TOP 10 OF 2010

December 26, 2010

Steve Solloway: Those moments to remember

From gold medals to gold balls, Mainers found plenty of reasons to be proud

The applause and the cheers are just echoes. The last days of 2010 count down. Here are 10 of the best or the most memorable local events and stories as judged by my sports staff colleagues.

Seth Wescott
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Seth Wescott of Farmington made not just Maine proud but the entire nation as well during the 2010 Winter Olympics at Vancouver, capturing the gold medal for a second time in snowboard cross.

The Associated Press

Matt Lombardi
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It hasn't always been smooth skating for the once-powerful University of Maine hockey team under Coach Tim Whitehead, but the Black Bears made it to the Hockey East championship game in Boston last season and have built a platform to continue contending as this season goes on.

The Associated Press

Additional Photos Below

Related headlines

Other Notable Maine Stories in 2010

Maine hockey player Gustav Nyquist a Hobey Baker finalist.

Baseball comes back to The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach.

Numerous Sea Dogs contribute in injury-filled season for the Red Sox.

Fishing season in Maine expanded to year-round.

Abbey Leonardi of Kennebunk wins another state cross country title, places 16th at nationals.

State officials report that the deer harvest the previous fall was the smallest since the 1930s, signaling a huge decrease in the herd in northern Maine.

 

You can argue with their order and what made the list and what didn't. You can't argue with the impact they made. 

1. Seth Wescott wins gold again:

You didn't have to understand the difference between a skateboard or a snowboard to appreciate the effort and confidence of one man to start in last place and finish first. Wescott won gold in men's snowboard cross in his second straight Winter Olympics.

"It was just so cool to be in the moment and feel that ease of executing," said Wescott. "For me, the race was really such a powerful moment."

It was all so new when he won in 2006. New Olympics event, no expectations. Four years later, Wescott let himself take it all in and shared it with us.

"This Olympics was so much more emotional for me. I caught myself at least 10 times in front of the television watching (friends in other events) and just bawling my eyes out."

2. Maine Red Claws sell out every game in first season.

It's difficult to believe now, but before the Red Claws played their first NBA Development League game in Portland, there was cynicism. Similar ventures had failed. The novelty of minor league basketball in Maine would wear off quickly as it had before, I heard.

Who would care enough to reach for their wallets? No players with direct Maine ties were on the opening-day roster. What's more, it was difficult to become familiar with players. They were coming and going as Coach Austin Ainge juggled personnel, looking for winning combinations.

No matter. The team president, Jon Jennings, was selling the pro basketball experience. His decision to play in the Portland Expo, with its limited seating, character, and noise, paid off with full houses game after game. The Red Claws just missed the playoffs in their first year but didn't miss with their fans.

3. Scarborough girls complete three perfect seasons.

The Scarborough girls' soccer team was "The Perfect Storm." Unbeaten, unscored upon, except for a lone penalty kick late in the season. The Red Storm won the Class A title for the first time after winning in Class B. On a raw, late fall day, Scarborough beat Bangor 3-0 to complete the triumphs that began earlier in 2010 with the championship basketball and lacrosse teams.

"Unfortunately you're not going to give a team like that two goals (and expect to win)," said Bangor Coach Joe Johnson. "They haven't given up two all year."

Remarkably, Scarborough succeeded with teamwork rather than superstars. Theirs was a team to enjoy and appreciate.

"I don't think we ever felt pressure (to win, to keep the shutout streak alive)," said Abby Van Note, one of the goalkeepers. "I'm sure the bond we had as teammates helped. This team was so close." 

4. Cheverus wins first football title in 25 years.

Cheverus beat Bangor in the state championship game at Fitzpatrick Stadium but for many looking back in hindsight, the title was won the week before on the Stags' home grass. Cheverus choked off a Deering rally to win the Western Maine championship 35-34 after leading, 29-6.

That game turned into a showcase of quarterbacks with Peter Gwilym of Cheverus and Deering's Jamie Ross engaged in a physical and emotional game of one-upmanship. Each respected the other; both became finalists for the Fitzpatrick Trophy, which goes to the year's best high school senior.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Indiana Faithfull was the point guard who made Cheverus click during its run to the Class A championship.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Mark Rogers
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Mark Rogers, the former Mt. Ararat High whiz, has gone through a lot as a pro but finally reached the majors.

The Associated Press

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Brittany Ross knew about winning at Scarborough. And winning. And winning, for programs that ruled the state.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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The Maine Red Claws came to town last year and made an immediate impact, filling the hallowed Portland Expo.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Yarmouth did its share of celebrating in the fall months, not just defeating Ellsworth to win the Class B boys soccer championship, but also winning the Class C football state title.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Bowdoin field hockey
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Bowdoin College wasn't just the best Division III field hockey program around, it was the best in the nation again, defeating Messiah College in a thrilling NCAA final.

Special to the Telegram

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John Wolfgram, who had won state football championships at three other schools, worked his magic this season at Cheverus, which won its first Class A title in 25 years.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

  


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