ends of the field. Lawlor led the Wildcats in all categories except assists last year with 26 goals, 36 ground balls, 32 caused turnovers/interceptions and 54 draw controls.

Peyton McKeown, Biddeford junior, midfield: McKeown led the Tigers in ground balls and turnovers last season, earning second-team SMAA honors as a sophomore. She controls the tempo of the game and is especially vital in transition.

Marran Oakman, Kennebunk senior, defense: Oakman found her niche on the field last year by taking charge and running Kennebunk’s backer defense. She excels at forcing turnovers and is a key player in the defending state champion’s transition game.

Devon Sarazin, Falmouth senior, attack: Along with Sydney Bell, Sarazin will serve as one of the Yachtsmen’s top scoring threats this season as they attempt to win their first state title.

Maddie York, Scarborough senior, defense: York missed last year after suffering a torn ACL, but now she’s healthy and ready to help the Red Storm bounce back from a 4-9 season. She has solid footwork, great field vision and the ability to shut down almost any player.


]]> 0 Mon, 17 Apr 2017 21:43:55 +0000
Girls’ lacrosse: 5 teams to watch Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 1. Falmouth: The Yachtsmen lost in the Class B regional title game the past two years – and they’re hungry for their first state championship. The team returns a talented core of sophomores in Kayla Sarazin, Caitlyn Camelio, Christina Oakes and Natalie Birkel as well as senior captains Devon Sarazin, Olivia Stucker and – most notably – Maine Sunday Telegram All-State midfielder Sydney Bell, who scored 71 goals with 27 assists last season.

2. Marshwood: Marshwood returns a trio of seniors – Hannah Costin, Luci Albers and Reagan Nichols – who helped lead the top-seeded Hawks back to the Class A regional final. They barely missed out on a second straight trip to the state championship, losing to Massabesic, 7-6. Costin, an attack, had 60 goals and 19 assists last season and midfielders Albers (33 goals, 15 assists) and Nichols (28 goals, 14 assists) also served as scoring threats for the Hawks.

3. Kennebunk: The defending Class B state champions graduated five four-year varsity players in Jenny Bush, Kyra Schwartzman, Olivia Sandford, Carly Sandler and goalkeeper Bella Kudas. Still, Kennebunk should not be underestimated. The Rams have retained most of their defense, and they had a strong JV squad ready to step up. Coach Annie Barker will count on defender Marran Oakman and versatile midfielders Gabby Fogg and Hallie Schwartzman to lead her team.

4. Massabesic: The Mustangs have advanced to three of the last four state finals and could get another shot this year after falling to Messalonskee, 7-6, in overtime of last season’s Class A championship. The Mustangs graduated three seniors, including Maquila Dimastrantonio – a key player in their offense, but they returned their core defense along with goalkeeper Lydia Wasina and most of their top scorers: Madison Drain, Morgan Pike and Emma Desrochers.

5. Yarmouth: The Clippers are a mix of veterans and youth, but – as always – they’re talented. They competed in the last four Class B state championships – two of which they won. Yarmouth graduated six players from last year’s team, but features seven seniors this spring. With All-Telegram defender Gretchen Barbara and goalkeeper Mary Kate Gunville backstopping the Clippers, they look poised to continue dominating the North.


]]> 0 Mon, 17 Apr 2017 21:38:45 +0000
Girls’ lacrosse preview: Falmouth poised to break through in Class B Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 FALMOUTH — Unfinished business.

That’s the motto of the Falmouth High girls’ lacrosse team this season.

“This is going to be our year,” said Falmouth senior Sydney Bell. “We have to make it our year. We want a state championship and we want to get to where we’ve never been before.”

For the past two years, Kennebunk has thwarted the Yachtsmen’s efforts to win their first state title by defeating them in the Class B South regional final. But with both two-time regional champions – Kennebunk and Yarmouth – graduating a lot of players, Falmouth is looking to go all the way.

“They’re hungry for it because we’ve knocked them out two years in a row,” said Kennebunk Coach Annie Barker. “Sydney Bell is the real deal. If (teams are) not prepared to stop her, they can win it all.”

Bell, a Maine Sunday Telegram All-State midfielder, had 71 goals and 27 assists last season. But the Rams found a way to shut her down in the regional final, which they won 8-3 before defeating Yarmouth 9-7 for their first state title. The year before that, Kennebunk beat Falmouth in the regional final 9-7, then lost to Yarmouth, 11-10.

This year, Kennebunk is young. After notching an undefeated season, the defending state champions graduated 11 seniors – including five four-year varsity players in attackers Jenny Bush, Kyra Schwartzman, Olivia Sandford, Carly Sandler and goalkeeper Bella Kudas.

“They see that those seniors are gone and think, ‘Oh, they’re going to be young and weak – they lost all their talent,” said Kennebunk senior defender Marran Oakman. “Little do they know we had a bench full of really great players.”

Falmouth Coach Kait Johnson isn’t fooled.

“Never underestimate Kennebunk,” Johnson said. “They graduated a lot of talented players, but they have just as many coming up.”

The Rams have a JV squad that hasn’t lost in years, and – so far – those players seem to be filling their predecessors’ big shoes. Kennebunk opened its season Saturday with a 17-1 victory over Fryeburg Academy.

Barker said she will count on Oakman, a defender Sydney Bell said will be hard to get past, along with versatile midfielders Gabby Fogg and Hallie Schwartzman to step into leadership roles for Kennebunk.

“When the superstars go away, it’s amazing how the kids step up and fill in,” Barker said. “Last year, we changed our philosophy to the more people we can have come off the bench to give everyone a rest, the better we’re going to be.”

The Yachtsmen were in a similar boat last season when they started four freshmen in the wake of graduating a large senior class. Now, they are returning a talented core of sophomores with varsity experience, including Kayla Sarazin, Caitlyn Camelio, Christina Oakes and Natalie Birkel.

“We just have to work on not getting too nervous – not getting in our own head,” Bell said. “It’s a big game, and you just think about it. You want in so badly that, sometimes, you psych yourself out.”

For Falmouth seniors such as Bell and Devon Sarazin, it’s now or never.

“I’m definitely ready to get back at them,” said Devon Sarazin, an attacker, of Kennebunk. “They’re definitely going to be a top team and a big rival, but I think we can take them this year.”

“We want to win for them,” said Kayla Sarazin, a sophomore midfielder for Falmouth as well as Devon’s younger sister. “It’s not necessarily pressure – it’s more of a will to win.”

While Kennebunk may have lost a lot of players, they also have shed the burden of expectations.

“In previous years, we’ve had a lot of external pressure on us,” said Hallie Schwartzman, a junior who scored four goals in the Rams’ opener. “Kennebunk has a reputation for being a well-rounded, strong team everywhere. We’re hoping to be just as talented as we have been in years past without the extreme pressure.”

“It’s nice to surprise people,” Gabby Fogg added.

But Yarmouth Coach Dorothy Holt said she wouldn’t be particularly surprised to see the two Class B South rivals face off again for a spot in the state final.

“You’ll see Falmouth and Kennebunk on that side of the bracket for sure. That’s going to be a big matchup,” Holt said. “I think you’ll see everybody getting better and better, each team is getting strong.”

The Clippers have dominated the other side of the bracket for the last four years, winning four Class B North titles and two state championships since 2013. After graduating six players, Yarmouth will count on All-Telegram defender Gretchen Barbera and goalkeeper Mary Kate Gunville, both seniors, to help the team get back to the big stage.

“We’re young, but we kept some seasoned players in some key positions,” Holt said. “We’ll try to make a run for it.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 defending Class B state champion Kennebunk Rams are expected to battle Falmouth for a spot in the title game this spring.Mon, 17 Apr 2017 23:27:31 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Scarborough takes down Gorham Sun, 16 Apr 2017 00:30:41 +0000 GORHAM — A year ago, Scarborough dropped an overtime battle against Gorham to open the boys’ lacrosse season. Sam Neugebauer made sure the Red Storm would start 2017 with a better result.

The senior attack used a relentless offensive showing to lead the defending Class A state champions to a 15-9 win on the turf field at the University of Southern Maine on Saturday afternoon.

“The toughest part about him is he’s just non-stop,” Gorham Coach Dan Soule said of Neugebauer. “His motor never stops. He shoots in some tough situation where most guys aren’t able to shoot from. He can be played well one-on-one and still manages to get shots off. He’s good at what he does.”

Neugebauer, a four-year starter, was an offensive dynamo throughout as he racked up seven goals despite being the main focus of the Rams’ defense.

“When he’s on, he’s tough,” said Scarborough Coach Joe Hezlep. “(Gorham goalie) Carter Landry is absolutely one of the best goalies in the state and he was all over Sam today. I think out of Sam’s seven goals, four of them he got a piece of and three had direct contact and bounced into the short side of the net. Carter was all over it, but when Sam is getting the ball to the net he can make a coach look very smart.”

“Sometimes it’s luck,” said Neugebauer, “and sometimes you just shoot it and score. Today was a lucky day for me. Carter had a good game, so I’ll take some of those bounces.”

Marco Manfra chipped in with three goals, and Scarborough also got goals from Mason Parks, Marc Guerette, Cam Thibault and Andrew Granzier.

Dom Lorello, Alex York and Brady Rioux each scored twice in defeat, while Chris Tucker, Cam Wright and Jake Dupuis added a goal apiece.

Scarborough keeper Dominic Joy anchored the defensive effort.

“He tells us what to do and where to be,” said Neugebauer. “He’s a captain for a reason, and his role back there is huge.”

“In the first quarter, we were unorganized and unsure of where we were going,” said Hezlep. “We were really able to clean that up because of our goalie. He quarterbacked things there and helped get us under control, because he really understands who should be the first help guy, who should be the second help guy. If we were to get beat, we would know where the help was coming from, and that really slowed down some of their opportunities.”

The Red Storm, who beat Gorham in last year’s Class A South final, jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and carried a 9-6 advantage into the halftime break. They settled in after halftime, opening up a 15-7 lead.

“We knew this was our first game and we just wanted to come in ready,” said Neugebauer. “During practices, we’ve definitely picked up the pace, and we kind of rode that momentum into today and were feeling strong.

“Last (year’s opener) was kind of a shot in the chest, but today we feel great. This is a heck of a win for us.”

Correction: This story was updated at 6:39 p.m. Monday April 17, 2017 to correct the name of the Scarborough keeper.

]]> 0's Marc Guerette passes the ball to a teammate as Mat Anderson, front, of Gorham defends during their boys' lacrosse season opener Saturday at the University of Southern Maine. Guerette was one of seven goal scorers for the Red Storm in a 15-9 victory.Mon, 17 Apr 2017 18:41:38 +0000
High school baseball: It’s not so easy to repeat as champs in Class A South Fri, 14 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 FALMOUTH — The ping of the baseball off the bat is heard repeatedly in the batting cage in Falmouth High’s gymnasium. Potential outfielders practice catching fly balls in another corner of the gym.

While snow still covered baseball diamonds across the region until recently, the Yachtsmen worked hard inside. After all, they have a title to defend.

Falmouth won the Class A South baseball championship a year ago, and while the Yachtsmen missed out on the title they wanted most – they lost to Bangor 5-0 in the state final – it’s one they’re working hard to win again.

“We want to have fun, but it’s all business from here on,” said senior shortstop Robbie Armitage. “We have six (or) seven seniors and we all want to win. We came close. But we’ve never (won) that Gold Glove. We really want to bring it home.”

Falmouth looks like the favorite in Class A South once again. The Yachtsmen return three starting pitchers – lefties Cam Guarino (an All-State selection who went 10-0 with a 0.52 ERA) and Reece Armitage (7-1, 0.83 ERA, 65 strikeouts in 441/3 innings) and right-hander Max Fortier (2-0, 0.42 ERA) – as well as two outstanding middle infielders in Robbie Armitage and second baseman Colin Coyne – and an experienced catcher in junior Garrett Aube. And they’re hungry.

“Our focus is on the one loss we had in that key game,” said Coach Kevin Winship. “It left a sour taste in the kids’ mouths. They’re fired up to get back to where we were last year.”

It’s not going to be easy. No team has repeated as regional champion in southern Maine’s Class A division since 2009, when Deering won its third consecutive state championship. Since then, seven other schools have won the regional championship.

That doesn’t surprise anyone in Class A South, which is comprised of the Southwestern Maine Activities Association plus two Western Maine Conference teams: Falmouth and Kennebunk.

“Baseball is the hardest sport to repeat in and be consistent because of the way the game is and pitching,” said South Portland’s Mike Owens, whose Red Riots have played in the last two regional finals. “You can have a great approach and run into a hot pitcher or hit balls right at guys. It’s a funny game. It’s hard.”

SMAA coaches proudly talk of their league’s parity. Where once you had a dominant team like Deering, said Marshwood’s Eric Fernandes, “There’s about 10 teams who are going to have something to say about it.”

“I don’t care who you play in the SMAA, you’ve got to bring it,” said Scarborough Coach Mike D’Andrea, who coached those dominant Deering teams.

Greg Paradis, returning to coach at Thornton Academy for just this season after a seven-year absence, sees a different game now.

