BRUNSWICK

The World Series champion Boston Red Sox!

Still hard to believe that Red Sox fans were able to celebrate another World Series title, the team’s third since 2004. We all still remember the beer and chicken fiasco of the 2011 season and the Bobby Valentine nightmare of 2012 that produced just 69 wins and a last-place finish.

This bearded group (Mike Napoli’s beard was epic) highlighted 2013, sending Red Sox Nation into a frenzy.

The marathon bombing on Patriots Day, which killed three, injured over 170 and made us all scared of what bad guys can do, brought a city, region and nation together as one … “Boston Strong.” The events of that fateful day seemed to drive the Boston Red Sox train. Who will ever forget the David Ortiz speech in Boston’s first home game five days after the bombing. “This is our @#$% city. And nobody is going to dictate our freedom.”

IN THIS OCTOBER, 2013 file photo, Boston Red Sox’s David Ross, left, tugs on David Ortiz’s beard after Ortiz hit a two-run home run off St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha during the sixth inning of Game 2 of baseball’s World Series in Boston.

IN THIS OCTOBER, 2013 file photo, Boston Red Sox’s David Ross, left, tugs on David Ortiz’s beard after Ortiz hit a two-run home run off St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha during the sixth inning of Game 2 of baseball’s World Series in Boston.

Wow, what a moment, along with hearing New York Yankee fans singing “Sweet Caroline” to honor the city of Boston, and the Buffalo Sabres, after an overtime win against the Boston Bruins in TD Bank, saluting the Boston fans. These were all healing moments for sure.

“David Ortiz! David Ortiz! David Ortiz!” Dave O’Brien’s call of the grand slam home run hit by Ortiz in Game 2 of the AL Championship against the Detroit Tigers will certainly be replayed over and over again. The whole thing, from the crack of the bat, to Torri Hunter tumbling headlong over the right field bullpen fence, to policeman Steve Horgan’s hands raised above his head, that moment will forever live in Red Sox history.

The playoff wins over Tampa Bay and Detroit, followed by a thrilling World Series win over the St. Louis Cardinals, the clinching game coming at Fenway Park, the first time that has happened since 1918, cemented the season.

There were certainly thrilling moments right here in our own backyard, so take a few minutes to go down memory lane as we close out 2013.

Milestone moment

We began the calendar year with a milestone for Richmond High School’s Jamie Plummer. The standout scored her 1,000th high school point in a 48-9 victory over Buckfield, and as the regular season concluded and the Western D tournament began at the Augusta Civic Center (Richmond’s second home it seems) during the February school break, Plummer and her band of senior teammates continued their run, rolling through Greenville, Hyde and Rangeley for a third straight Western D title.

Richmond’s dream of a Class D state title ended for a second straight year against Washburn, with the Beavers taking a 75-55 decision. It was a bitter sweet day, considering those in attendance at the Bangor Auditorium were witnessing the end of the iconic building, which was subsequently demolished to make room for the now open Cross Insurance Center.

The often-chastised Maine Principals’ Association announced the approval of a four-class system for high school football. Thinking of that, the decision was certainly mocked by many. One thing on that. After watching the high school football playoffs this year, give kudos to the MPA. They got it right, with four exciting championship games to end the campaign cementing a glorious high school football season.

In wrestling, Brunswick’s Jared Jensen showed that he was the man, rolling to the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference title and later taking home the Class A title in the 170-pound division. His only loss came in the New Englands championship final.

The Lisbon and Morse cheerleading squads were all smiles, as the Greyhounds won their second straight Mountain Valley Conference title, while the Shipbuilders qualified for states, and the Woolwich girls completed a perfect season with a 48-28 victory over Vinalhaven in the Busline League Championship game.

The Hyde girls basketball team went from no wins in 2012 to 16-1 in 2013. It was a great turnaround, with the Phoenix giving Richmond all it could handle in the Western D semifinals.

In KVAC swimming, both the Brunswick boys and girls were tops. Mt. Ararat’s Celia Ouellette broke the 50-yard freestyle record, while Brunswick standout Jessica Russell earned Swimmer of the Meet honors after breaking records in both the 200 individual medley and the 500 freestyle.

Preliminary boys basketball action saw Richmond, under firstyear coach Jon Spear, Mt. Ararat and Wiscasset pick up wins to advance to the quarterfinals in Augusta, while the Freeport girls, led by Jim Seavey, defeated Maranacook to advance to the Portland Expo for the first time. And, the Brunswick boys hockey team received a Matt Brooks goal to knock off Cony in overtime in the Eastern A quarterfinals.

Unfortunately, all five teams fell in the next round, joining the Brunswick boys (a 52-41 quarterfinal loss to Lawrence) on the sidelines.

After a quarterfinal win, Kelly LaFountain’s Mt. Ararat girls basketball team lost that magic, falling to Bangor 56-44 in the Eastern A semifinals. It still was a great year for the Eagles.

