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

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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

Thornton Academy, behind the brilliance of junior back Andrew Libby and a gritty performance by its defense and linemen, beat the Stags 20-13 in the Western Class A final. Then the Trojans won their first Class A title in 24 years by beating Lawrence 37-23 in the state title game a week later.

A DOMINATING YEAR

Scarborough High, meanwhile, had quite a calendar year. The Red Storm won seven Class A state titles -- boys' and girls' lacrosse (each for the third year in a row), boys' and girls' soccer, boys' and girls' indoor track, and girls' outdoor track. In addition, its field hockey and baseball team each won a regional title.

And when you're talking about high school dominance, you must mention Skowhegan's field hockey program, coached by Paula Doughty. The Indians won their 11th state Class A title in 12 years, beating Scarborough 3-0 for their 54th consecutive win. They outscored opponents 147-2 this year.

MAKING THE RULINGS

It was a busy year for the MPA. It worked hard to come up with a plan to divide football into four classes instead of the current three. The MPA also stripped Cheverus of its 2010 Class A state boys' basketball championship for using an ineligible player, Indiana Faithfull, who went to court to retain his eligibility after the MPA ruled against him before the playoffs started that year.

The MPA also placed Lee Academy on two years probation for a recruiting violation, and earlier in the year voted to allow a co-op hockey program for Portland's public schools, a year after denying that same opportunity.

A TRAGIC ENDING

Jovan Belcher's story was tragic. The former University of Maine All-America linebacker had earned a role on the Kansas City Chiefs. But on Dec. 1, he shot and killed Kasandra Perkins -- his girlfriend and mother of his child -- then drove to Arrowhead Stadium where he killed himself in front of his coach, Romeo Crennel. Former teammates and coaches choked on words as they spoke about how much Belcher meant to them.

RED CLAWS GO PURE GREEN

For three years the Boston Celtics had an affiliation with the Maine Red Claws along with the Charlotte Bobcats or Philadelphia 76ers, or both.

After a third consecutive non-playoff season, changes were made. Jon Jennings, the man whose vision brought the Red Claws to Portland, and Coach Dave Leitao left the organization.

Five days later the Celtics announced they were going to be the sole affiliate of the NBA D-League franchise.

"I think that this opportunity creates a better chance for us to develop a better relationship," said Danny Ainge, the Celtics' president.

They hired Mike Taylor as coach, drafted the players, and the Red Claws are off to the best start (9-4 as of Saturday) in team history, aided by Boston stars such as Fab Melo and Kris Joseph.

COACHING CONTROVERSY

In mid-September, with the high school football season just starting to get interesting, Messalonskee Coach Wes Littlefield resigned days before a game. He had been accused of striking a player in practice and later was charged with an assault misdemeanor.

The charge was dropped by acting Kennebec and Somerset District Attorney Alan Kelley, who added that his office "does not condone the alleged conduct" of Littlefield.

Coaches across the state in all sports took notice.

A LEGEND DEPARTS

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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

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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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