“The difference in the amount of kids playing year-round is astounding,” said Paradis. “When I was here before, I thought we had a good group of baseball players. But they also played hockey, football, basketball. Now, you see it more and more with baseball and softball, they play year-round. It raises the level of play and you get better competition.”

D’Andrea and others point to the lack of a dominant pitcher. “Historically, in the past, you would have one guy striking out 14 to 16 in a game,” he said. “You haven’t seen that in a while.”

Teams put the ball in play more often, and that puts the onus on defense. That’s why Falmouth is confident. The Yachtsmen are traditionally strong defensively.

“We do the same stuff every day,” said Guarino. “Bunt defense all the time … We practice the routine stuff and we get the job done.”

But in baseball, even that’s not always enough.

“If the ball bounces the wrong way, it can change the outcome of a game,” said Deering Coach Josh Stowell. “Baseball is just one of those games where, literally, anyone can win on any given day.”

They know that all too well in Class A South.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH



Since Deering won three consecutive Class A baseball state championships from 2007-09, no team from Class A South has won back-to-back regional titles. In fact, only two of the last seven champions have advanced to the regional final the following year. Here’s a look at how Class A South champs have fared the next year:

2009: Deering (lost to Westbrook, 7-6, in regional semifinal in 2010)

2010: Biddeford (lost to Westbrook, 5-1, in regional quarterfinal in 2011)

2011: Cheverus* (lost to Scarborough, 7-5, in regional final in 2012)

2012: Scarborough (lost to Portland, 5-4, in regional quarterfinal in 2013)

2013: Westbrook* (lost to Falmouth, 6-0, in regional quarterfinal in 2014)

2014: Windham (lost to Marshwood, 13-1, in regional quarterfinal in 2015)

2015: South Portland (lost to Falmouth, 4-2, in regional final in 2016)

2016: Falmouth

* Won the Class A state championship

]]> 0 took its turn at the top in 2013 – becoming one of the eight different schools in Class A South that have won a regional baseball title in the last eight years.Thu, 13 Apr 2017 23:35:58 +0000
10 teams to watch Fri, 14 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 1. Falmouth: The defending Class A South champs are favored to repeat. The Yachtsmen return all of their pitchers and several of the best players in southern Maine. Start with the pitching, where lefties Cam Guarino (10-0, 0.52 ERA) and Reece Armitage (7-1, 0.78) and right-hander Max Fortier (2-0, 0.42) return. Robbie Armitage (.464 batting average) is back at shortstop, with Colin Coyne at second and junior Garrett Aube at catcher. The Yachtsmen are fueled by last year’s loss in the state title game – their only loss of the season. “It left a sour taste in the kids’ mouths,” said Coach Kevin Winship. “They’re fired up to get back to where we were last year.”

2. Cheverus: The Stags, who lost in the preliminary round last year, have the pitching depth to go deep into the playoffs. Coach Mac McKew feels he has “eight different guys” that he can put on the mound and be effective, and there aren’t many teams who can match that. The top two will likely be seniors Jared Brooks, who is Stonehill College-bound, and Jack Casale, who had a 1.52 ERA and 2-2 record last year. Brooks hit .341 and Casale hit .396. Logan McCarthy is a four-year starter at catcher with a good bat (.283. 13 RBI), and senior Griffin Watson is a solid defensive shortstop and leadoff batter (.286). “We’re looking forward to getting back and seeing how far we can take it,” said McKew.

3. South Portland: The Red Riots have been to the last two regional championship games and could be right there again in Class A South, even though they graduated 12 seniors from a 16-3 team. Why? Well, they return senior outfielder Sam Troiano, last year’s SMAA most valuable player who hit .439, scored a league-high 20 runs and went 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA on the mound. Junior Riley Hasson, a second-team all-SMAA outfielder, will move to shortstop. There’s also power-hitting third baseman/pitcher Zach Johnson (moving in from right field) and sophomore catcher Caden Horton, who will hit in the middle of the order. The Riots also had success in American Legion and Junior League play last summer.

4. Cape Elizabeth: The Capers have finished first in the regular season in Class B South the past two seasons, advancing to the regional final both years. Coach Andrew Wood believes his team can play at the same level again despite graduating five senior starters. Cape returns junior catcher Brendan Tinsman (3 HRs each of the past two seasons), who has verbally committed to Wake Forest. Cape also brings back two experienced senior starters in Marshall Peterson (46 innings, 4 BB, 40 K) and Patrick Macdonald. Finn Bowe is an above-average defensive shortstop, and Brett MacAlister, who missed last season with an injury, is back as a power-hitting senior outfielder.

5. Deering: The Rams are another team loaded with pitching. “Pretty much all the innings from last year are coming back,” said Coach Josh Stowell. That’s important in Year 1 of the pitch count. The top three will be seniors Colby Dame (an SMAA honorable mention pick), James Sinclair and Riley Bartell. Juniors Jack Lynch (catcher/infield) and Luc Harrison (outfield) will contribute, as will sophomore Luke Hill, who can play several positions. Hill and lefty Joe Pelletier will add to the pitching depth.

6. Thornton Academy: The Trojans, with Greg Paradis back as the head coach for this season only, could be a handful. They have two Division I prospects – UMaine-bound first baseman Evan Balzano (.426, 15 RBI) and Wagner-bound catcher Brandon Hall (.380, all-SMAA defensive catcher) – to pace a potentially strong hitting team. Their entire infield returns, with senior Chase Wescott at second, sophomore Luke Chessie (SMAA honorable mention) at shortstop and junior Brogan Searle-Belanger (.417) at third.

7. Greely: On paper, the Rangers have some holes to fill with the graduation of six regulars. But the other Western Maine Conference Class B and C coaches aren’t expecting a significant drop-off. “They have about six varsity lineups and I’m only slightly exaggerating,” said Wells Coach Todd Day. Plus, Greely returns hard-throwing Ryan Twitchell, who was 6-0 with two saves and struck out 1.5 batters per inning. He’ll be throwing to three-year starter Dylan Fried behind the plate. Luke Miller also returns and can play in the infield or outfield.

8. York: The Wildcats are another team with an above-average No. 1 starter in 6-foot-6 Trevor LaBonte, a power pitcher who has developed into a good first baseman. York also returns all-conference players in junior third baseman Timmy MacDonald and four-year starting center fielder Chris Nielson. How far the team goes could be determined by the development of Andrew Rodrigues as the No. 2 starter and first-year catcher Dawson Gundlah. Pete Bouchard is another experienced hitter who can play multiple positions.

9. Oceanside: The Mariners (13-5 in Class B North last season) won’t have a top-end ace after the graduation of Nick Mazurek, who is playing at Southern New Hampshire University. But they do have three experienced pitchers in juniors Jack Freeman, Logan Sheridan and Michael Dougherty and seven players who saw significant action last season. Coach Don Shields has high expectations for junior Titus Kaewthong, who will take over behind the plate and bat third. Michael Norton Jr., brings good speed and athleticism to center field.

10. Old Orchard Beach: The Seagulls (8-9) could be a serious threat in Class C. Coach Tom Lachance said it’s the most talented top 15 players he’s had. Seniors Thomas Fregeau in center and Evan O’Donnell behind the plate are four-years starters. Classmates Dylan Creswell (2B/P), Jonathan Gillis (LF), and Joey McCullum (SS) are proven players. Junior Matt Hurley is a strong, left-handed pitcher who can also hit and should lead a deep pitching staff.

— Mike Lowe and Steve Craig

]]> 0 Thu, 13 Apr 2017 20:58:01 +0000
25 players to watch Fri, 14 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Reese Armitage, Falmouth senior, outfielder/pitcher: Batted .344 for the Class A South champs and was 7-1 with 65 strikeoutss in 44 innings and a 0.78 ERA. He has accepted a scholarship to play at Division I Marist.

Robbie Armitage, Falmouth senior, shortstop: Batted .464 with seven doubles, two home runs, 23 runs scored and 22 RBI. He will join his brother, Reece, at Marist.

Evan Balzano, Thornton Academy senior, first base: The UMaine-bound Balzano was a first-team all-SMAA choice last year when he hit .426 with two home runs, 15 RBI and 13 runs scored.

Liam Bell, Wells junior, shortstop: Took over the starting shortstop job midway through his freshman season and has become the glue of his team. He has good range, hit over .400 as a sophomore and rarely strikes out.

Jared Brooks, Cheverus senior, pitcher/first base: Bound for Stonehill, Brooks hit .341 last year, was second on the team in RBI and played errorless ball. He is expected to pitch more this year.

Brandon Burnell, Sacopee Valley senior, pitcher/shortstop: Burnell was a dependable starter, going 7-1 with two playoff wins in the Hawks’ run to the Class C state championship.

Tim Carion, Scarborough senior, center field: One of the top returning hitters for the Red Storm, Carion is a strong defensive player in the outfield.

Jack Casale, Cheverus senior, pitcher/utility: Batted .396 last year and had a 1.52 ERA. He was a first-team all-SMAA selection.

Colby Dame, Deering senior, pitcher/first baseman: The lefty had a strong junior season with three wins, a save and a 2.01 ERA. Opposing batters hit just .224.

Thomas Fregeau, Old Orchard Beach senior, outfielder: A four-year starter and two-time WMC all-star, Fregeau batted .395 with 15 RBI and 15 runs.

Zach Grant, Brunswick junior, second base/pitcher: Grant had a strong sophomore season for the Dragons, hitting .295, playing good defense in the middle of the infield and showing poise as a pitcher.

Cam Guarino, Falmouth senior, pitcher/outfielder: An all-state selection last year, the left-handed Guarino helped the Yachtsmen win the Class A South title by going 10-0 with a 0.52 ERA. He is bound for the University of New Haven.

Brandon Hall, Thornton Academy senior, catcher: Bound for Division I Wagner, Hall was an all-SMAA defensive catcher last year while hitting .380 with 11 runs and eight RBI.

Jake Knop, Portland senior, shortstop: Bound for Manhattan University, Knop was a first-team all-SMAA choice when he batted .389 with five triples and six doubles. He’s an exceptional fielder as well.

Trevor LaBonte, York senior, pitcher: Hard thrower who will be the Wildcats’ ace, he’s worked on his hitting and is also a good first baseman.

Timmy MacDonald, York junior, third baseman: A returning Western Maine Conference all-star, MacDonald will bat third for the Wildcats, who were 11-6 last season.

Ben Nelson, Gorham junior, shortstop: Led the SMAA last year with a .442 batting average from the leadoff spot and also scored 17 runs. He’ll also be used as a pitcher.

Marshall Peterson, Cape Elizabeth senior, pitcher/first baseman: Returns as the Capers’ No. 1 starter after striking out 40 and walking only four in 46 innings as a junior.

Arlo Pike, Bonny Eagle junior, utility: Pike can play anywhere on the field for the Scots. He was a second-team all-SMAA pick last year, when he led the Scots with 11 RBI.

Trevor Salema, Traip Academy senior, pitcher/outfielder: One of three returning starting pitchers for the Rangers, Salema was 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA, allowing 33 hits in 391/3 innings. He also batted .319 with 12 runs and 11 stolen bases.

Brendan Tinsman, Cape Elizabeth junior, catcher: Verbally committed to play at Wake Forest, Tinsman has a strong arm that shuts down opposing running games, and he can hit for power. He has helped the Capers advance to two straight Class B South finals.

Sam Troiano, South Portland senior, outfielder: The SMAA most valuable player and an all-state selection as a junior, he hit .439 with 12 RBI, 20 runs and 13 stolen bases. He was also 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 271/3 innings.

Ryan Twitchell, Greely senior, pitcher: A Maine Sunday Telegram All-State pick in 2016, Twitchell is coming off a season in which he went 6-0 with two saves with a 0.62 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 45 innings. He has signed to play at the University of Rhode Island.

Colby Wagner, Freeport junior, catcher: A key component to the Falcons’ Class B South title team, Wagner hit .417 with eight extra-base hits, including three home runs, while driving in 18 runs.

Justin Wiggins, Kennebunk senior, pitcher: Crafty on the mound, Wiggins had a 3-3 record last year with a 2.90 ERA. Spots the ball well and keeps batters off-balance.

— Mike Lowe and Steve Craig

]]> 0 Thu, 13 Apr 2017 21:04:59 +0000
Thursday’s high school roundup: NYA wins boys’ lacrosse opener Fri, 14 Apr 2017 03:01:09 +0000 YARMOUTH — Brent Rickett scored the tie-breaking goal with just under four minutes left in regulation, sending a low shot into the cage for his fourth goal of the game as North Yarmouth Academy opened its season with an 11-10 win over Yarmouth on Thursday.

Sam Johnson added three goals for NYA and Jeremy Thelven had two.

LEWISTON 13, MESSALONSKEE 7: The Blue Devils scored six unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to beat the Eagles in Lewiston.


YARMOUTH 16, FRYEBURG ACADEMY 1: Eva Then had five goals and two assists and the Clippers jumped out to a 10-0 halftime lead in a win over the Raiders in Yarmouth.

Eliza Lunt had two goals and three assists, while Katie Waeldner and Meredith Lane each added two goals for Yarmouth.

