December 30, 2012

2012 moments so memorable

The triumphs were far-reaching for teams and individuals, but there also was a tragedy that won't be forgotten.

By Mike Lowe mlowe@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

So the Mayans were wrong about the world ending on Dec. 21.

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Jordan Matthews (61), at left, and the Golden Trojans had their golden moment, raising the Gold Ball as Thornton Academy won the Class A title.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Ryan Flaherty
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Ryan Flaherty spent his first full season in the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles and made an impact in the AL playoffs.

The Associated Press

Additional Photos Below

Good thing, otherwise there would be no one to look back on the year that was, 2012.

It may not have been the flashiest of years in Maine sports, but it was filled with intriguing stories that forced Mainers to think.

It was the year in which three of Maine's brightest young athletes -- Charlie Furbush, Mark Rogers and Ryan Flaherty -- proved they belonged at the major league level. And another Mainer, Brian Butterfield, joined the Boston Red Sox as their third-base coach.

Eleanor Logan won a second Olympic gold medal, joining a very elite group. And 17-year-old golfer Seth Sweet turned some heads with his win at the Maine Amateur.

The Boston Celtics decided they wanted to run the Maine Red Claws on their own. The Maine Principals' Association had a busy year, with rulings and reclassifications. Cheverus High set a Class A record for consecutive football wins but Thornton Academy took home the Gold Ball. And Scarborough High set the bar among local Class A schools with a bevy of state championships.

There was tragedy as well, with the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide dominating headlines for weeks.

Here's a look back at those stories, and others, that made 2012 so readable.

MAINERS IN THE MAJORS

There is a 1 percent chance of someone making it to the major leagues. Think about that. One percent!

This year, three Mainers did it. For pitchers Charlie Furbush and Mark Rogers, it was a second year in The Show. Furbush, of South Portland, became a stalwart in the Seattle Mariners bullpen, posting a 5-2 record with a 2.72 ERA. In 461/3 innings, he struck out 53 and walked only 15. Rogers, from Orrs Island, got a late-July call-up by the Milwaukee Brewers and proceeded to show why he was the team's No.1 pick (and fifth overall) in 2004. He pitched 39 innings, going 3-1 with a 3.92 ERA and 41 strikeouts.

And then there was Flaherty, the former Deering High star. He played the entire season with the Baltimore Orioles, platooning at second base. He batted only .216 but had a strong ending to the season. Getting a chance in the playoffs, he hit a home run and batted .273 as the Orioles pushed the New York Yankees to five games.

ANOTHER GOLDEN MOMENT

There are precious few Mainers who have won gold medals in the Olympics, even fewer who have done it multiple times. Eleanor Logan of Boothbay Harbor became one of the latter this year.

Competing in the women's eight crew, Logan won her second Olympic gold medal in last summer's London Olympics. She took to Twitter to thank her supporters, then tweeted that this medal tasted "even sweeter maybe" than the one from Beijing four years earlier.

Only 24, Logan has a chance for a third medal in four years in Rio de Janeiro, which would tie her with Portland swimmer Ian Crocker for most in Maine history. Seth Wescott is the only Mainer with multiple gold, twice winning snowboardcross since it was introduced in 2006.

EVERY RECORD MUST FALL

Cheverus High set a Class A record with 34 consecutive football victories this year, an amazing feat given the competitive nature of football in the state and a tribute to the man at the helm, John Wolfgram (who also coached the team with the previous record, South Portland). But the Stags fell a couple of wins shy of their ultimate goal.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Eleanor Logan of Boothbay Harbor traveled to London over the summer and returned with a gold medal – her second – as part of the women’s eight crew. At 24, a third gold is possible.

The Associated Press

20121103_ABoysSoccer
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Trevor Sparda, top, and goalie Patrick Stanton celebrated a boys’ soccer state title – part of Scarborough’s dominating year.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

 


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