In 2012, the Hyde boys suffered a stinging loss at Augusta. It wasn’t going to happen in 2013, was it? Unfortunately, the Phoenix were outscored 17-10 in the fourth quarter in a another gut-wrenching 55- 53 loss to Valley.

Morse wrestler Michael Alvarez (152 pounds) captured the Class B state title, while Lisbon’s Zach Stevens (132), under the tutelage of father Mark Stevens, won the Class C championship. Word has it that Mark is coaching his last wrestling season at Lisbon, Zach’s senior year. If you have never taken in a Lisbon practice, you need to stop by. Mark truly knows how to get the most out of his wrestlers.

Freeport skiers were tops in Class C, edging Fort Kent.

A stunner took place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference postseason. Adrienne Shibles’ Bowdoin College women became the first No. 8 seed to knock off the No. 1 team, as the Polar Bears shocked Tufts 60-54 in the NESCAC quarterfinals.

In the State Class A Indoor Track Championships, Brunswick’s Alex Nichols set a school mark in the 400-meter run (51.05) as the Dragons finished fifth, and Brunswick swimmer Nate Samson established a school record in the 50 and 100 freestyle events at the Class A state swim meet, helping the Dragons to a third-place showing. In the girls Class A state meet, Ouellette broke the 50 freestyle record again, this time in 23.84.

Bowdoin College and the NCAA had a special announcement, as the 2014 Division III men’s hockey Final Four was awarded to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Now, to get the Polar Bears there. Hey, it can happen, especially considering that Bowdoin is the defending NESCAC champs, along with the Polar Bear women. Both teams played in the NCAA Tournament last year, with the women falling to Elmira, 4-0, while the men defeated UMass- Dartmouth in the first round before slipping at Utica, 4-2, in the quarterfinals.

Former Morse swimming standout James Wells made news by winning the Big Ten championship in the 100 backstroke for Indiana University. Nice to see a nice young man doing well for himself.

Thinking of a former local standout athlete, Bowdoin hired former Brunswick goaltender Scott Wiercinski as its new men’s soccer coach. Scott and his Polar Bears had a solid first season together.

Returning to the pool, Wells remembers fondly his time swimming for the Long Reach Swim Club, which captured its 23rd straight state title in 2013.

The future seems bright for the Mt. Ararat/Lisbon high school hockey team, that is if the middle schoolers continue to do what they did this year, capturing the Hawkins Division title in the Southern Maine Middle School Hockey League with a 4-3 win over Scarborough.

Into the spring

The Lisbon track teams, both the boys and the girls, won their eighth straight MVC title, led by longtime coach Dean Hall, who shows no signs of slowing down.

In tennis, Brunswick’s Maisie Silverman lost in the championship of the MPA Schoolgirls tennis tourney to Falmouth’s Olivia Leavitt. It was a disappointment for Maisie, but soon she was all smiles as her Dragons captured their second straight Class A state tennis title with a 3-2 comeback win over Portland. Down 2-0, Maisie watched with excitement as the Brunswick duo of Samiera MacMullen and Hannah Bobker rallied for a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 11-9 win at No. 1 doubles to keep the Dragons alive. After No. 2 singles player Ali Stankiewicz won at No. 2 doubles, Maisie put away her opponent to begin another Brunswick celebration.

Bill Bodwell led his Cheverus boys lacrosse team to a 10-9 win over Brunswick in the Eastern A final. Bodwell celebrated the win days after the loss of his father, “Brother” Bill Bodwell.

Linda Levesque’s Morse girls lacrosse team had never played in a regional final. That is until 2013, when the Shipbuilders advanced to take on Yarmouth. Despite the 22-9 loss in the Eastern B final, Levesque walked the sidelines just like the proud coach that she is. What a class act!

Richmond softball, still led by always personable Rick Coughlin, rolled to its fifth straight Western D title with a 12-0 win over Greenville. The momentum carried over to the State Class D title game, with the Bobcats, behind the pitching of Plummer, winning 3-0.

And, former Lisbon co-curricular director Jeff Ramich was hired to be Brunswick’s new AD, with Nick Gannon assuming the duties at Lisbon; former Brunswick standout cross country runner Will Geoghegan was the second Maine finisher in the Beach to Beacon 10K; C. Nels Corey, Bowdoin College class of 1939, passed away at the age of 98. Corey coached football, ice hockey and lacrosse for the Polar Bears; and three new high school field hockey coaches took over, with Marcia Wood leading Freeport, Stephanie Pinkham in charge at Morse and Karin Iuzzolino Paquin set to lead Brunswick.

At Bowdoin, baseball pitcher Oliver Van Zant pitched the fifth no-hitter in school history in a 7-0 win over Colby.

‘Field of Dreams’

It was a dream for several years. Everyone driving into the parking lot at the McMann Field Complex saw the sign, with updates of how much money had been collected for the “Field of Dreams” turf field at Morse. It took seven years, but it finally happened. The Morse boys soccer team played the first official game on the field, and on Sept. 13, during the Morse-Falmouth football game, the field was officially dedicated. Heavy rain didn’t discourage the fans that came out to be part of the historic night.