Bridget Tweedie scored for Fryeburg.

YORK 15, FREEPORT 7: Alexandra Lawlor had five goals and three assists and Cassandra Reinertson added four goals and two assists as the Wildcats pulled away from the Falcons in York.

Martha McCaddin and Emma Ford each contributed three goals for York, which led 7-5 at halftime.

Chloe Davidson and Paige Rinaldi scored two goals apiece for Freeport.

WAYNFLETE 16, NORTH YARMOUTH ACADEMY 2: Izzy Burdick scored four times and set up two goals to lead Waynflete past NYA in Yarmouth.

Isabel Canning and L.Z. Olney each added two goals, with Canning assisting on five and Olney setting up four.

NYA grabbed an early 2-1 lead on goals by Hannah Twombly and Maggie Larson, but Waynflete built a 10-2 advantage by halftime.

GREELY 9, ST. DOMINIC 8: Katherine Leggat-Barr netted four goals and assisted on a fifth to lead the Rangers to a season-opening win in Auburn.

Jayme Morrison added two goals, and Courtney Sullivan and Jen Spencer each recorded a goal and two assists.

Caroline Gastonguay provided the bulk of the St. Dom’s offense with seven goals.


YORK 10, KENNEBUNK 4: Timothy MacDonald had two hits, including an RBI double, and the Wildcats scored four runs in the top of the sixth to pull away from the Rams in Kennebunk.

MacDonald’s double tied the game at 2-2 in the third inning, and York scored twice in both the fourth and fifth innings to take a 6-2 lead.

Kennebunk answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth, but Dawson Gundlah’s two-run single highlighted York’s sixth-inning outburst.

Trevor LaBonte picked up the win, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out 10 in five innings.

]]> 0 Thu, 13 Apr 2017 23:03:20 +0000
Boys’ lacrosse: Falmouth opens season with a 27-1 win Fri, 14 Apr 2017 02:29:21 +0000 FALMOUTH — Falmouth began defense of its Class B boys’ lacrosse state championship by running away with a 27-1 win over York in a Western Maine Conference game Thursday night.

It was opening day for Maine’s spring high school teams, though some teams won’t officially begin their seasons for another week or so. The Yachtsmen got an early start, though, and showed they may be ready to make another title run.

“We come into every game with the same mentality,” said senior attackman Jack Scribner, who led the Yachtsmen with five goals and two assists. “We respect all of our opponents, but we play fast. We play our game.”

Falmouth returns several key players from last season’s championship team.

“We’ve got some older guys and we’ve got some younger guys, and the older guys are definitely leading the way,” Scribner said. “Like I said, we respect every team, but we come and play as hard as we can.”

It was the first win at Falmouth for Coach Dave Barton, who took over for Mike Lebel after spending one season at Edward Little. Lebel’s contract wasn’t renewed after the Yachtsmen won their third state championship during his 10 seasons.

“I’m involved with a lot of youth lacrosse around here and I work for a group called LaxPros, and most of the Falmouth guys have participated in that program,” said Barton, a 2012 graduate of the University of Vermont who teaches fifth- and sixth-grade students in Auburn. “I came into this knowing I knew 90 percent of (the players on) the roster. We hit the ground running, and this group is ready for that.”

Reilly Tucker, who had two assists, and Nate Arrants each scored four goals. Devin Russell contributed three goals and three assists, and Lou Mainella had three goals and one assist.

Falmouth also got two goals apiece from Tom Fitzgerald (who also had an assist), Henry Farnham and Jacob Preston. George Fitzgerald and Kristian Valle were the other goal scorers, and Lyendae St. Louis had an assist.

The Yachtsmen held a 21-0 lead at the end of the first half. They connected on 21 of 28 shots in the first 24 minutes and held a 22-3 edge in center draws.

The second half was played with a running clock, which occurs in high school lacrosse if one team has a 12-goal lead in the second half.

James Boksanski, a junior middie, broke up the shutout when he picked up a loose ball and put in a shot from 10 yards with 6:40 remaining.

It was a tough way for the Wildcats to open the season, but York Coach Garrett McLean tried to find some positives.

“We did get better in the second half,” he said. “I (told) the guys we’ve got to treat it as a new half, we’ve got to change the mentality we came out with and we’ve got to get better, and they did. The scoreboard, unfortunately, didn’t reflect that, but it’s great to come out and take one on the chin. It’s really going to define our season the way we come back from this.”

]]> 0, ME - APRIL 13: York at Falmouth boys lacrosse season opener. Falmouth's # 29, Riley Reed, chases down a loose ball. (Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer)Thu, 13 Apr 2017 22:39:48 +0000
Softball: For Biddeford’s Brook Davis, hitting is just part of the fun in playing Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 BIDDEFORD — Last June in the Class A South softball championship game, Biddeford High gave up five runs to nemesis Scarborough in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game at 7.

But the Tigers scored twice in the top of the seventh to win the game, 9-7, and the regional title, en route to the school’s second Class A state championship.

And Alex Chase knows why. In looking back at that game recently, she nodded to Brook Davis, the standout junior catcher on the Tigers.

“Other than the coaches, she was the sole player in that one inning who was on us about staying up and staying positive,” said Chase, a senior first baseman. “I think we won that game because of her. I don’t think we come back without her.”

Davis, standing three feet away, appreciated Chase’s comment. But to her, that was simply a moment to embrace.

“This game, softball, I’ve played it for a long time,” she said. “It is so much fun for me. I don’t get nervous. I go up to the plate thinking I’m going to have so much fun, I’m going to hit, I’m going to help my team out. I don’t get too, too nervous out there.”

It shows. Davis has become one of the state’s most feared hitters. In two years, she has 18 home runs (11 last year), 67 RBI and 63 runs scored. She hit .577 as a freshman and .633 as a sophomore.

The question this year – with only three starters returning for Biddeford – is whether anyone will actually pitch to her.

“Last year you had to (pitch to Davis) because they had some really good hitters around her,” said Rick Melanson, the coach at Noble. “I don’t know what will happen this year. You can’t give her anything good to hit. If you’re lucky, you get her up with nobody on (base) and pitch around her.”

Mike Bailey, the coach at Sanford, said his pitchers will be very selective with Davis.

“The thing is, when you’ve got a great hitter like Brook you can’t make any mistakes,” he said. “Even if you think it’s a pitch on the higher side she’ll go up and get it and it’s gone 200 feet the other way. She is a game changer.”

Mike Fecteau, the Tigers’ first-year head coach, knows this. In fact, he joked in preseason that he just might bat her leadoff. “If they want to walk her, we’ll start each game with a runner on first,” he said.

“I hope they pitch to me,” said Davis. “But I’ve experienced being walked in the past. I’ll take a walk for my team. And hopefully my team can hit me around and I’ll come around to score. It’s got to be a group thing.”

The Tigers will be led by Davis and seniors Alex Chase, Amber Magnant and Aibhlin O’Connor, all of whom contributed to last year’s championship run. Their job is to make sure the young players stepping in understand what it takes to not just play at the varsity level, but defend a championship.

“We need to show them what it means to work hard, like we did,” said Chase. ” You put in the work and something good happens.”

Magnant, an outfielder who will also pitch, said they’ve also got to welcome the young players to the team.

“We need to communicate and make sure everyone feels like they’re part of the team and had a part in playing the game,” she said.

And no one, said both Chase and Magnant, can do that better than Davis.

“Brook holds the infield and outfield together,” said Magnant. “She’s the one person you can trust to go talk to if you make a mistake, if you don’t get a grounder. You can talk to Brook and she’ll say, ‘Calm down, keep going.’ Brook is someone that picks us all up. No matter who you are she’ll always pick you up and give you the confidence you need.”

Case added, “She 100 percent knows how to communicate with everybody. I’ve never seen her get down on herself. When she’s in a game mode I know that she’s going to contribute, she’s going to make her plays.”

Davis takes her position seriously. In addition to Magnant, she’ll be handling a couple of inexperienced pitchers: junior Katie Stewart and sophomore Lexi Matteau. So Davis visited a session with their pitching coach. She wanted to watch them throw.

“I listen to them, try to learn from a pitcher’s standpoint as well as being a catcher,” said Davis.

“I think it makes me a better catcher. If the pitcher doesn’t know what’s going on I can point out that maybe their hands need to come down or their stride is off.”

She’s looking forward to their development and the challenge facing the Tigers.

“We have a lot to prove,” she said. “Being state champions we’ve got to live up to that. We’ve got to stay competitive, we’ve got to stay tough. Go through it, keep going, keep hitting, don’t stop.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 junior catcher Brook Davis hit .577 as a freshman and .673 as a sophomore. So what's next? "If you're lucky, you get her up with nobody on (base) and pitch around her," says Noble Coach Rick Melanson.Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:02:55 +0000
10 teams to Watch Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 1. Scarborough: Tom Griffin calls this one of the deepest teams he’s ever had, which is saying a lot considering Scarborough is loaded every year. The Red Storm have to replace their entire infield, but return all three pitchers from last year (UMaine-bound Lilly Volk, Saint Anselm-bound Abbie Murrell and junior Chloe Griffin) as well as catcher Hannah Ricker, who hit .516 and didn’t commit an error. Shortstop Laura Powell and outfielder Lindsey Kelley head a strong junior class that will keep Scarborough atop the field. And they can all hit.

2. Windham: Expectations are high for the Eagles, who advanced to the semifinals a year ago and have a strong group returning. Senior Olivia Mora was a first-team all-SMAA pick last year, hitting six home runs and driving in 31, while senior pitcher Danielle Tardiff was a second-team choice. Defensively the Eagles should be really good, led by senior second baseman Taylor Tibbetts, junior shortstop Alex Morang and junior third baseman Taylah Piazza, a transfer from Massachusetts. Junior Lauren Talbot moves from shortstop to center field. Watch this team closely.

3. Thornton Academy: The Trojans return six starters and are bolstered by the transfer of junior second baseman Katie Verreault (.316 batting average, only two errors in the field) from Scarborough. Junior pitcher Louisa Colucci, a second-team SMAA pick, is back, as is sophomore shortstop Olivia Howe, who batted .350 last year. Thornton should get a boost from the return of sophomore catcher Jenica Botting, who missed much of last year with a concussion. As always with the Trojans, defense will be the key.

4. Wells: The Warriors made a surprising run to the Class B South quarterfinals last year and return everyone from that team, including junior left-handed pitcher Anya Chase, who Coach Kevin Fox said “might be the best pitcher I’ve ever had.” When she’s on, she’s nearly unhittable. She also batted .650 last year. But there are plenty of solid players on the Warriors. Senior catcher Sara Ring (.415) is a three-year starter. Junior center fielder Olivia Clay hit .500 and is exceptional defensively. First baseman Sam Bogue (.371 last year) and second baseman Olivia Durfee solidify the infield.

5. Oceanside: Say this about Rusty Worcester’s Mariners team, they are going to hit the ball. He returns a solid group from a team that went 16-1, including two sophomores who hit over .400 (pitcher Chloe Jones at .444 and center fielder Hannah Moholland at .429) and four others who hit over .325 (senior first baseman Alexis Mazurek, junior shortstop Casey Pine, sophomore second baseman Rachel Joyce and sophomore catcher Abby Veilleux). Jones averaged 10.3 strikeouts a game.

6. Massabesic: The Mustangs graduated only two players from a contending team last year and look to make a long run into the playoffs. They can hit, led by sophomores Lacey Bean (an all-SMAA first-team pick, .392, five home runs, 20 RBI, eight stolen bases) and Grace Tutt (.377, 19 runs, 12 RBI) and senior Sarah Howe (.312, 12 runs, 10 RBI). Senior Kyra Cartwright is an experienced catcher who will handle Tutt and Howe.

7. Biddeford: First-year coach Mike Fecteau knows he has a challenge, with only three starters back from last year’s Class A state title-winning team. But they’re pretty good and should keep Biddeford in contention again. Start with junior catcher Brook Davis, the most dangerous power hitter in the state. Seniors Alex Chase (first base), Amber Magnant (outfield/pitcher) and Aibhlin O’Connor (outfield) each contributed to the championship run and will be expected to lead the younger players.

8. Greely: The numbers may be low at Greely with only 14 players, but the talent is abundant. The Rangers have some of the top players in Class B South in junior pitcher Kelsey Currier, senior shortstop Moira Train and senior center fielder Kayley Cimino. They are all outstanding hitters and defensive players. But the Rangers lack depth, partly because of season-ending knee injuries to Jennie Smith and Anna Smith. Coach Rob Hale is looking for junior Maddie Rawnsley to step into the catcher’s position. Once the younger players get acclimated, the Rangers will be tough.

9. Medomak Valley: Richard Vannah’s Panthers made a nice tournament run last year, advancing to the Class B North semifinals. They could do it again, despite still being relatively young. Medomak has a couple of solid pitchers in junior Gabby DePatsy and sophomore lefty Addie Jameson, and the Panthers can hit. Sophomore first baseman Lydia Simmons batted .591 last year with 10 doubles and 18 RBI while Jameson hit .424 and DePatsy .419 with 23 RBI. Junior catcher Josie Jameson has started since her freshman year and hit .350 last year.

