Cheverus senior Emily Durgin, the 2009 New England cross country champion and three-year runner-up in Class A to Abbey Leonardi, said she’s not sure whether she’ll even run in Saturday’s state meet.

Durgin has been taking iron supplements to combat anemia, which she said led her to drop out of three races this fall, including the Western Class A regional on Saturday, when she was in third place, not far behind teammate Fiona Hendry.

Durgin did break 20 minutes in a 5K race in the rain at Baxter Woods last weekend, although officials disqualified her for a celebratory hand-clasp with teammate Shannon Conley at the finish.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” said Durgin, clearly upset after the regional race.

“Her team has always looked up to her and needs to continue to do so,” Cheverus Coach Valerie Guillet said. “Her decision to train with us this week and to participate (Saturday) in the best way she can is really important to us. And I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not, at all. I’m not saying that I don’t understand her feeling.”

Guillet pointed to senior Fiona Hendry’s struggle with a sizeable growth spurt after a successful freshman season, and losing to plenty of runners who used to finish well in her wake.

“All of this is super difficult to deal with,” Guillet said, “but that’s what makes this sport so wonderful, and what makes them stronger people in the long run.”

AMONG THE bright spots from Cape Elizabeth’s 20-14 football loss to Mountain Valley in the regular-season finale was the backup kicking game and the emergence of freshman wide receiver Ethan Murphy.

Regular kicker Matt Ross spent most of the game on crutches after being injured returning the opening kickoff. His replacements all performed well, with junior Cam Wilson booting two extra points, junior Austin Petsinger sending two punts that were downed inside the 5, and senior Andrew Lavallee kicking off to the 10.

The Capers also lost quarterback Connor Maguire with concussion-like symptoms after only three offensive series, as well as end Billy Brooks, who was hit hard by Mountain Valley defensive back Colin Merrill after a pass fell incomplete. Derek Roberts, who played quarterback last year, switched over from running back and directed a solid two-minute drill that started from his 18 with a minute left and reached the Mountain Valley 25 thanks to a screen pass to Donald Clark and three downfield completions to Murphy against a prevent defense.

“We saw some things at the end of the game that we liked,” Coach Aaron Filieo said. “We’re just going to have to shuffle some personnel around and figure out what gives us the best chance. … It’s an uphill climb, but then you’re climbing uphill with these guys, so it makes it that much more exciting and optimistic.”

AS PORTLAND HIGH was trying to hold off Westbrook in the final minutes of the Western Class A field hockey semifinals, two of the Bulldogs’ top players, forward Rachael Allen and midfielder Kylie Dalbec, were on the bench.

The Bulldogs held on to win 2-1 and advance to the regional Class A championship game for the first time in school history.

Coach Beth Arsenault substitutes liberally and wasn’t concerned about who was on the field in the final minutes.

“I have a lot of faith in my kids,’’ she said. “If you’re not 100 percent, if you’re tired, you’re not going to be out there.

“That’s where we have kids like Carissa Porcaro (who got the winning goal), and on defense with Chelsea DePalmer and Ellen Jewett, who came up with huge saves, and Sam Dobson, who all came up huge at the end. I can afford to rest my players.’’

Westbrook Coach Beth Murphy said Arsenault’s substitution pattern – she rotates players in almost every minute – was a huge factor in the win.  It kept the Bulldogs fresh. And then Portland got a goal from Porcaro, her second of the playoffs, to win.

Porcaro was at the left post and slammed the ball in.

“The kid stayed on the post,’’ said Murphy. “That’s what it takes to win in the playoffs. That one chance.’’

It was a disappointing end to what Murphy considered a great season.

“It’s been the best group I’ve ever coached,’’ she said. “They passionately cared as a group. No superstars. They were one big team. Played hard. Played with heart.’’

WINDHAM HIGH’S surprising field hockey season ended Saturday with a 3-0 loss in the Western Class A semifinals, but third-year coach Christena Dillon was still pleased.

The Eagles finished 7-8-2, including a stunning upset of top-ranked Scarborough in the quarterfinals.

“We did the unexpected,’’ said Dillon. “By making the playoffs and beating Scarborough, we showed that anything is possible if you work hard.

“It was a great season.’’

CROSS COUNTRY teams often wear shirts with inspiring slogans, and the Merriconeag School in New Gloucester is no different.

The blue shirts read: We Don’t Jog. We Run.

The clever part, however, is the names on the back. For Coach Tom Ryan, his shirt reads The Old Man.

For co-coach Morgan Lake-Adams, her shirt reads The C. Viewing them side by side brings a smile to the face of anyone with a literary bent.

ONE BONNY EAGLE play late in the first half of a 47-7 football win Friday over Windham demonstrated the Scots’ dangerous offense.

On third and 10 from the Windham 48, Bonny Eagle receiver Cam Cooper took off downfield, drawing two defenders. Cooper had already caught two touchdown passes, but quarterback Tyson Goodale hooked up with a wide-open Shawn Duane underneath for a 33-yard gain.

Goodale used five different receivers, and Goodale, Nick Adkins and Matt Burnell all averaged at least nine yards a carry.

That is a lot of offensive options. Bonny Eagle has scored a combined 88 points in its past two games, against two good teams (Windham and Deering), making the Scots a feared team in the playoffs.

“We think we have good skill players,” Bonny Eagle Coach Kevin Cooper said. “If our skill players make plays, we’ll be tough to beat.”

BROTHERS Max Porter and Dane Porter and cousin Nate Porter were recognized before the Portland and South Portland football game Friday night.

Max and Nate play for the Riots and Bulldogs, respectively. Dane is serving in Afghanistan with the 9th Engineering Battalion in the 172nd Infantry Brigade. He is on leave for two weeks.

They were all on the field prior to the 96th Battle of the Bridge.

Max and Nate could be the last Porters to play local high school football for a while. Their dads, Mike and Luc, played for Portland along with their uncle, Quinton. Max is the first family member to play for South Portland.

ANDREW LIBBY of Thornton Academy does many things for the Golden Trojans (7-1). One of those things that might not jump out to the average fan is his ability to catch punts in traffic or on the run.

Having a sure-handed player returning punts is a huge advantage. It’s crucial because of the yardage it can save. Instead of starting deep in its own territory, teams get good field position because the returner is aggressive in fielding the ball.

Libby did that against Biddeford on Saturday. On one punt, Libby caught it on the run at the Biddeford 34 and returned it to the 4, which set up his touchdown run on the next play.

The worst thing that can happen to a team is for a punt returner to fumble, with the other team recovering in good field position.

More often than not, that happens when a player is tentative catching the punt. Not with Libby. It’s full speed ahead for the sophomore.  

– Staff Writers Glenn Jordan, Mike Lowe, Tom Chard and Kevin Thomas contributed to this report.

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