The turf has already had an immediate impact on the community, with four state soccer championships played throughout a cold November day, with both the Richmond girls (2-1 loss to Washburn) and boys (2-1 penalty kick setback to Bangor Christian) participating.

The Mt. Ararat football team gave coach Frank True his first coaching win, with the Eagles ending a 29-game losing streak with a 42-26 victory over Fryeburg Academy. True, one of the good guys, led his team to a 4-4 regular season and a playoff berth.

In the KVAC cross country meet, Brunswick’s Teresa Murphy took first, with teammate Tessa Cassidy in third as the Dragon girls finished second overall; Cheverus golfer Chris Billings of Topsham tied for first in the MPA Schoolboys Golf Championship at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro; the Lisbon field hockey team, the defending Class C champions, battled hard in a 2-1 loss (penalty corners) to nemesis North Yarmouth Academy in the Western C final; and the surprising and young Mt. Ararat girls soccer team advanced all the way to the Eastern A final, falling to topranked Bangor, 2-1 in overtime.

A first took place for Brunswick and the University of Maine football teams this year. Dan Cooper’s Dragons earned a home regional final for the first time. The 48-38 loss to Cony stung, but the accomplishments of the year will never be forgotten.

And, the Black Bears, after a superb and surprising regular season, lost to New Hampshire in round two of the FCS playoffs, the first-ever home playoff game for the University of Maine footballers.

Nikki Pearson led her Bowdoin field hockey to the Division III National title, with the Polar Bears downing Salisbury, 1-0, in the final. The Polar Bears have now captured four National field hockey titles (2007, ’08, ’10 and ’13).

In the early stages of the 2013/14 winter season, Bowdoin men’s ice hockey coach Terry Meagher won his 500th game behind the Polar Bear bench in a 9-3 victory over the University of New England on Nov. 26. Terry is another one of the good guys who makes everyone around him better.

Not local, but awesome

There were certainly some monumental events that occurred outside of the Mid-coast.

The Boston Bruins were the talk of New England after recovering from a 4-1 third-period deficit in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, tying the game with a pair of goals in the final 90 seconds to force overtime before getting a Patrick Bergeron game-winner for a 5-4 win. After a whipping the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins over the next two rounds, the Bruins were off to their second Stanley Cup final in three years.

In Game 6, with the Bruins leading 2-1, and seemingly on the way to forcing a Game 7 in Chicago, the Black Hawks turned the tables, scoring twice late in regulation for a 3-2 win and the Stanley Cup.

More champions were crowned along the way, with the Baltimore Ravens winning Super Bowl XXVII, 34-31, over the San Francisco 49ers; Alabama disappointed Catholics everywhere with a 42-14 bashing of Notre Dame in the NCAA football National Championship game; the Dominican Republic won the World Baseball Classic (yawn) over Puerto Rico, 3- 0; Houston joined the American League, defeating Texas on opening night; Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey that “I doped;” the Louisville men’s and women’s basketball teams advanced to the National Championships, with the Cardinal men defeating Michigan, 82-76, and the women falling to the University of Connecticut, 93-60.

Lebron James led the Miami Heat to a second straight NBA title, defeating the San Antonio Spurs in seven games. Days later, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers left the team to become the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, and days after that, the Celtics hired Brad Stevens to lead their rebuilding team. Changes continued for the Celtics, as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were dealt to the Brooklyn Nets, the last of the “Big Three” that brought the team an NBA title.

For days, video showed police sitting outside the home of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. It was of little surprise that a few days later Hernandez was taken away in handcuffs, charged with the murder of a former friend. Hernandez was subsequently released by the Patriots, and currently resides in prison, awaiting his trial.

The Bruins made a blockbuster deal, sending Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars for Loui Erickson; a report on Biogenesis resulted in the suspension of several high-profile baseball players, including Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun (65 games). Days later, Alex Rodriguez was suspended 211 games. ARod immediately appealed and played out the season; Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens, the faces of the steroid era in MLB, were told no by the Baseball Hall of Fame, all three well short of obtaining enough votes to get it.

The Pittsburgh Pirates ended over 20 years of misery by clinching a playoff spot for the first time since 1992. In fact, 2013 was the first winning season for the Pirates since 1992, and even tough the Bucs lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in five games, it was still a magical year.

The Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League announced in September that talks with the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland had broken off and that the team was going to play its home games in Lewiston at the Colisee. Definitely exciting for the region, but this looks to be a oneyear thing, considering the Pirates have a new majority owner in Ron Cain who plans on reopening negotiations in Portland.

In a classy move, longtime Yankees Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte came to the mound to take the ball from the greatest closer in MLB history, Mariano Rivera. Fans across the league honored Rivera, another one of the good guys who made a huge impact to the game.

The year 2013, through tragedy and triumph, was one to remember, and here is wishing all a glorious 2014.

BOB CONN is The Times Record assistant sports editor. He can be reached at [email protected]timesrecord.com


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