10. Fryeburg Academy: Numbers weren’t a problem for Fred Apt. He had 36 players, including 16 freshmen, try out for softball. The Raiders, who advanced to the quarterfinals last season, should contend again. They’ll be strong up the middle with returning players at catcher (Makayla Cooper), pitcher (Nicole Bennett) and center field (Mackenzie Buzzell, who hit .537 with four home runs, 27 runs and 18 RBI). Sophomore Tina LeBlanc returns at shortstop as well. “We’ve got some puzzle pieces to put in place,” said Apt. “But I do feel good.”

]]> 0 Wed, 12 Apr 2017 21:04:56 +0000
25 players to watch Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Stephanie Aceto, South Portland senior, pitcher: Aceto batted .312 for the Red Riots last year while also serving as the team’s No. 1 pitcher, winning five games.

Mackenzie Aleva, Noble junior, shortstop: Aleva was a second-team SMAA pick last year after she batted .345 with two home runs and 13 RBI. She has a strong arm in the field.

Lacey Bean, Massabesic sophomore, outfielder: A first-team all-SMAA pick last year, Bean hit .392 with five home runs, 20 RBI and 13 runs scored. She also stole eight bases.

Morgan Boyle, Portland senior, shortstop: A three-year starter for the Bulldogs, she batted .382 last year with a team-high 21 hits. Very strong defensive player as well.

Mackenzie Buzzell, Fryeburg Academy senior, center field: Buzzell hit .537 last year with four home runs, 18 RBI and 27 runs scored. She excels defensively as well.

Anya Chase, Wells junior, pitcher: A lefty, Chase struck out 127 batters in 992/3 innings last year. She also hit .690 with 15 doubles, five triples, 37 runs scored and 13 RBI.

Liz Cole, Lake Region senior, left field: Cole jump-starts the Lake Region batting order from her leadoff spot. She hit .325 last year.

Brook Davis, Biddeford junior, catcher: You can’t miss with your pitch to Davis. She hit 11 home runs last year, driving in 40 runs and scoring 35 for the Class A state champs. She also had 10 doubles.

Reilly Eddy, Traip Academy junior, pitcher/second base: Eddy hit around .500 last year and helped pitch the Rangers into the Class C South quarterfinals. Versatile in the field as well.

Hope Faulkingham, Morse senior, shortstop: A two-time KVAC all-star, Faulkingham has led the Shipbuilders in batting average each of the last three years. She also led the team in RBI last year.

Sydney Giroux, Deering senior, outfield/catcher: A four-year starter for the Rams, she batted .327 last year and did not make an error in 21 chances in the outfield.

Lindsey Gregoire, Kennebunk junior, first base/outfield: Gregoire had a strong season for the Rams as a sophomore, hitting .585 while playing strong defense in the field.

Chloe Griffin, Scarborough junior, pitcher/outfielder: She batted .547 and set a school record with 35 RBI while scoring 30 runs and hitting four homers. On the mound she was 5-0 with a 0.26 ERA.

Julia Harrod, York senior, center field: She batted .333 last year and struck out just five times all season. A strong defensive player who will key the Wildcats’ outfield.

Chloe Jones, Oceanside sophomore, pitcher: As a freshman she averaged 10.3 strikeouts a game while going 14-1. She also hit .444 with 16 RBI. She was a first-team KVAC all-star.

Alexa Koenig, Freeport sophomore, third base: She sparks the Falcons batting from the top of the order and plays a very strong third base.

Camryn LaPierre, Westbrook junior, shortstop: A first-team all-SMAA pick last year, LaPierre hit .511 for the Blazes with 17 RBI and 15 runs. Strong defensive player as well.

Grace McGouldrick, Gorham junior, pitcher/shortstop: A second-team all-SMAA selection, McGouldrick hit .466 with 16 stolen bases, 15 runs scored and 14 RBI. She hit eight doubles.

Kortney McKenna, Lincoln Academy junior, pitcher: An all-KVAC honorable mention last year, the hard-throwing McKenna will look to build on her strong finish from a year ago.

Olivia Mora, Windham senior, first base: One of the top returning hitters around, Mora was a first-team SMAA choice while batting .438 with six home runs, 21 runs and 31 RBI.

Cate Ralph, Yarmouth junior, catcher: Starting her third season, Ralph batted .345 last year and led the Clippers with 17 RBI while scoring 16 runs.

Jessie Robicheaw, Cape Elizabeth sophomore, pitcher: She batted .393 last year with 15 RBI and 10 runs scored. As a pitcher she was 8-6 with 81 strikeouts in 931/3 innings.

Lydia Simmons, Medomak Valley sophomore, first base: Hitting in the No. 3 slot, she batted .519 as a freshman last year with 10 doubles and 18 RBI.

Ally Tillotson, Cheverus/NYA senior, catcher/outfielder: A first-team all-SMAA selection last year, Tillotson hit .512 while driving in 12 runs and scoring six. Can play multiple positions.

Lilly Volk, Scarborough senior, pitcher/outfielder: The UMaine-bound Volk didn’t allow an earned run in the regular season last year while striking out 58 in 37 innings. She batted .429 with four home runs.

]]> 0 Wed, 12 Apr 2017 21:03:24 +0000
Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field closure forces move of Lobster Bowl, graduation Wed, 12 Apr 2017 22:31:41 +0000 Biddeford’s iconic Waterhouse Field has been closed after an independent study found the bleachers surrounding the field were unsafe.

As a result, the high school and middle school lacrosse teams will play home games on the artificial turf field at the University of New England this spring and the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl Classic – a charity football game played each July at Waterhouse Field since 1991 – will need to find a new home this summer. Biddeford High’s graduation ceremony will also have to be moved.

Biddeford Superintendent Jeremy Ray, who released the results of the study at a school board meeting Tuesday night, was not sure what the next step would be.

“We’ve been given the opinion that the bleachers are unsafe and shouldn’t be used,” he said Wednesday. “I think that we need to evaluate what we need to do. There are many players involved in that conversation – the school department, the city, the Waterhouse Advisory Committee. I think it’s best for us to get together to decide what to do.”

Given the magnitude of the project that would be needed to repair Waterhouse Field – estimated costs to upgrade the facility run from $3.4 million to $5.5 million – no one is certain what will happen in the fall, when the Tigers’ football and soccer teams play at Waterhouse Field.

“Spring was the absolute priority and we’ve worked that piece out,” said Dennis Walton, Biddeford’s athletic director. “The fall is a big deal and we have had discussions, some potential solutions, but nothing that we can say for sure. We have ideas.”

The condition of Waterhouse Field – which is owned by the non-profit Waterhouse Field Alumni Association and has been leased to the city for $1 a year since 1973 – and its bleachers has been a citywide concern for several years. The grass playing surface needs to be replaced while the bleachers, lights and locker rooms have needed repairs for a while. Last fall, the bleachers in the end zone were closed after they were deemed unsafe.

Last December, the Biddeford school board requested a comprehensive independent study, conducted by Weston & Sampson of Foxborough, Massachusetts, at a cost of $25,000 to survey all available field space in Biddeford. Ray said the report will be available on May 1.

But with the spring season and graduation – which is traditionally held at Waterhouse Field in good weather – fast approaching, Ray asked for a separate assessment of the bleachers at Waterhouse Field.

The structural evaluation was done on Feb. 6 and found “light to moderate corrosion,” with some deteriorating wood and buckling of several truss members. The report stated the bleachers were in “fair to poor condition.” It also recommended replacing the light poles.

The report concluded that “the bleachers and press box should be closed pending further analysis.” It also stated that repairing the bleachers “may be cost-prohibitive when compared to a complete replacement of the bleachers.”

The visiting bleachers were installed in 1985, as were the lights, and the home bleachers in 1999. Both sides have had substantial repairs over the years.

“We knew this was coming,” said Mayor Alan Casavant. “It’s not a shock. We’ve been worried about those bleachers for a while. Once the engineer gave his report it brought everything to forefront. We’ve had a lot of public debate in last year or so; now all of a sudden it’s a reality check because we have to do something.”

City officials were grateful that UNE stepped in to help with the spring sports. Walton said minor changes were made to the lacrosse schedules to fit into UNE’s time slots.

Lobster Bowl officials said they are close to finding a new site for this summer.

“We’ve been working on another plan since December,” said Rick Hersom, vice president of the board of governors that oversees the Lobster Bowl. “I can’t say much until the paperwork is finalized. Within the next couple of days, we should know what we’re doing.”

Walton stressed that Biddeford wants the Lobster Bowl to return to Waterhouse Field once it is renovated. Hersom would like that. “That’s where we want the game to stay,” he said.

Ray said that about $300,000 has been raised in donations for repairs at Waterhouse Field. Much more is needed.

“As a Biddeford resident who has a lot of stake in it, I hope we step up and do the things our kids deserve,” said Walton. “They deserve a place to play and a place that they’re proud to play in.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Wed, 12 Apr 2017 19:57:52 +0000
High school softball teams turning to co-op partnerships Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 High school softball coaches around the state have bemoaned a drop in participation for several years. But it appears softball’s decline in numbers reached a critical phase at some of the area’s largest schools.

For the first time, Class A will feature two co-operative softball teams – squads made up of two or more schools that are more common in other sports, such as hockey. In Class A South, Falmouth and the Maine Girls’ Academy have combined, while Cheverus has added players from North Yarmouth Academy – which hasn’t had a varsity team for at least five years.

“Numbers are going down in softball everywhere,” said Tom Griffin, the long-time coach at perennial Class A contender Scarborough. “It’s a problem. So many kids are choosing other options.”

Many schools have canceled freshman teams, while others cannot field a junior varsity team.

“It seems to be happening everywhere,” said Falmouth Athletic Director James Coffey. “We’re in a little worse shape.”

Falmouth certainly isn’t alone. According to figures provided by the National Federation of State High School Associations, softball numbers have dropped steadily in Maine and nationwide since 2010. During that time, Maine has lost about eight percent of its softball participants, going from 129 schools and 2,982 participants in 2010 to 128 schools and 2,740 in 2016, with the sport losing three percent, or 11,526 participants, nationwide.

There doesn’t appear to be a single factor.

The rise of lacrosse and ultimate frisbee – a sport that isn’t sanctioned by the Maine Principals’ Association – has pulled some athletes away. Schools also offer track and tennis in the spring. “If you love (softball), you play it,” said Dean Plante, the athletic director at Old Orchard Beach, which canceled its softball season several years ago because of a lack of players but has since returned. “But the kids who are on the fringe are going to other sports.”

Girls’ lacrosse, which according to the NFSH has gained nearly 20,000 participants nationwide since 2010, is fairly stagnant in Maine, actually showing a drop of 99 participants since 2010.

Ultimate, on the other hand, has grown considerably, from 12 teams in 2010 to more than 50 now. According to Maine Ultimate, which sponsors a high school spring league, there were 224 high school girls who played Ultimate in 2016. Kevin Massey, one of the directors of the high school spring league, said he expects a five percent increase this year.

“The kids have more options because there is another sport,” he said. “Ultimate frisbee is another option to the greater Portland schools. It only takes a couple of friends to jump ship from, say, softball, and now more are playing Ultimate. Kids tend to gravitate to what their friends are doing socially and athletically.

“That’s very common in high school sports. Sometimes a softball team might lose three or four kids because one kid might decide to play Ultimate.”

The very nature of softball could be a factor. It is a slower paced game, often dominated by a pitcher who practices year-round, with individual skills on display in every at-bat and every fielding chance. Lacrosse and Ultimate are faster-paced and less focused on individuals.

“It’s hard,” said Greely softball coach Rob Hale, whose team has struggled to get enough players this year despite being one of the best Class B South programs. “It’s tough when a pitcher dominates the sport. It is very intimidating, and also hard to get across to kids that the best players are successful only one out of three times. Girls take failure personally.”

Greely Athletic Director David Shapiro agreed. “When you’re running up and down a field with 11 others, no one notices a mistake,” he said. “When you whiff on three pitches, everyone knows. That fear of failure might have something to do with it.”

Some coaches said one-sport specialization is a factor as well. Mike Fecteau, the first-year coach at defending Class A state champion Biddeford, said one of his starters did not return because she’s playing AAU basketball.

“That’s her passion,” he said. “And I understand that.”

Griffin teaches at Scarborough Middle School and said he has lost a few promising players at that level because they chose to play another sport year-round – one to field hockey, another to basketball.

“You’ve got kids who are specializing,” he said. “I always counted on getting the three-sport athletes to play softball. And they are becoming a rare commodity now.”

Co-op teams could be the lifeline for some programs. Cheverus and MGA would have had enough players to field their own varsity teams without a partner, but likely not junior varsity teams. Falmouth’s inability to field its own team was shocking to many, because the Yachtsmen traditionally have had a strong softball program and the school has one of the state’s best athletic program overall.

But Coffey said numbers had been down for the softball team for a couple years, and only 10 players signed up this year. Some had never played before.

So he put out some feelers to local schools, including Greely. MGA, which had about 15 players, agreed to join forces, and the MPA approved the co-op team last week. MGA has had a co-op field hockey team with Waynflete.

“We definitely feel it’s going to be a positive experience,” said MGA Athletic Director Joe Kilmartin. “It’s good for both of us.”

Coffey was more emphatic: “It’s a lifesaver.”

Co-op arrangements are certainly good for the players, especially at schools that haven’t had another players to field their own team, like North Yarmouth Academy. Joining with Cheverus is a big deal for the four NYA players who make the trip to Portland for practice.

“It’s so much fun,” said NYA sophomore Sydney Plummer, who will play first base. “This means a lot to me. Softball is a passion of mine. And the fact that I can play it and represent both NYA and Cheverus is great. I’ve made so many friends already. I knew nobody going in, but everyone has been so welcoming.”

]]> 0 Tue, 11 Apr 2017 20:01:54 +0000
Finalists announced for 2017 Varsity Maine Awards Sun, 09 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Readers from across the state submitted more than 300 nominations for the second annual Varsity Maine Awards – and we are pleased to announce finalists in each of the categories.

Finalists will be recognized and winners announced on stage in a ceremony honoring the best in Maine high school sports. The awards show will be held Tuesday, May 2, at the Costello Sports Complex on the University of Southern Maine campus in Gorham.

The Varsity Maine Awards, hosted by the Maine Sunday Telegram, will be hosted by Erin Ovalle and DJ Mijo.  In addition to the 10 nomination categories, girls’ and boys’ athletes of the year will be selected by the sports staffs of the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel.

Here are the finalists in each category:


Madeline Beaulieu, Maine Girls’ Academy; Kate Guerin, Mt. Ararat; Matt Ingram, Winthrop; Hayden Sattler, Ellsworth; Ben Steeves, Bonny Eagle.


Sam Alvarado, Ellsworth; Nick Archambault, Portland; Alexandria Fraize, Fryeburg Academy; Emily Jefferds, Scarborough; Anna Lane, Massabesic.


Kayley Cimino, Greely; Cody Craig, Skowhegan; Jackson Fotter, Gorham; Abby Hamilton, Yarmouth; Tasia Titherington, Deering.


Steve DeAngelis, Maranacook; Heidi Deery, Rangeley; Kathy Leahy, Thornton Academy; Sandy Nelson, Vinalhaven; Chad Sturgis, A.R. Gould.


Emma Gallant, Cheverus; Raegan Kelly, Noble; Simon McCormick, Cony; Hayden St. Amand, Waterville; Maggie Strohm, Old Orchard Beach.


Karen and Danny Baron, Ellsworth; Rick and Jackie Buzzell, Fryeburg Academy; MOB hockey fans; Stephanie Smith, Greater Portland Christian; Wayne and Jennifer Witham, Lawrence.


Kiara Carr, Temple; Ellie Chidsey, Waynflete; Ellie Clarke, Ellsworth; Grace Decker, Thornton Academy; Austin Dutremble, Biddeford.


Gorham girls’ basketball; Thornton Academy boys’ tennis; St. Dominic girls’ hockey; Vinalhaven girls’ basketball; York field hockey.


Kaylin Delaney, Fryeburg Academy; Lydia Henderson, South Portland; Bruce Hunter, Maranacook; Michelle Rowe, Gorham; Haley Thebarge, Skowhegan.


Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes, Vinalhaven; Victoria Garand, Deering; Logan Reardon, Central; Ruslan Reiter, Maranacook; Parker Wyatt, Falmouth.


Emily Esposito, Gorham; Abby Hamilton, Yarmouth; Lily Posternak, York; Ally Turner, Messalonskee; Caitlin Tycz, Brunswick.


Bradley Beaulieu, Marshwood; Austin Lufkin, Brewer; Jarod Norcross Plourde, Edward Little; Sam Rusak, Scarborough; Ryan Twitchell, Greely.

]]> 0, 24 Apr 2017 22:11:20 +0000
Meet Maine’s high school swimming, indoor track and hockey players of the year Sun, 02 Apr 2017 08:00:53 +0000 0 Tycz of Brunswick won the 200-yard individual medley at the Class A girls’ state meet in Orono by seven seconds, and her state-record time in the 100 butterfly was faster than the winning time in the 100 freestyle.Sat, 01 Apr 2017 21:43:23 +0000 Girls’ indoor track: Tia Tardy, Mt. Desert Island Sun, 02 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Tia Tardy has competed for three schools as one of the state’s top distance runners – Mattanawcook Academy as a freshman and sophomore, Orono as a junior, and Mt. Desert Island as a senior.

Throughout her journey, Tardy has maintained her focus and hasn’t stopped improving.

Tardy added two more individual titles at the Class B indoor track championships – giving her seven indoor titles overall – and took second in another event to score 28 of her team’s 53 points, leading the Trojans to a second-place finish. She went on to place second in the mile at the New England championships, with one of the fastest times in Maine schoolgirl history.

Now a four-time member of the Maine Sunday Telegram All-State team for indoor track, Tardy is our choice as Girls’ Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.

Tardy was busy as usual at the Class B state meet, running all three distance events. She won the mile in 5 minutes, 4.95 seconds – nine seconds faster than her closest challenger – and also placed first in the 800 (2:18.58) for the third year in a row. In the 2-mile, she was second (11:43.69), behind Yarmouth’s Abby Hamilton.

Two weeks later, Tardy placed second in the mile at the New England championships in 4:57.18 – a time that qualified her for the emerging-elite division at the New Balance Indoor Nationals. She won that event on March 10 with a time of 4:58.83.

Tardy is one of only three Maine high school girls to break five minutes in the mile, according to Scarborough Coach Derek Veilleux, the Maine editor of

And Tardy has done so three times, with a personal best of 4:55.23 last year.

According to MDI Coach Brad Witham, Tardy was focused on winning the mile at New Englands rather than trying to break five minutes.

“She ran incredibly fast and incredibly tactical,” Witham said. “It went out a little slow. She went to the front with a surge. That’s what I love to see, especially for a distance runner. She’s not just running to win, but running for the challenge, elbow to elbow and tactical. She had two final amazing races.”

At nationals, Tardy ran for the win again. While her victory in the emerging elite race didn’t earn her All-American status (which is reserved for the championship race), Witham said she dominated the race.

No matter how many events she was running at a meet or where she was in the pack, Tardy never lost focus, according to her coach. And she has fit in well at her latest school.

“She identified well with everyone and really was receptive to being a part of it all here at MDI,” Witham said. “She’s a great supporter of Maine and a great ambassador of the distance runners here.”


Nyagoa Bayak, Westbrook sophomore: Won the high jump (5-6) and triple jump (37-03/4) at the Class A state meet, and finished fifth at New Englands in the high jump (5-3).

Olivia Damboise, Old Town junior: Won the Class B triple jump (35-01/4) and pole vault (9-9) and finished second in the long jump (16-71/2).

Emma Gallant, Cheverus freshman: Took first at the Class A state meet in the 200 (26.48) and 400 (58.86) – both in state-leading times – and was third in the 55 (7.48).

Abby Hamilton, Yarmouth senior: Won the 2-mile at the Class B state meet by 22 seconds (11:21.24) and previously ran a state-leading time of 11:11.18.

Emily Labbe, Scarborough freshman: Won the 55 (7.47) and finished second in the 200 (26.98) and 55 hurdles (8.79) at the Class A state meet, scoring 26 points to lift the Red Storm to the title.

Daija Misler, Hampden Academy senior: Won the shot put at the Class A state meet (40-9) and previously threw a state-leading mark of 41-1.

Juliana Selser, South Portland junior: Won the 800 at the Class A meet in a state-record time (2:16.82), and took fourth at New Englands in the 1,000 (2:53.72). Recorded a state-best time for the season in the 800 at the national championships (2:14.30).

Rihan Smallwood, Bangor senior: Successfully defended her Class A title in the pole vault (11-4) and moved up to third on the state’s all-time list.

Tia Tardy, Mt. Desert Island senior: Won the Class B mile (5:04.95) and 800 (2:18.58) and finished second in the 2-mile (11:43.69). Placed second in the mile at New Englands (4:57.18).

Emma White, Cheverus sophomore: Finished second at the Class A state meet in the long jump (17-21/4) and triple jump (36-51/2) and was third in the long jump at New Englands (18-0).


John Folan, Greely: Led his team to its first Class B state title since 2008, even though the Rangers didn’t produce an individual champion.

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or:

Twitter: FlemingPph


]]> 0 Desert Island's Tia Tardy leads the pack on her way to victory in the mile at the Class B indoor track state championships. Tardy also won the 800 and placed second in the 2-mile, then went on to finish second in the mile at the New England championships.Sat, 01 Apr 2017 18:11:54 +0000
Boys’ indoor track: Sam Rusak, Scarborough Sun, 02 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Sam Rusak remembers in seventh grade when his track and field coach showed him the top decathlon age-group results in the country, and Rusak saw that his own results weren’t far behind.

Since then, Rusak has been methodically learning and improving in each of the decathlon’s 10 events. Judging from his results, all his hard work is paying off.

Rusak, now a Scarborough High senior, capped another outstanding indoor season by finishing fourth in the pentathlon at the New Balance national championships. That followed his stellar performance at the Class A state meet, where Rusak won all three of his events for the second straight year, including a state-record mark of 16 feet, 3 inches in the pole vault.

And for the second year in a row, Rusak is the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.

Over the last 13 months, Rusak is 10 for 10 at state championship meets across a wide range of events – winning six indoor and four outdoor titles. And he’s demonstrated his all-around proficiency by earning All-America honors in the decathlon (placing fourth at nationals last June) and pentathlon.

Rusak proudly says he’s learned all the decathlon events without the help of a personal trainer or coach, relying instead of the guidance of his high school coaches. He estimates that he works out for about four hours most days.

“During the season, I focus on the events I’ll compete in for the team,” Rusak said. “It doesn’t mean I don’t work on my other events, but I focus on the ones the team needs. Then, after states, I start training for my (other) events. That’s when I worked on the 1,000 (meters).”

In addition to his pole vault victory at the state meet, Rusak successfully defended his titles in the 200 (22.99) and high jump (6-0). He won those same events outdoors last June, along with the 110 hurdles.

At the indoor nationals, Rusak got off to a slow start, finishing 11th out of 14 competitors in the 60 hurdles (8.95). He improved in the long jump, finishing eighth with a personal-best mark of 20-61/4.

“He came up pretty clutch with a big PR that got him back on track. That was his first jump over 20 feet,” said Scarborough Coach Derek Veilleux.

Then Rusak surprised even himself in the shot put with a personal-best throw of 44-31/4, good enough for second place.

After taking fifth in the high jump (5-111/2), Rusak was fourth overall going into the 1,000 and knew he needed to stay within 1.5 seconds of Pittsburgh’s Noah Swaby to keep his overall position. Swaby, the top seed in the 1,000, won the final event, but Rusak finished right behind him in 2:43.27, for an overall total of 3,576 points.

Rusak, who will attend the University of Connecticut on a track scholarship, said all the work has been fun, and that’s the secret to his success.

“I remember when I jumped my height in the high jump as a sophomore. I always thought it would be cool to jump over your height,” said Rusak, who is 6-1. “Then when I jumped 6-3 and 6-5, my dad got a photo of me standing under the bar looking up at it.”


Ben Batoosingh, Scarborough senior: Won the 400 (52.44) and placed third in the 200 (23.29) at the Class A state meet. Also ran a leg on their winning 800 relay (1:33.81).

Tanner Burton, Messalonskee junior: Won the 55-meter hurdles at the Class A state meet (7.73) and finished third (7.76) at New Englands.

Paul Casavant, Hampden Academy senior: Won the 2-mile by 27 seconds at the Class A meet in a state-leading time of 9:28.24.

Jarett Flaker, Scarborough freshman: Placed first in the 55 (6.68) and second in the 200 (22.99) in Class A. Ran a state-leading time of 6.61 in the 55 earlier in the season.

Zachariah Hoyle, Messalonskee junior: Won the 800 at the Class A meet in a state-leading time of 1:56.74.

Jason Montano, Thornton Academy sophomore: Took second at the Class A meet in the shot put (51-10) and finished fourth at New Englands (50-91/2).

Luke Laverdiere, Yarmouth junior: Won the mile (4:24.35) and 2-mile (9:49.73) at the Class B state meet, and finished fifth in the mile at New Englands (4:19.04).

Austin Lufkin, Brewer senior: Won the Class A shot put with a state-record throw of 61-2, and also won the event at New Englands (61-91/2).

Michaiah Robinson, Washington Academy senior: Won the 200 (22.83) and 400 (50.83) at the Class B meet, recording state-leading times in both events.

Sam Rusak, Scarborough senior: Set a state record of 16-3 in the pole vault and also won the 200 (22.99) and high jump (6-0) in Class A.


Derek Veilleux, Scarborough: Led the Red Storm to their seventh state title in nine years as Scarborough piled up 102.25 points – more than twice as many as runner-up Westbrook.

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or:

Twitter: FlemingPph


]]> 0's Sam Rusak clears the bar at 16 feet, 3 inches to set a pole vault state record at the Class A indoor track championships. Rusak also won the high jump and 200 meters as he swept all three of his events for the second straight year.Sat, 01 Apr 2017 18:10:10 +0000
Boys’ swimming: Shane Moore, Cheverus Sun, 02 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Before his last high school practice as a junior, Shane Moore took a long, hard look at the Cheverus High record board. He picked out a few marks he thought might be within reach – no matter that one of them had stood for a quarter century and another was set by a future Olympic gold medalist.

Throughout his summer and fall training, “those records were always my goals,” Moore said.

And so, when his senior season finally began in early December, Moore wasted no time. On opening night, he took down three of those records.

He swam the 50-yard freestyle in 21.16 seconds. He won the 100 breast stroke in 58.15. On the opening leg of the 400 free relay, he turned in a time of 47.11.

The guys who held the previous marks: Trebor Lawton, Brian Agro and Ian Crocker.

Moore never let up. He led Cheverus to a fifth straight Class A state championship, was named performer of the meet, and set Southwesterns records in the 200 individual medley and 100 breast stroke. He ranked first in the state in four individual events and was among the top 10 in the other four.

He is our choice as Maine Sunday Telegram Boys’ Swimmer of the Year.

“As good as he is in the water,” Cheverus Coach Kevin Haley said, “he’s a better human being. He is that kid who is extremely humble and kind. With any kind of praise, he always deflects it onto his team, on his mom and dad, on the coaching staff. It was everybody else but him.”

In that Southwestern meet, Moore lowered the breast stroke record, set by Deering’s Eric Delmonte three years earlier, to 58.68 and the IM record, set by Scarborough’s Jerry Gravel in 2013, to 1:56.31. He also broke the IM school record of 1:56.47 set by Robert Ley in 1991.

“Bringing all those guys down in one year, that’s an amazing feat,” Haley said. “We’re not going to see a kid like this in a while.”

Moore, who lives in Biddeford, started out as a basketball player. At age 9, he gave swimming a try with the Manta Ray Swim Team at the Biddeford YMCA. He stayed with them through junior high and, after his freshman year in high school, joined the Portland Porpoises.

He also dabbled in lacrosse and soccer, “but not for very long,” he said. “That was all before I started to focus on swimming and started to practice twice a day,” as a high school sophomore.

Cheverus won the Class A title by a whisker his freshman year and rather handily when he was a sophomore and junior. This winter, Moore was the only Cheverus swimmer to place among the top four in an individual race, but the Stags came up with enough depth to hold off Bangor and Brunswick.

“I don’t want to say it was unexpected, but last year we were a little more confident we were going to come away with it. The freshmen really pulled through,” said Moore, whose time of 21.28 in the 50 free broke the meet record set by Brunswick’s Nate Samson, the 2015 and 2016 Swimmer of the Year.

Moore was accepted early decision to Bates College and plans to continue his swimming career in Lewiston. He lauds Haley and Porpoise Coach Matt Baxter for his progress.

“They’ve both been instrumental in my success as an athlete,” Moore said. “Without those two guys, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you.”


Tucker Banger, Morse senior: Banger won the Class B 50-yard freestyle in 21.84 seconds and placed fourth in the 100 free. He also anchored the 200 medley and 200 free relays to help the Shipbuilders place third overall.

Nick Gould, Old Town senior: Gould won the 100 backstroke (53.07) and 100 butterfly (52.85) to lead Old Town to the Class B state title. His winning times were the fastest in the state for each event, regardless of class.

Nathaniel Hayward, Wells senior: Hayward won the Class B diving title for the second year in a row, and his score of 355.50 was the highest of either state meet. He plans to continue his career at George Washington University.

Camden Holmes, Ellsworth sophomore: Named performer of the meet in Class B after winning state titles in the 100 free (48.27) and 200 free (1:49.76), Holmes also swam on two relays.

Shane Moore, Cheverus senior: Moore set a Class A meet record in the 50 free (21.28) and won his second straight 100 free title (46.64). He also swam on the winning 200 free relay as the Stags extended their championship streak to five years.

Connor Perron, Falmouth senior: Perron won the Class A 500 freestyle in 4:46.94 (the fastest time in the state by more than nine seconds) and the 200 free in 1:47.05. He plans to swim for Providence College.

Carson Prouty, Bangor freshman: The Class A champion in the 100 backstroke, his time of 53.11 was the second-fastest in the state this winter. He was also runner-up in the 200 free (1:47.70).

Colby Prouty, Bangor junior: Prouty defended his Class A titles in the 100 breast stroke (57.74) and 200 individual medley (1:58.42), and swam on the winning 200 medley relay and runner-up 400 free relay.

Eli Steward, Thornton Academy junior: Steward won the Class A 100 butterfly (53.65) with the state’s second-best time, and also placed second in the 500 free and anchored the runner-up 200 free relay and the winning 400 free relay.

Liam Sullivan, Mt. Desert Island sophomore: Sullivan broke a 26-year-old meet record in the Class B 100 breast stroke, with a time of 58.47, to win for the second year in a row. He also defended his 200 individual medley title (1:57.41) and led off the winning 400 free relay.


Dave Ploch, Old Town: The Coyotes ended a 14-year title drought by holding off defending champ Ellsworth and Morse to win the Class B state championship and cap an unbeaten season, the school’s first since 1997. Ploch, in his 24th season, attributed the title to “a lot of seniors and excellent, hard-working kids.” Old Town lost a senior swimmer, Aaron Ricker, to cancer in late January after a seven-year battle. In his honor, the Coyotes wore AR on the sleeves of their dark green T-shirts while poolside at the state meet.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

]]> 0 Moore started his senior season at Cheverus by breaking three school records in his first meet, then finished it by winning two individual titles and setting a meet record at the Class A state championships.Sat, 01 Apr 2017 18:17:05 +0000
Girls’ hockey: Kristina Cornelio, St. Dominic Sun, 02 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 St. Dominic Academy girls’ hockey coach Paul Gosselin knows a talent like Kristina Cornelio doesn’t come around often.

“Every now and then, a coach gets ‘that player.’ ” Gosselin said. “You get this one kid who just takes it to another level. She’s a pure student of the game.”

A sophomore forward, Cornelio had 55 goals and 29 assists to lead the Saints to an undefeated season and their second straight state championship. She stood out among a team of standouts, earning recognition as the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Girls’ Hockey Player of the Year.

“Most (standout) high school kids are lucky to get 100 goals in their career,” Gosselin said, noting that Cornelio has almost 90 in just two years. “A lot of those games, I held her back. It could have been more.”

Cornelio started playing hockey at age 4. She grew up around the sport, watching her brother, Alexander, play for St. Dom’s before he graduated in 2008.

“I wanted to be like him when I was younger,” Cornelio said. “I kind of followed in his footsteps.”

She attended clinics and played on various teams before high school – none more physical than a boys’ checking league in seventh and eighth grade.

“That was definitely a big opportunity for me to play at a higher pace,” Cornelio said. “When I was younger, I knew that I wanted to play in college, so that has been my goal.”

Cornelio’s experience competing against boys is evident in her physical style. And she is strong. Gosselin attributes her improvement from her freshman season to the hours she spent in the gym during the offseason.

“As you get to higher levels, not only do you have to be talented – you have to have strength,” Gosselin said. “She really took that to heart last season, and it paid off. She got exponentially better than the league as a whole.”

St. Dominic (21-0) rolled to the state championship, averaging eight goals a game and defeating Falmouth 10-2 for the title.

Gosselin said Cornelio has “speed and a killer shot” along with “great lateral movement.” But Gosselin said it’s her character off the ice that sets her apart. He recalled a conversation at midseason when players debated getting jackets or sweatshirts if they were to win back-to-back state titles. He said one girl suggested adding “2017” to their jackets from last year.

“Before that sentence was even done, Kristina was saying, ‘Well, yeah, but we have one girl who wasn’t with us last year, so she won’t be able to take pride in it,’ ” Gosselin said. “Right off the bat, she’s thinking of that person instantly.”

That unselfishness translates to her play on the ice. Gosselin points to games where Cornelio had an open net but passed to a teammate who hadn’t yet scored.

Along with her coach and teammates, who she calls her “best friends,” Cornelio has enjoyed the support of her hockey-loving family. Her brother videotapes her games and sends her “good luck” texts.

Next season is still up in the air for Cornelio, who is looking at transferring to a prep school. She tentatively plans to play hockey at the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut.

One thing is for sure: her early success hasn’t gone to her head.

“I know I’m not the best – there are so many girls who are way better than me,” Cornelio said. “I just try each game to be the best on the ice.”


Courtney Brochu, Scarborough sophomore defenseman: A strong skater who can play the body well, Brochu earned first-team All-South honors and had 10 assists and six goals – two of which were game-winners.

Jenna Brooks, Brunswick sophomore forward: A first-team All-North selection, Brooks scored four of Brunswick’s seven playoff goals and totaled 73 points (49 goals, 24 assists) on the season.

Evie Clement, Falmouth senior forward: A strong all-around player and a first-team All-South pick, Clement recorded 24 goals and 19 assists.

Katie Clemmer, Yarmouth/Freeport/Gray-New Gloucester senior, forward: Clemmer, a first-team All-North selection, has great hands, skating skills and an ability to anticipate, making her extremely dangerous with the puck.

Kristina Cornelio, St. Dominic sophomore forward: The first-team All-North pick led the Saints to their second straight state title with 55 goals and 29 assists.

Isabelle Frenette, St. Dominic sophomore defenseman: A quick, reliable defenseman who’s strong on the puck, Frenette finished with 17 goals and 27 assists.

Bekah Guay, Biddeford/Thornton Academy senior goalie: A two-time All-State selection, Guay often faced 40-plus shots but kept her team in a lot of close games.

Avery Lutrzykowski, St. Dominic sophomore forward: A fast skater with great hands, Lutrzykowski contributed 32 goals and 40 assists, including three goals and three assists in the state final. She also excels at killing penalties.

Caroline Proctor, Falmouth senior defenseman: A smart defenseman with great vision, Proctor always seemed to be in position. The first-team All-South pick totaled three goals and 11 assists.

Ellie Schad, Greely senior defenseman: The first-team All-North selection is quick with great lateral movement and a powerful shot, making her a dynamic, offensive defenseman. She had 10 goals and 10 assists.

Courtney Sullivan, Greely junior forward: An elusive player with a deceptively quick shot, Sullivan was a first-team All-North selection and finished the season with 29 goals and 12 assists.

Nica Todd, Greely senior goalie: Todd rarely made mistakes or gave up a bad rebound. The first-team All-North pick recorded seven shutouts.


Paul Gosselin, St. Dominic: The Saints have gone 40-2 over the last two seasons, winning back-to-back state championships. This winter, they capped an undefeated season with a 10-2 win over Falmouth in the state final.

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 Cornelio is already closing in on 100 career goals after just two seasons at St. Dominic Academy, but she might not be back for her junior year, as she's looking at going to a prep school in Connecticut.Sat, 01 Apr 2017 18:22:14 +0000
Girls’ swimming: Caitlin Tycz, Brunswick Sun, 02 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 She made college visits made to Princeton, Yale and the University of Virginia, so it’s clear Caitlin Tycz is serious about her academics, as well as her swimming.

But as fine as those institutions are, Tycz’s mind drifted to another university that has stellar academics and a historic outdoor pool.

“USC has been a dream school for me since I can remember,” said Tycz, a Brunswick High senior who will enroll at the University of Southern California on a swimming scholarship.

The Trojans’ outdoor pool was the site of the 1984 Summer Olympics. And it’s a pool where Tycz has practiced her strokes.

“I went to swim camps there my freshman and sophomore years,” Tycz said. “I enjoyed all those other schools, and I wasn’t sure (going to USC) was going to happen. It’s so competitive.”

The Trojans are perennially one of the top teams in the country and draw swimmers not only from across the country, but also from other countries. This year’s roster had no swimmers from the northeast, but USC will get a Mainer – the best this state has to offer. For the second straight year, Tycz is the Maine Sunday Telegram Girls’ Swimmer of the Year.

At the Class A state meet at Bowdoin College, Tycz won the 200-yard freestyle in a state-record time of 1:50.35. Her winning time of 53.67 in the 100 butterfly was a pool record, and just shy of her own state record of 53.32. Tycz also took part in the winning 200 free relay. She was named performer of the meet, just as she was in 2016.

Her butterfly time qualified Tycz for All-America status for the fourth straight year.

“She’s the first female swimmer in Maine to do that,” said Brunswick Coach Dave Bright, who has been researching the subject.

Bright said Tycz is also under consideration for All-America in the 100 and 200 freestyle.

Of the eight individual swimming events, Tycz had the state’s best time this year in four of them and was second best in three others. Along with the butterfly and the 200 free, she posted the best times in the 200 individual medley (2:05.29) and 100 free (51.27).

She had second-best times in the 50 free (24.09), 500 free (5:02.05) and 100 backstroke (57.18).

Tycz had a new responsibility this season as a senior captain of a young team.

“Last year, we had a really strong team, but we lost a lot of seniors,” said Tycz, whose team won back-to-back state titles in 2015-16. “We had to rebuild. At states, everyone swam well, but Cony swam tremendous.”

Brunswick placed second to Cony, as Tycz collected the runners-up trophy.

“She took her role as team captain very seriously,” Bright said. “She spent time helping out the newer kids, as well as getting her own work in. She was great.”

And she’s not bad in the classroom, maintaining a 4.0 GPA and finishing sixth in her class.

At USC, she will major in chemistry.


Lydia DaCorte, Mt. Desert Island senior: A previous 500 free and 100 butterfly champion in Class B, DaCorte added the 200 individual medley title (2:08.67) to her collection. She placed second in the butterfly (57.89). DaCorte will swim for Wheaton College.

Emily Ecker, Cape Elizabeth freshman: Ecker broke the 500 free state record (4:56.15), also won the 200 free (1:52.15) and was part of a record-setting 400 free relay (3:32.67), helping the Capers win the Class B title.

Cecilia Guadalupi, Cony freshman: The only individual double winner for the Class A champions, Guadalupi took first in the 200 individual relay (2:11.87) and 100 breast stroke (1:08.68) and also swam on the winning medley and 400 free relays.

Olivia Harper, Morse freshman: Harper emerged with a state record in the 100 backstroke (56.25) and a fourth-place finish in the 100 butterfly (59.84), and helped the 200 free relay team set a state record (1:37.62).

Abby Longstaff, Cheverus senior: Longstaff defended her Class A titles in the 50 free (24.47) and 100 backstroke (58.02), leading the Stags to a third-place finish. She will swim for American University.

Ana Neff-Jendrasko, Maine Girls’ Academy senior: She won the Class B 100 breast stroke (1:08.02) and placed second in the 200 individual medley (2:09.01). Neff-Jendrasko will swim for Florida Atlantic University.

Emma Patterson, Kennebunk junior: Patterson defended her Class B diving championship with a total of 344.55 points, giving her a seven-point margin.

Olivia Tighe, Cape Elizabeth sophomore: The Class B performer of the meet, she won back-to-back events – the butterfly (57.30) and 100 free (51.76) – and also helped set state records in the medley and 400 free relays.

Ann Tolan, Morse senior: Tolan led the Shipbuilders to second place in Class B, defending her 50 free title (23.70), taking second in the 100 free (51.90) and anchoring the record-setting 200 free relay. She will swim for Penn State.

Caitlin Tycz, Brunswick senior: A two-time Class A performer of the meet and Telegram Swimmer of the Year, Tycz set the 200 free record (1:50.35), won the 100 fly (53.67) and swam on the winning 200 free relay. She will swim for the University of Southern California.


Jon Millett, Cony: A former swimmer at Cony and Cheverus and the University of Maine, Millett has directed the Rams’ program since 1996. He molded a talented group, as the Rams finished first or second in every swimming event in Class A and won their first state championship.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

]]> 0 Tycz of Brunswick just missed her own state record in the 100-yard butterfly at the Class A state championships but did set a record in the 200 freestyle – one of four events in which she swam the fastest time in the state this season.Sat, 01 Apr 2017 18:28:26 +0000
Boys’ hockey: Jeromey Rancourt, Lewiston Sun, 02 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0000 When Jeromey Rancourt was sick the week of the Class A boys’ hockey state championship game, Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau was nervous.

After all, Rancourt had played a crucial role in helping the Blue Devils get to that stage for the second straight year.

“It would have taken (a catastrophe) to keep him off the ice that game,” Belleau said. “He battled forward. He’s a heck of a player.”

Rancourt came through with a goal and two assists in a 6-2 win over Falmouth – the only team to beat the Blue Devils (20-1) this season. The senior forward capped his career with back-to-back Class A titles and won the Travis Roy Award on March 26.

For his determination on and off the ice, Rancourt is the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Boys’ Hockey Player of the Year.

“It was probably the worst possible time to get sick, but it’s senior year – you can’t get that back,” Rancourt said. “Lewiston is a tough team to play for – it’s lot of responsibility. Everybody on this team has worked hard and sacrificed a lot to get where we are.”

A captain the last two years, Rancourt tied for the team lead in scoring during the regular season with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) and had a goal and five assists in three playoff games. He also scored the winner in last year’s state championship game, which snapped a 13-year title drought for the program.

“His skill and performance on the ice and his character off it was obviously a huge factor in bringing our team together,” Belleau said. “He takes his role as a leader seriously. He’s always looking out for the players. We became a family.”

It didn’t take long for Belleau to recognize Rancourt’s potential. By his sophomore year, Rancourt was getting a regular shift and was an “All-State caliber player,” said Belleau.

“He was always a very talented skater, always had good hands and a good shot,” Belleau said. “He continued to get stronger and grow. He’s really just an all-around solid player for our program, and he has gained the respect from coaches around the league.”

However, Rancourt wasn’t always so graceful on the ice. In fact, during his first time on skates, he told his dad he wanted to quit.

“He told me I had to stick with it,” Rancourt said. “He taught me a lot while he was here.”

When Rancourt was 7, his father, David, died in an accident the day of Rancourt’s first hockey game. David was a U.S. Army Reserve veteran who completed two tours in Iraq. He had served with the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years before suffering a fatal heart attack at age 40 while diving in the Androscoggin River searching for evidence in a criminal case.

Rancourt’s mother, Dawn – who was pregnant with Rancourt’s brother, Brock – broke the news to Jeromey before his Mites debut. He didn’t make it to his game that night, but he was on the ice for the next one.

“She’s my rock. She always told me, ‘You don’t have to be the man of the house,'” Rancourt said. “I never thought I had to be, but I knew I had to grow up a little bit earlier. Things weren’t going to be the same, and I wasn’t going to have that ideal childhood.”

Rancourt turned to hockey as a way to feel connected with father. On his stick are the numbers 1-1-5 – his dad’s license plate with the sheriff’s department. During the national anthem before every game, Rancourt talks to his dad.

“I ask him to look over me,” Rancourt said. “He’s with me every game.”

Rancourt plans to play junior hockey for the next year or two, but isn’t sure where. He just knows he wants to keep playing hockey.

“Once he passed, I wanted to do this for him, to make him proud,” Rancourt said. “I just don’t want that feeling to ever go away. I know it won’t, I know it will always be with me. It’s just one way to feel that I can be with him.”


Jackson Aldrich, Waterville senior forward: Aldrich led the state with 70 points (29 goals, 41 assists), two more than teammate Justin Wentworth. Both scored a hat trick in the Class B state final to help the Panthers win back-to-back titles.

Robbie Armitage, Falmouth senior forward: Armitage and his twin brother, Reece, were the only seniors on a team that won the Class A South title. The Travis Roy Award finalist had a team-high 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in the regular season.

Joe Bisson, Lewiston junior forward: Bisson led Class A with 24 goals and tied for the team lead with 44 points in the regular season, helping the Blue Devils win a second straight state championship.

Derek Fournier, Bangor senior goalie: Fournier, a Travis Roy Award finalist and returning All-State pick, finished the regular season with a 1.86 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He helped the Rams reach the Class A North final.

Tanner McClure, Massabesic/Old Orchard Beach/Bonny Eagle senior forward: A team captain for three years, McClure recorded his 100th career point and led Class A players in scoring during the regular season with 53 points (23 goals, 30 assists). He was a semifinalist for the Travis Roy Award.

Eric Murray, Scarborough senior defenseman: An offensive-minded defenseman, Murray led the Red Storm in points during the regular season with 15 (seven goals, eight assists). He is a finalist for the Travis Roy Award.

Cole Ouellette, Lewiston senior defenseman: Ouellette compiled 32 points in the regular season (16 goals, 16 assists) for the two-time Class A champions.

Spencer Pierce, Falmouth junior goalie: Pierce had a .926 save percentage in the regular season – the best among full-time goalies. He was the only goalie to defeat Lewiston, making 48 saves in a 3-2 win over the Blue Devils in January.

Jeromey Rancourt, Lewiston senior forward: The returning All-State pick tied for the team lead with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in the regular season – second-most in Class A. He had a goal and five assists in the playoffs to help the Blue Devils repeat as champions.

Andrew Roderigue, Waterville senior defenseman: A returning All-State pick, Roderigue totaled more than 130 points for his career, including 51 (18 goals, 33 assists) in the regular season this winter.

Ricky Ruck, Biddeford senior forward: The Travis Roy Award semifinalist led the Tigers to the Class A South quarterfinals, collecting 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) during the regular season.

Dominic Tocci, Portland/Deering forward: Tocci led the Bulldogs with 25 regular-season points (12 goals, 13 assists), helping them get to the Class A South semifinals. He scored the winning goal with one second left in the quarterfinals.


Jamie Belleau, Lewiston: The Blue Devils went into the season as the favorite in Class A and didn’t disappoint, going 20-1 to capture their second straight state title by defeating Falmouth 6-2 in the championship game.

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0 Rancourt led Lewiston to consecutive state championships, including a 6-2 win over Falmouth in this year's Class A final.Sat, 01 Apr 2017 18:08:54 +0000
High school basketball: Class AA tournament moving to Portland Sat, 01 Apr 2017 01:17:06 +0000 The Maine Principals’ Association accepted a proposal Friday that moves the boys’ and girls’ Class AA North tournaments from Augusta to Portland and increases the number of qualifying teams.

Class AA would still include North and South regional tournaments, but the semifinals and championship games would be played at Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena. Quarterfinal games will be played at the site of higher-seeded team. For the last two years, the Class AA North tournament has been played at the Augusta Civic Center.

“I want to commend the 17 (Class AA) schools for being able to come up with something they all can live with,” said Dick Durost, the executive director of the MPA. “By the same token, the basketball committee voted unanimously to accept the proposal. Everyone is trying to do right by the kids.”

Joe Russo, coach of two-time defending Class AA state champion Portland, applauded the move. The Bulldogs have played in Augusta the last two years, often in late starts and in front of sparse crowds.

“That’s awesome,” he said. “The ones who are going to benefit are going to be the family and fans. They’re the ones who really missed out. The players will play anywhere and they don’t care what time the game starts. Once the ball is tossed up, it didn’t matter if it was midnight or 2 in the morning, they were going to play.

“Now, not only are you guaranteed a better crowd, but the people who supported you are going to be able to go to the game too.”

The proposal was crafted by the 17 Class AA schools in response to a request by the MPA to come up with a plan that was fair to all schools. The majority of Class AA schools play in the Portland area, with the exceptions of Oxford Hills, Edward Little, Lewiston and Bangor.

The proposal stipulates that eight schools, or 66 percent of the region (whichever is greater), will qualify for the tournament. The last two years only six teams qualified. Quarterfinal games will be played at the site of the higher-seeded teams.

By qualifying eight teams, it eliminates the bye that the top two seeds endured the last two years, often going 12 days between games. It also allows Bangor – the school with the greatest travel costs – to potentially host a quarterfinal game. “It’s an acknowledgment of Bangor’s geographic uniqueness,” said Gary Stevens, the athletic director at Thornton Academy in Saco.

The North and South semifinals and championship games will be held at Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena. No site has been set for the Class AA state championship games.

The schools felt it important to maintain the regional tournaments. “It’s meaningful to the community, to a group of students,” said Stevens. “You’re playing for a title.”

Mike Murphy, the coach of the Deering girls’ basketball team, which played in Augusta, agreed. “It gives the kids a shot at least at one side, no matter who it is,” he said.

Everyone involved praised the process for making the switch. Gary Hoyt, the athletic director at Cheverus, made the presentation to the MPA’s Basketball Committee on Friday morning.

“It was nice to see the reception to our proposal was professional and receptive,” he said. “They gave us an opportunity to present a solution to the issue. They reviewed the solution and agreed.”

Attendance was down in the Class AA tournament games this year. But Durost said the decision was not based only on attendance.

“The attendance was down, particularly in the North region in Augusta,” he said.

“But I don’t think we’re looking at it as much form a money standpoint, especially when we’re giving them the opportunity to do quarterfinals at the higher seed.

“It will just be better for kids and for fans. It’s certainly worth trying for the next two-year cycle. If we feel it needs tweaking, we will revisit it. I think this is a positive step.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0 Gloucester players celebrate their victory over Lincoln Academy in the Class B South regional final Saturday at Cross Insurance Arena. The Patriots will play for the state championship on Friday. (Staff photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer)Fri, 31 Mar 2017 23:07:50 +0000
Class AA basketball regional tourney games moving to Portland Fri, 31 Mar 2017 19:51:52 +0000 The Maine Principals’ Association accepted a proposal Friday that moves the boys’ and girls’ Class AA North tournaments from Augusta to Portland and increases the number of qualifying teams.

Class AA would still include North and South regional tournaments, but the semifinals and championship games would be played at Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena. Quarterfinal games will be played at the site of higher-seeded team. For the last two years, the Class AA North tournament has been played at the Augusta Civic Center.

“I want to commend the 17 (Class AA) schools for being able to come up with something they all can live with,” said Dick Durost, the executive director of the MPA. “By the same token, the basketball committee voted unanimously to accept the proposal. Everyone is trying to do right by the kids.”

Joe Russo, coach of two-time defending Class AA state champion Portland, applauded the move. The Bulldogs have played in Augusta the last two years, often in late starts and in front of sparse crowds.

“That’s awesome,” he said. “The ones who are going to benefit are going to be the family and fans. They’re the ones who really missed out. The players will play anywhere and they don’t care what time the game starts. Once the ball is tossed up, it didn’t matter if it was midnight or 2 in the morning, they were going to play.

“Now, not only are you guaranteed a better crowd, but the people who supported you are going to be able to go to the game too.”

The proposal was crafted by the 17 Class AA schools in response to a request by the MPA to come up with a plan that was fair to all schools. The majority of Class AA schools play in the Portland area, with the exceptions of Oxford Hills, Edward Little, Lewiston and Bangor.

The proposal stipulates that eight schools, or 66 percent of the region (whichever is greater), will qualify for the tournament. The last two years only six teams qualified. Quarterfinal games will be played at the site of the higher-seeded teams.

By qualifying eight teams, it eliminates the bye that the top two seeds endured the last two years, often going 12 days between games. It also allows Bangor – the school with the greatest travel costs – to potentially host a quarterfinal game. “It’s an acknowledgment of Bangor’s geographic uniqueness,” said Gary Stevens, the athletic director at Thornton Academy in Saco.

The North and South semifinals and championship games will be held at Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena. No site has been set for the Class AA state championship games.

The schools felt it important to maintain the regional tournaments. “It’s meaningful to the community, to a group of students,” said Stevens. “You’re playing for a title.”

Mike Murphy, the coach of the Deering girls’ basketball team, which played in Augusta, agreed. “It gives the kids a shot at least at one side, no matter who it is,” he said.

Everyone involved praised the process for making the switch. Gary Hoyt, the athletic director at Cheverus, made the presentation to the MPA’s Basketball Committee on Friday morning.

“It was nice to see the reception to our proposal was professional and receptive,” he said. “They gave us an opportunity to present a solution to the issue. They reviewed the solution and agreed.”

Attendance was down in the Class AA tournament games this year. But Durost said the decision was not based only on attendance.

“The attendance was down, particularly in the North region in Augusta,” he said.

“But I don’t think we’re looking at it as much form a money standpoint, especially when we’re giving them the opportunity to do quarterfinals at the higher seed.

“It will just be better for kids and for fans. It’s certainly worth trying for the next two-year cycle. If we feel it needs tweaking, we will revisit it. I think this is a positive step.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0, ME - MARCH 4: Boys basketball Class AA state championship between Portland and South Portland. Griffin Foley of Portland rides a sea of fans while celebrating their championship. (Staff photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer)Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:32:48 +0000
Lewiston’s Jeromey Rancourt wins Travis Roy Award Sun, 26 Mar 2017 18:10:40 +0000 LEWISTON — Lewiston senior Jeromey Rancourt has more in common with Travis Roy than just a passion for hockey.

“Travis Roy has demonstrated how a tragedy can alter an individual’s path in life,” Rancourt said Sunday in a speech to a crowded room at the Ramada Inn.

Rancourt knows this all too well. After losing his father when he was 7, he turned his focus to hockey and became one of the top high school players in Maine. The forward led Lewiston to back-to-back Class A state titles, and he was honored Sunday as the winner of the Travis Roy Award at the Class A Hockey Coaches Association banquet.

The award, given to the top senior player in Class A, is named for a former North Yarmouth Academy standout who was paralyzed 11 seconds into his first shift in his first game for Boston University. He now lives in Boston and is a motivational speaker who works with a charity named for him that helps people who suffer from spinal injuries.

“Being nominated for this Travis Roy Award is an honor because of who Travis was on and off the ice,” Rancourt said. “Travis Roy has motivated me and so many other people in this world to keep moving forward in life no matter what kind of adversity comes your way.”

In his speech, Rancourt recalled the moment in the hospital when he learned his dad, David, had died. David served with the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years before suffering a fatal heart attack while diving into the Androscoggin River searching for evidence in a criminal case. He was 40.

“I was numb. I could have given up and not pursued my dreams, but I continued to be me,” Rancourt said. “I realized that all I wanted to do was play hockey and make my dad proud. If it wasn’t for my teammates, my coaches and my mom, I couldn’t have gotten through that tragic time in my life.”

Both Rancourt and his mother, Dawn, were teary-eyed after he was announced the winner.

“I don’t even … I’m speechless. Just very, very proud,” Dawn said. “He managed to push forward. He sat here three years ago and said, ‘I want that award.’ Then, when he found out he’d have to give a speech, he was like, ‘Yeah maybe not.'”

Dawn laughed, noting her son isn’t a fan of public speaking. “And here he is,” she said.

Rancourt tied for the team lead in scoring during the regular season with 44 points – 18 goals and a team-high 26 assists – then added a goal and five assists in three playoff games.

“He’s obviously one of the best,” Lewiston Coach Jamie Belleau said. “As good as his performance on the ice has been, he has been a good representation of his family, his teammates and his community. He’s humble and recognizes the importance of his teammates.”

Other finalists for the award were Falmouth forward Robbie Armitage, Scarborough defenseman Eric Murray and Bangor goalie Derek Fournier.

“(Rancourt) is just awesome,” said Armitage, who paced a young Falmouth squad to the state final with 33 regular-season points (16 goals, 17 assists). “You’ve seen what he has done. The award undoubtedly has to go to him.”

Murray, a defenseman who led Scarborough in scoring during the regular season with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists), also said Rancourt was “definitely deserving” of the award.

“Rancourt is spectacular,” Murray said. “I’ve been playing against him for a ton of years now, and he has scored countless goals against me. He’s dynamic, he makes plays happen, and I’m really happy for him.”

Rancourt said winning this award is an honor he will always cherish.

“It wasn’t until my father passed away where I realized I had more of a reason to play hockey, and I wanted to go as far as I could with the sport,” Rancourt said. “I strive to be the best person I can be on and off the ice to make my father proud.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0, 26 Mar 2017 19:10:32 +0000
Wrestling: Marshwood’s Beaulieu edged in national final Sun, 26 Mar 2017 17:54:04 +0000 Marshwood High senior Bradley Beaulieu placed second in the National High School Coaches Association National wrestling championships, held in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Beaulieu won his first five matches before losing to Franco Valdes of Southwest Miami (Florida), 3-2, in Sunday’s final in the Senior 132-pound division.

Beaulieu is now a four-time All-American (top eight) at the NHSCA Nationals, a three-day tournament that separates wrestlers by their grade in school.

Also reaching a final was Jeffrey Worster of Oxford Hills. Worster, who was third at the Class A championships, lost in the Freshman 220-pound final, 10-3, against Cody Williams of Pennsylvania. No other Maine wrestler placed in the top eight, though Winslow’s Ryan Fredette came close, going 5-2 in the Junior 182-pound class.

Beaulieu is a four-time state champion and this year’s New England champion at138 pounds. He finishes his high school career with a record of 248-15.

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Meet Maine’s winter high school sports players of the year Sun, 26 Mar 2017 08:00:25 +0000 0, 25 Mar 2017 21:13:28 +0000 Wrestling: Bradley Beaulieu, Marshwood Sun, 26 Mar 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Bradley Beaulieu had two major goals in mind when he entered his senior season of wrestling at Marshwood High: regain the Class A team title and win his first New England championship.

“I had accomplished a lot as an individual, and last year, not winning that team title really stuck with me,” Beaulieu said. “I didn’t want to come home from this year’s states with a second place or a third place.”

Wrestling at 138 pounds, Beaulieu won it all this year.

He won the Lowell Invitational, New England’s largest tournament. He won his fourth Class A title in his fourth weight class. Marshwood, which had its four-year title streak snapped by Skowhegan in 2016, stormed back with a revamped lineup this season. The Hawks dominated the Class A tournament, scoring 184 points to beat runner-up and archrival Noble by 103.5 points.

Then, Beaulieu capped his 53-0 season with a New England championship, winning the one regional title that had eluded him after placing sixth, second and third in his previous three tries.

“It was one of his things on his bucket list, one of the few that he hadn’t accomplished,” said Coach Matt Rix.

With his New England title, Beaulieu raised his career record to 243-14, giving him the most wins in Maine high school history.

Add in his leadership for a team that had eight wrestlers place for the first time at the state championships, and Beaulieu is the Maine Sunday Telegram Wrestler of the Year.

“Something that makes me happy as a leader is that we all came together as a team,” Beaulieu said.

With few in-state wrestlers capable of testing Beaulieu, the Marshwood coaching staff helped him avoid fixating on the New England championship.

“They reminded me to enjoy the entire season. Senior year, it was my last of everything – my last regional, my last states, my last all-states – as a Marshwood Hawk. So there was always something to keep me going, and when New Englands came around I was ready to go.”

Beaulieu tops a senior class that included four other 200-win wrestlers, including New England 106-pound champion Cody Craig of Skowhegan and New England 170-pound runner-up Robert Hetherman of Mt. Ararat.

Beaulieu, who trains year-round, will wrestle for Old Dominion University.

Rix said it wasn’t unusual for Beaulieu to go straight from a Marshwood practice to Smitty’s Wrestling Barn, 37 miles away in Kingston, New Hampshire, to get in an extra workout.

“I’m not sure what keeps him going. I think he just loves the sport, the competition, the scrambles,” Rix said. “He doesn’t get flustered. He’s very good at not putting himself in a bad position. He’s very aware of where his hips are. He’s got phenomenal hips. He has a good sense of feeling what’s going to happen.”


Cody Craig, Skowhegan senior, 106: Craig, a four-time All-State choice, capped his brilliant career with a 63-0 season and a New England championship. A four-time state champion and the first person to win four New England qualifier tournaments, Craig was 221-5 in his career, with all five losses at the New England championships.

Leo Amabile, Massabesic senior, 113: Amabile won his first Class A title and also won the New England qualifier. He finished the season with a 43-2 record, with both losses coming at the New England championships, and was 140-22 in his career.

Alex Fogarty, Oceanside sophomore, 120: In a topsy-turvy weight class, Fogarty won the Class B North regional and the New England qualifier (against Devon Vigue of Winslow, who beat him in the Class B state meet). The 106-pound champ as a freshman, Fogarty went 41-8, including a 2-2 record at the New England championships.

Caleb Austin, Mountain Valley senior, 126: One of the five seniors to cross the 200-win plateau this season, Austin is a repeat All-State pick. He won his second Class B title and the New England qualifier before going 2-2 at the New England championships. Austin was 50-3 this season and 207-11 in his career.

Samson Sirois, Skowhegan junior, 132: Sirois did not lose to a Maine wrestler in a 48-4 season and beat four-time state champ Danny Buteau of Oak Hill 6-5, at the New England qualifier. The Class A champ placed fourth at the New England championships and is 148-9 in his career.

Bradley Beaulieu, Marshwood senior, 138: A four-time state champion and three-time All-State selection, Beaulieu went 53-0 and won the New England championship. He was instrumental in leading Marshwood to the Class A title. Beaulieu, who will compete at Old Dominion University, posted a career record of 243-14.

Austin Shorey, Noble senior, 145: A three-time All-State choice, Shorey moved up from 120 pounds and won his second Class A title before placing sixth at the New England championships. Shorey went 61-7 this season and finished with a career mark of 225-31.

Peyton Cole, Ellsworth junior, 152: Cole, a three-time All-State pick, won his third state title and his second New England qualifier, then placed fourth at the New Englands. He finished 46-2 this season and is 117-16 in his career.

Sam Anderson, Sanford junior, 160: After wrestling at 182 as a sophomore, Anderson was a force this winter, winning outstanding wrestler honors at the Noble Invitational, and then taking the Class A and New England qualifier titles in a 41-5 season. He has a career mark of 112-38.

Robert Hetherman, Mt. Ararat/Brunswick senior, 170: Hetherman got his 200th career win in the Class A final, then beat Trent Goodman of Ellsworth in the New England qualifier before finishing second at the New England championships. He went 54-1 this season and was 206-18 with 126 pins in his career.

Ryan Fredette, Winslow junior, 182: After an unbeaten season in Maine that included Class B and New England qualifier titles, Fredette was one of the four Mainers to reach the final at the New England championships. His loss in the final left him with a 50-1 record.

Nolan Potter, Wells junior, 195: The Class B and New England qualifier champion was another who did not lose in Maine with a 50-2 record this season, including a 2-2 mark at the New England championships. He is 116-33 in his career.

Matthew Carroll, Massabesic senior, 220: Carroll won the Class A title and New England qualifier, and went 40-4 to finish his career with a 110-17 record.

David Gross, Bucksport freshman, 285: Gross backed up his Class B championship by beating Class A winner Zebulon Leavitt of Cheverus in the New England qualifier final. Gross went 39-4 this season.


Matt Rix, Marshwood: The Hawks won their fifth Class A title in six years because Rix developed quality wrestlers across all weight classes. Marshwood returned only three wrestlers who placed in the top four at the 2016 Class A state meet. This season the Hawks had 11 top-four finishers and won the title by more than 100 points.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0 Beaulieu, the winningest wrestler in Maine history, became a four-time state champion while helping Marshwood regain the Class A team title, then captured his first New England championship.Sat, 25 Mar 2017 18:01:21 +0000